Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, August 19, 2005

Another editorial on Google v. Publishers

Coming to a computer near you, Washington Times, August 19, 2005. An unsigned editorial. Excerpt:
The publishers want to be paid royalties on the books that Google scans. That seems an overreaction by the publishers, since Google is providing users only with short excerpts of the books. While Google would benefit in terms of advertising dollars from the traffic generated by searches for books, it is footing the bill for the book-scanning itself and publishers get the proceeds of book purchases that would not be made without the Google platform. Google says that its databases are very secure....Still, Google should scan the books only if it is given permission by the owners of the content. The company has been imperious in declaring that it can scan any book in the libraries unless it is asked not to by the publishers. Rather, the onus is on Google to get permission before scanning, not on the publishers to opt out. If Google were to challenge the presses on that point, it would probably lose. Google is embarking on a project that could revolutionize the way information in books is accessed. It seems reasonable to conclude that it could be a boom to publishers. If both sides do not show the necessary flexibility, though, the project could be delayed by court challenges, at the expense of Google, publishers and surfers.