Monday, October 03, 2005

Google sued

The Authors' Guild has sued Google over its massive book-scan, part of the larger project known as Google Print.

I don't have the time to write my own analysis on this issue, but let me revoke my previous non-vote and say that Google is engaged in fair use. Among others, Peter Suber and William Patry have provided very persuasive arguments to this effect. Suber rightly suggests that the AG may merely be engaged in a shakedown for a share of the profits. (Hey, it's worked for those whose songs have been sampled by hip hop and electronica artists.) Even though the copyright holders will clearly benefit from Google's clearly fair use (just like hip hop sampling revived the sales of countless old songs), they want their cut, and they have lawyers.

Check the links, esp. AG (which is like the Google Suit news channel) and Patry (who disses the four-factor fair use test in style).


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