Revised Settlement a 'weak compromise' says Hachette

<p>Hachette UK will opt in to the revised Google Book Settlement but will make its authors&#39; works unavailable for &#39;display uses&#39;, the publisher has said.</p><p>In a letter sent today to UK agents and authors, Hachette UK chief executive Tim Hely-Hutchinson said that Hachette, which lodged an objection to the original Settlement last year, &quot;may continue to object to the revised Settlement because, simply put, we do not think that Google should have interfered with other people&#39;s copyright in the first place and we feel that the proposed Settlement is still a weak compromise between Google and rights holders.&quot;</p><p>Hely-Hutchinson added: &quot;We want to reassert the principle that rights holders&#39; prior permission is required for all significant exploitation of copyrighted work.&quot;</p><p>Hachette UK will opt in to the Settlement and claim, collect and distribute compensation due to its authors before making their works unavailable, meaning the books can be found in Google searches but text will not be displayed. However Hely-Hutchinson warned authors that &quot;the Google database is particularly difficult to use and there are already reports of their not responding to instructions as rights holders would wish&quot;.<br /><br />Hely-Hutchinson reassured authors that Hachette UK would be vigilant on their behalf, saying: &quot;We, and other publishers around the world, are paying close attention, as it [the Settlement] could be thought to set a precedent which might in future be damaging to rights holders outside the USA. As your publisher, we will fight any such threat in any territory for which we are responsible.&quot;</p><p>The deadline to opt out of the revised Google Book Settlement is 28th January. A number of authors and agents have also expressed concern over the new deal, negotiated late last year, with the UK Publishers Association named as a plaintiff alongside the original litigants. At the time the PA said it supported the deal, but conceded that Hachette would not. </p>