Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Google-Publisher relationship could be win-win

Cocky with copyright, Financial Times, August 17, 2005. An unsigned editorial. Excerpt:
Google wrong to assume that it can push ahead with its project as a matter of right. The company has been criticised for this approach in the past, notably with respect to its Google Video and Google News services. This time around, it should aim to proceed by agreement. At the same time, publishers must recognise that seeking permission book-by-book, or negotiating tailor-made contracts with each publisher would vastly delay an inherently laborious project. They should treat Google's digital library plans as a promotional opportunity rather than a threat, and be prepared to work with simple, standardised agreements. This would reflect the project's potential to boost sales of previously published titles that would otherwise languish in a warehouse. This rationale lies behind the existing Google Print programme, and a similar venture by Amazon, to which at least a dozen major publishers have signed up. Given the library project's win-win potential, a prolonged stand-off or court case jeopardising the entire venture would be inexcusable.