German Buch News: New Alternatives for German Digitization; Buch.de’s Sales Up

In German Buch News by Siobhan O'Leary

By Siobhan O’Leary

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Projects to digitize library collections, like Europeana, have found new life after the Google Book Settlement, but the debate has continued in Europe about the status of “orphan works”—books that are not yet in the public domain but whose rights holder cannot be determined. Though those books are currently not allowed to be digitized, Buchreport writes that the Börsenverein, Deutscher Nationalbibliothek (the German National Library) and VG Wort (a private, non-profit society for written works) has suggested alternatives that would require that German copyright law be altered. In cases where the copyright holder cannot be determined, the Deutscher Nationalbibliothek would compensate VG Wort to scan the work and, should a rights holder come forward at a later point, that individual would be compensated accordingly.

Online bookseller buch.de has released its results for the third quarter and reports an 12.6% increase in sales, to 54 million euros over last year (with EBITDA results coming in at 1.3 million euros, as opposed to 1.1 million euros at the end of the first nine months of 2008). According to the Boersenblatt, the group is expecting to close 2009 with sales up between 8 to 18% for the year.

About the Author

Siobhan O'Leary

Siobhan O’Leary is a literary agent, translator and writer based in Berlin. She previously worked in the Foreign Rights department of the Crown Publishing Group (Random House) and at the publishing consulting firm Market Partners International.