Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tempers flare on the AAP lawsuit against Google

Craig Morgan Teicher, Panels Highlight the Copyright Divide, Publishers Weekly, May 12, 2008.  Excerpt:

Divergent opinions were the order of the day at the 2008 On Copyright conference, held May 1 in Manhattan. Those who believe that in the Internet age copyright law stands in the way of free promotion went head to head with those who say copyright is the only thing protecting their business. Attitudes of the day’s panelists toward the changing nature of copyright ranged from panic to eager embrace.

Of the four panels —on art, society, technology and law— the final two were the most dynamic. During a q&a following the law panel, a heated exchange about the Google Book Search Library Project took place between AAP lawyer Allan Adler and University of Virginia law professor Chris Sprigman, who had moderated the earlier technology panel and was now in the audience. In AAP’s view, according to Adler, Google’s book database, which includes copyrighted books scanned from libraries, is a valuable, illegally created asset against which Google can sell ads for its own gain. Sprigman disagreed, saying Google was not competing with publishers, but offering a means of indexing books for research and other purposes. He suggested the AAP, which has sued Google on behalf of publishers, is merely holding out for a payment from Google....

Comment.  I'm with Sprigman.  See for example, Does Google Library violate copyright? from October 2005.