December 26, 2005

Patricia Schroeder Opposes Google Scanning Books

Posted by Eric Jaffa
Friday October 21st 2005, 3:28 pm
Filed under: Libraries, Courts

Patricia Schroeder with grey hair and gold earings, showing white teeth but not exactly smiling
Patricia Schroeder, president
of the Association of American Publishers

For centuries, books have gone out-of-print and disappeared.

Now Google is doing something about that.

But not if Patricia Shroeder has her way.

The former Congresswoman from Colorado doesn’t want Google to create a digital library.

Google today faced a new legal challenge to its plans to digitise library books, as major publishers sought to block it from scanning copyrighted works.

Five publishing houses - McGraw-Hill, Pearson Education and Penguin Group (USA), Simon & Schuster and John Wiley & Sons - filed a suit in New York yesterday, claiming that Google’s plans would infringe their copyrights.

“If Google can make … copies, then anyone can,” Patricia Schroeder, president of the Association of American Publishers, told Reuters. “Anybody could go into a library and start making digital copies of anything.”

If the idea of someone making copies in a library is supposed to fill me with fear, it doesn’t. Besides…

…Supporters of the Google Print project claim… scanning of the full text of the books is necessary to create a searchable catalogue of the books located within the five libraries’ collections. Google says it has no plans to make full copies of copyrighted works available without their owners’ permission.

Sounds like technology which will sell more books.

Just as the video-cassette recorder which the movie industry tried to stop in court resulted in more movie sales.

2 Comments so far

This comment might surprise some considering my comment on the “TV Viloence” article above - but I do not equate Free Speech with Free Access to Others’ Property. A copyright is someone’s property - they created it, they worked on it, it is theirs. No entity should be allowed to take someone’s property and disseminate without permission - period. Google is a mutlibillion dollar corporation that is simply trying to increase profits through this process - and they are selling to the internet masses as a freedom of speech issue. I am the biggest advocate of free speech you can imagine - as a lawyer and a producer of what goes on our airwaves I vehemently oppose the government telling citizens what they can hear, see and/or say. But you MUST BE CONSISTENT - if you believe people must be free to speak and create, then they must also be free to protect their creations. Period. And no corporation should be able to use your property to generate a profit without your permission. Period. Don’t be so naive to buy into the BS.

Comment by Nick Santora 10.26.05 @ 11:31 am

Copyrights on books last for 70 years after a person dies, and so it’s not just a matter of a person protecting what he or she has created.

Google isn’t letting people read entire books online.

It’s just planning to show excerpts in search results.

Excerpts from a book are usually considered Fair Use.

Comment by Eric Jaffa 10.26.05 @ 12:49 pm

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