Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Authors Reacting to Authors Guild/Google Deal

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Le Guin Resigns from Authors Guild over Google Deal  

Reprinted with permission of Publishers Weekly

Bestselling and award-winning author Ursula K. Le Guin, whose membership in the Authors Guild dates back to 1972, has resigned from the organization, citing her unhappiness with the role the Guild played in the Google Book settlement. “You decided to deal with the devil, as it were, and have presented your arguments for doing so. I wish I could accept them. I can’t,” Le Guin wrote in her letter of resignation. “There are principles involved, above all the whole concept of copyright; and these you have seen fit to abandon to a corporation, on their terms, without a struggle.”
Le Guin, a multiple winner of the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards, said she is keeping her membership in the National Writers Union and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, both of which have opposed the settlement. Le Guin concedes that while they don’t have the clout of the Guild, they possess sounder judgment.

The Authors Guild said it was sorry that Le Guin resigned, but said the agreement was a good one for all authors. It offered to discuss the agreement with Le Guin, and noted the deal came after the lawsuit it brought against Google to defend authors' copyrights.

In her career, Le Guin has published 21 novels, 11 volumes of short stories, three collections of essays, 12 books for children, six volumes of poetry and four of translation. Her recent publications include a volume of poetry, and an essay collection, Cheek by Jowl.

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