Lawsuit Over Google's Book Project A Long, Long Way From Even Starting

from the by-which-point... dept

While some have realized that Google’s project to scan books is helping to promote sales, others are still suing. However, it’s going to be quite some time before they get their day in court. Stephen Bryant notes that the Authors Guild v. Google has had the date pushed back just for filing motions requesting summary judgment. At this point, neither side needs to file until January of 2008, meaning that if the case actually goes to court, it won’t happen for quite some time. As Bryant notes, this almost definitely works in Google’s favor. By then, hopefully, more authors and publishers will either realize the benefits that search provides them, or see the positive results that other authors and publishers received by embracing the idea that making your books easier to find helps increase sales.

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Comments on “Lawsuit Over Google's Book Project A Long, Long Way From Even Starting”

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meoip says:


Maybe authors will realize money is in participation in stuff like google books and that if their publisher won’t join they’ll have to go it alone… we could see the rise of independance in the publishing world. I know when I was researching publishers a few years back I asked, “can I get my work on,” many at that time said “what is that” some said they would look into it (a polite way of saying no).

Reader says:

Google says one thing and does another.

At the time this lawsuit was launched, Google said they were making out-of-copyright books available. Sounds good. That’s how they got the go-ahead from so many libraries. But, if you looked at the books, they were all recent in-copyright books.

Google said it was only making excerpts available. But if you looked at the books, you could not only see the whole book, but you could use the cookie to DOWNLOAD the whole book as a pdf file. It was only after the lawsuit was initiated that they changed this.

No one has the right to scan someone’s book for commercial purposes without their permission. This protects all of us. Google did wholescale scanning of recent, in-copyright books without publishers’ permission. Many publishers were shocked to find their books available in full, online.

People say this is good for the public, but Google didn’t have to do something debatably “good” for the public by STEALING. They could have ASKED the publishers for permission to promote their books, with excerpts, and the publishers would have said yes. Instead they did what they wanted without asking and flouted the law, a law that makes it possible for writers to earn a small living. Only .001% of writers make a lot of money. The rest work hard for about $25,000 a year or less, sometimes much less. Without copyright protection they would make none.

Since the lawsuit, Google has been cleaning up its act. I doubt if this would have happened if the publishers had sat back and done nothing.

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