Thursday, November 14, 2013

2 opinions on Google Book's triumph

Thomas MacEntee of alerted Ol' Myrt here to the news that Google has prevailed in a 8 year battle over the right to scan and present books online. Out-of-copyright books appear in full view, while books under copyright appear in "snippet" view at For news reports see:

The NextWeb:


Reuters, via the Chicago Tribune:,0,4039163.story


Diane MacLean Boumenot Personally I am happy this came out the way it did. These are difficult and changing times for authors and publishers. I have, several times in the last few months, found a paragraph in a copyrighted book on Google Books and then went immediately and bought the book. I would NEVER have found the information without Google Books. I understand there are good arguments on all sides, but it's a changing world. Figure out how to use the changes as opportunities.

Linda Robbins "I agree with Diane MacLean Boumenot. As a retired school librarian, I recognize the importance of all formats books come in, etc, and more particularly, the fact that books that are indexed on the Internet become more valuable to genealogists and everyone."

Pat Richley-Erickson asks:  "Diane MacLean Boumenot and Linda Robbins, may I quote you two on this in a post on my DearMYRTLE blog? I think you represent two very important viewpoints on the subject."

Linda Robbins "Yes. That is kind of you. Sometimes the general public may believe that retired school librarians all wear buns and hide in the back room of the library cataloging away using old-fashioned non-technology methods. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I use my technology and always learn new ways to do things in genealogy and in my volunteer job as a technology content manager for my District XI Fort Worth District for about 5,000 retired school employees in my area."

Diane MacLean Boumenot "Sure. I actually work for a publisher (a professional society) - I know how challenging this is. But exposure of book content can drive sales."

Thanks to Diane and Linda for sharing their opinions. Better access. Exposure to content drives sales. Sounds pretty good to this Ol' Myrt.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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  1. As a frequent user of Google Books for genealogy and other purposes, I am happy with this ruling.

  2. Thank you, Myrt, for sharing our opinions about the positive ruling for Google books online.

  3. I am struggling to understand the objections to what Google Books are doing. They're not infringing any copyright, which seems to be widely accepted, but some people are saying they should not be scanning books without permission. The authors have 'published' those books, though, which implies they want the world to see them. If I go into a library, I can briefly look in a number of books until I find ones of interest, which I then take away from the library (assuming they're not reference-only).. So what's the difference with Google's online service. You're browsing in a more efficient way but it's effectively a library by a different name. Permission to list them and make it possible to peek inside should not need permission.

    Am I missing something?

    1. You aren't missing a thing, Tony. Some folks just like to get upset, or so it seems.