Thursday, May 26, 2005

Google Scan of Books derided 51 & 31 minutes ago

51 MINUTES AGO, ol' Myrt's "MyYahoo" news page relayed an Associated Press article by Michael Liedtke published in the Washington Post on Tuesday, May 24, 2005; 12:50 AM which begins:

"Google Inc.'s plan to digitize the collections of some of the world's biggest libraries is facing stiff criticism from a group of academic publishers who complain that the project may violate copyright laws and hurt book sales.

In a letter to Google, Peter Givler, executive director of the Association of American University Presses, said the library project "appears to involve systematic infringement of copyright on a massive scale."

All around the globe ,newspapers are reporting similar reactions. Online you'll find thousands of articles from countries throughout the world including Great Britain, France, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand. The article also describes another alleged copyright infringement:

"One of Google's most popular features _ a section that compiles news stories posted on thousands of Web sites _ already has triggered claims of copyright infringement. Agence France-Presse, a French news agency, is suing for damages of at least $17.5 million, alleging "Google News" is illegally capitalizing on its copyrighted material." IBID

31 MINUTES AGO reports that "Google launched the scheme in December, as part of its effort to make off-line information searchable on-line. The libraries of Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan, and the University of Oxford as well as The New York Public Library have signed up to the programme – an expansion of the Google Print project, which initially targeted publishers."

MYRT's OPINION: Out-of-copyright materials are fair game. It was the copyright holders' responsibility to re-up the copyright when it expired. But as for the rest, this is a battle between digital libraries and brick & mortar libraries. While I fully appreciate that digital access to obscure material is a boon to our knowledge base, I frankly cannot believe that Google thinks they can get away with it.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207

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