Several folks I know and admire are seeking to intervene in a settlement between the Author’s Guild and Google, a deal that has many unfortunate aspects including the way it treats orphaned works — that is, works still protected by (ridiculously long) copyright terms where the authors can’t be found, or works that may or may not actually be copyright.

In this Letter to Request Intervention in Author’s Guild v Google, Lewis Hyde, Harry Lewis and the Open Access Trust are trying to get a federal just to let the public — that’s the rest of us — have a say in how these works are treated.

They want to “represent the community of readers, scholars, and teachers who use orphaned works” — to “defend our interest in orphaned works to defend the public domain’s claim to free, fair use.”

They have my support.

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