Opposition To Google's Book-Copying Intensifies - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Other

Opposition To Google's Book-Copying Intensifies

Two more publishers' groups have joined a third in opposing Google's library project. At least one group has threatened legal action.

Google Inc.'s book-copying library project has come under fire by two more publishers' groups, with one raising the possibility of legal action.

The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers and the Association of American University Presses have joined the Association of American Publishers in denouncing Google's copying of books without first seeking permission from the copyright holder.

Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., said this month that it would suspend until November scanning copyrighted books into its database, unless it has prior permission from the publisher or other copyright holder. At the end of the suspension, Google will resume copying books, unless it receives from publishers a list of specific titles they do not want in the search engine's database.

Google, however, has failed to satisfy the concerns of publishers. Google believes it's legal to copy the books, but publishers disagree. Their opposition comes in spite of Google's contention that its is copying the books to eventually provide in search results links to retailers where the material can be purchased.

"We firmly believe that, in cases where the works digitized are still in copyright, the law does not permit making a complete digital copy for such purposes," Sally Morris, chief executive of the ALPSP, based in England, said in a statement released this month.

The organizations also object to having the burden placed on them to opt out of the Google project.

"Google, an enormously successful company, claims a sweeping right to appropriate the property of others for its own commercial use, unless it is told, case by case and instance by instance, not to," the AAUP board said in a statement. "In our view this contradicts both law and common sense."

The ALPSP was the first of the three groups to indicate publicly that it was ready to go to court.

"We call on Google to hold an urgent meeting with representatives of all major publishing organizations, in order to work out an acceptable pragmatic way forward and to avoid legal action," Morris said.

Google was not immediately available Monday for comment. But the company has said that copying library books, part of its mission to digitize as much of the world's information as possible and make instantly available to people, benefits everyone.

"This program will help users discover more books, publishers sell more books and authors to ultimately write more books," Adam Smith, product manager for Google Print, said this month in an interview with TechWeb.

Smith also said Google believe its actions are "allowed under fair use and is consistent with all the principles underlying copyright law itself." Book publishers, however, argue that fair use under the law only applies to using portions of books for educational or non-commercial activities.

Google announced its library project in December, starting with collections in Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan, the University of Oxford and The New York Public Library. Besides expanding its network of search advertising, the project could someday put Google into direct competition with giant Internet retailer Amazon.com, experts say.

Book publishers are not the only ones rankled over Google's handling of copyrighted material. Adult magazine publisher Perfect 10 Inc. is asking a federal court in Los Angeles to prevent Google from displaying pictures and links to the company's copyrighted photos.

Perfect 10, whose namesake magazine competes with other soft porn publications, such as Playboy, sued Google in November 2004 in U.S. District Court for showing thumbnails of its photos in search results. The company also objects to Google linking to Web sites showing Perfect 10's photos without permission.

The Beverly Hills, Calif., magazine publisher has asked the court to hear its request for a preliminary injunction Nov. 7.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Commentary
Why IT Leaders Should Make Cloud Training a Top Priority
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  4/14/2021
Slideshows
10 Things Your Artificial Intelligence Initiative Needs to Succeed
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/20/2021
Commentary
Lessons I've Learned From My Career in Technology
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  5/4/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll