Paul Aiken gave a speech presenting the Authors Guild position on Google Print. I’ve posted a copy here. Here’s a snippet:
We bet Google is right. If books were digitized and searchable on the Internet, we bet Google could make a pretty penny by allowing its legions of users to search that database. And what a mind-boggling database! An assemblage of the nation’s copyrighted books, the result of the efforts and investments of hundreds of thousands of authors and thousands of publishers, served up in handy excerpts by Google’s generous computers.
But here comes the bad part. Google says that its copying of these books — that its scanning of countless copyrighted volumes, then using optical character recognition technology to digitize the text of those works to create files to assemble into a new, unimaginably vast database, surely one of the largest databases ever assembled — that all of that copying and use of these works, would be fair use, so it doesn’t need a license from anyone for this copying. For good measure, it’s handing over a digital copy to its partner libraries, and telling them its OK to post the works to their websites. That, too, I guess, is fair use.
Hint: He doesn’t really think it’s fair use.
I’m not a lawyer and don’t know whether it counts as fair use. But as a citizen who wants to live in an ever smarter world, I hope Google Print goes ahead. I think ultimately it’s going to build more business for publishers, but that’s not my first concern. We need to get way smart real fast, and Google Print is a big step forward. [Thanks to Mark Dionne for the email.] [Tags: google GooglePrint DigitalRights]
Categories: Uncategorized dw