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September 19, 2005

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Another inept physical property analogy re: Goole's digital library program:

» Authors Guild Sues Google Over Searchable Digital Library from barzelay.net
The Authors Guild is suing Google over their Digital Library project, a massive undertaking that will scan and OCR texts from libraries. Google will then be able to provide a giant, searchable online library. Google will not show pages to... [Read More]

» Authors Guild Sues Google Over Searchable Digital Library from barzelay.net
The Authors Guild is suing Google over their Digital Library project, a massive undertaking that will scan and OCR texts from libraries. Google will then be able to provide a giant, searchable online library. Google will not show pages to... [Read More]

Comments

David

To be honest, I haven't sat down and thought Google's proposal all the way through. I do find part of your argument disingenuous, however. I don't think it matters whether what Google is doing decreases or increases sales of a book. What they are doing is either legal or not, it's effect on sales is entirely beside the point. To invoke another bad analogy - "He saved lives by killing drug dealers."

Jason Schultz

Except that under "fair use", whether you are legal or not has everything to do with the effect on sales.

Richard Silverstein

Can we consider another question not related to the physical property issue:

Google will sell ads as part of the Google Print program. Since the digitized books offered at the Google site will be the content which encourages visitors to visit their site (& hence sells advertising) couldn't one argue that Google is profiting commercially from the books which are included in its site? In other words, the library card catalogue analogy (used by Fred Von Lohman of EFF) doesn't hold up because those who produce card catalogues aren't selling advertising as part of the card catalogue. I'm not at all questioning the validity of the pro-Google Print argument which I entirely agree with. But I wonder whether the issue of advertising makes the fair use claim a bit murkier?

If we want to be really picky shouldn't Google be offering to share a small portion of the ad revenue with every book author & publisher featured in the Google Print program?

Jason Schultz

Fair use is definitely affected by any profit the user makes, but it doesn't preclude fair use. For example, The New York Review of Books uses content from other people's books to fund their subscription and ad base, but don't share any of that profit with the authors. Should they? I don't think so. Same with news reporting, parodies, and other critiques.

In the videogame cases, Accolade was profiting from the use of the Genesis platform and Connectix was profiting from the use of games originally written for the Playstation. But the courts held it was still fair use because none of those activities took significant sales away from the copyright owner. Again, until there is some evidence that Google taking book sales away from authors, they have no right to demand Google pay them. That's just not how copyright law works.

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