A commentary in the Washington Times by Pat Schroeder and Bob Barr continues the argument that Google should be reined in and stopped from its plan to scan books via the Google Print Library Project. The crux of the argument appears to be that Google is profiting from copyrighted works. Google has pressed ahead and released the beta of Google Print.
Five publishing companies on behalf of the entire publishing industry and the Author's Guild have filed two major lawsuits against Google seeking to stop this plan and deter such conduct in the future.
Google, which is working with five of the world's great libraries to digitize their collections, stopped scanning copyrighted books in August in the face of a growing outcry from publishers, until November 1 to give publishers an opportunity to let the company know which of their books they did and didn't want scanned. The company planned to restart the scanning of in-copyright books on November 1, according to Alexander Macgillivray, Google senior product and intellectual property counsel.
While Google will make "snippet" of books available, it says it has no plans to make full copies of copyrighted works available without their owners' permission.
It would appear that over zealous concern regarding copyright is failing to look at the opportunities to promote content to a worldwide audience via the Internet. The world's content is moving digital and while authors' rights need to be protected this action by the AAP will not stop the inevitable.
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Pat Schroeder is president of the Association of American Publishers and a former member of Congress from Colorado. Bob Barr, a former member of the House Judiciary Committee, is an author, newspaper columnist and analyst for CNN.