As the Google Book Settlement court battles continue, The Guardian reports that over 6,500 authors, including Thomas Pynchon, Zadie Smith, James Frey, Monica Ali, Michael Chabon, and Phillip Pullman have all opted out of the settlement, saying they don't want their books included in Google's book search function.
"My feelings were, in the end, that I doubted I would lose out by opting out, whereas I might do by opting in. Also there was the principle that copyright is important," said novelist Marika Cobbold, author of books including Guppies for Tea and Shooting Butterflies, who opted out..."I love Google, and in principle making information accessible is wonderful, but things are moving so fast, and authors are losing so much control over what we've done, that my fear was who knows, in five to 10 years' time, how this information could be used?"
I agree with Cobbold that the idea that I could search every book I've ever read for relevant passages as an extension of my memory almost literally makes me salivate. But I'm glad to see authors fighting to assert their copyright; they're generally very good about making their case clearly and persuasively. And up until now, this Google Books Settlement issue has been anything but clear or easy to understand.
UPDATE: Just heard from Sherman Alexie, who said he's opted out of the Google Books Settlement, too.