Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Google sued in SDNY over Google Print by Authors Guild

Barbara Quint in InfoToday gave sources for the
in SDNY and one analysis.

From the story:

According to Fred von Lohmann, senior intellectual property lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a Google Print proponent, the defense by Google will turn to a 2003 case entitled Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corp. In this case, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal found in favor of a search engine that copied images from a photographer but displayed them only in thumbnail form. The decision held that the commercial purpose of copying the material was not exploitative and constituted fair use. Google Print’s displays of snippets of text from full-text copies of books, according to von Lohmann, would seem similar.


Former Congresswoman Schroeder wrote in the
Washington Times:

Internet behemoth Google, plans to launch their Library project in November. It plans to scan the entire contents of the Stanford, Harvard and University of Michigan libraries and make what it calls "snippets" of the works available online, for free.
The creators and owners of these copyrighted works will not be compensated, nor has Google defined what a "snippet" is: a paragraph? A page? A chapter? A whole book? Meanwhile Google will gain a huge new revenue stream by selling ad space on library search results. Selling ads on its search engine is how Google makes 99 percent of its billions.
Not only is Google trying to rewrite copyright law, it is also crushing creativity. If publishers and authors have to spend all their time policing Google for works they have already written, it is hard to create more. Our laws say if you wish to copy someone's work, you must get their permission. Google wants to trash that.
Google's position essentially amounts to a license to steal, so long as it returns the loot upon a formal request by their victims. This is precisely why Google's argument has no basis in U.S. intellectual property law or jurisprudence. Just because Google is huge, it should not be allowed to change the law.
Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt has argued the "fair use" provision in copyright law allows Google to scan copyrighted books and put them on their Web site without seeking permission. He compares this to someone at home taping a television show and watching it later. Taped TV show are watched in millions of households every night and is quite legal; rebroadcasting that show to make a buck is not.
Next time Dr. Schmidt watches television, he should keep his ears open for the common disclaimer "rebroadcast of this program without the express written consent of" the broadcaster is "prohibited." Google's plans are tantamount to the same thing, profiting from someone else's work without permission. It isn't up to the broadcaster to track down someone profiting from their work, why should it be up to publishers and authors to do so?


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