Google's Books Slammed Again

Source Title:
Story Text:

The organisation, representing American publishers of academic journals and scholarly books, claims Google's project to to put 15 million volumes online from four top US libraries has financially troubling consequences for its members.

The Association wants clarification on 16 questions and claims the book-scanning scheme "appears to involve systematic infringement of copyright on a massive scale."

Its members depend on book sales and other licensing agreements for the majority of their revenues. They are worried that if users can get the information they want from its books by searching them online, they won't bother to buy them.

This is just the last in a long line of complaints, which include some in this forum. The article however points out that:

The head of Oxford University's library service said the project could turn out to almost as important as the invention of the printing press.

I have an open mind about it as long as they keep copyright protection for copyright holders. I would also like to see a more global approach to the project. It would be interesting to find out what negotiations took place before the December announcement from Google.



I dont see what the harm is here. It seems the libraries and publishers seem to fear progress of technology and the fall of libraries as information resources.

in moderation

There is an article here showing that the University of Texas that it is removing almost all the books from the undergrad library.

I also think that with all the looking at screens, I am not sure it is not affecting people's sight.

I wouldn't worry too much if I were a library

or even a publisher come to that, while it's very handy to be able to find small references etc online if you're researching a major project or you want to curl up on a sofa and read you want a proper, physical, sheets of paper book in your hand - a pda just isn't the same for leisure reading and I (and I'm sure loads of other people) need printed paper to really concentrate on something.

I think the people who used to spend money on books still will - you wouldn't spend £45 on a reference book if you could get the answer by standing in the bookshop and looking it up and that's very probably the online market. There really is nothing to beat a well thumbed book covered in post it notes and coffee stains - I don't see them dissapearing whatever Google puts online.

Copyrights mean ...

Copyrights mean the right to copy, and are protected by copyright law.


Have they looked inside each and every book for the particular copyright terms applicable to that title?

I can see it now, Paladin Press vs. Google, a fight worth watching.

Maybe not

But this very related topic might be interesting: Feds Shut Web Site in Piracy Crackdown.

Never say never.

the real issue is supply chain

publisher - library - reader
& publisher - store - reader
& publisher - reader

many individuals are self publishing and using services like Lulu to print on demand. While I have not yet done a final edit (ie: have an editor other than me edit my ebook) and have not yet got an ISBN number, I do not think the process is hard long or expensive. publishers may get squeezed from that end.

author - reader
author - lulu - reader
author - amazon - reader

then on the other end Google or Amazon are working their way into the supply chain and may become such important reference sources that you have to play their game and give them a cut to be seen.

also Google and Amazon readily accept PDFs as it is just another revenue stream. with Google making information free and both Google and Amazon placing ebooks and self published books near the publisher books it adds credibility to the ebooks and self published books and further hurts the value of being a publisher.

publisher - google - reader
publisher - amazon - reader

they also know that some libraries have to buy their books. to change that to where they start getting paid on ad results basis and give away some free info before making the sale is a scary proposition.

short term it allows them to probably sell more books and create another revenue stream, but longterm many of the weaker publishing brands could be forced to die

The Real Loser is

the copyright owner.

Google is going to copy and use material that someone else owns to make money for google, without permission from or remuneration to the owner of the copyright. (sound familiar?)

As far as I know, using copyrighted material without permission is still illegal in most countries. But as google has gotten away with it for so long now (cached pages) it looks like they are going to continue to steal from copyright owners.

About "opting out"
Ya, I know the argument that I can opt out of the cache - My response, Legally I am NOT required to “opt out”. I do NOT have to individually tell each and every person or business in the world that I don’t want them to steal my property and then use it to make money for themselves.

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