Glimpsing the Future of Google Print Library

November 2005
by Jenny McCune

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Libraries are normally quiet places of study. Google Print Library doesn’t fit that description. Loud cries of protest about the program have been audible for a while, and now Google finds itself the defendant in a lawsuit. Working with the Authors Guild, three writers sued Google in late September, saying that its efforts to digitize the contents of several libraries constituted “massive copyright infringement.” (For information and opinions about Google Print, see “The Brave New World of Google Print” by Jonathan Kirsch in the March issue; and “Google Print Is a Marketing Plus” by Robin Bartlett, August.)

Most observers believe that this is only the first of several lawsuits. “I’m sure that we’re going to see lots of litigation over this,” says attorney Lee Bromberg, founding partner and head of litigation practice with Bromberg & Sunstein LLP, Boston.

How these suits play out will determine how Google proceeds and what the ultimate fate of Google Print Library will be. The 64-byte question is how it and similar efforts to digitize copyright-protected material will affect the way books are sold, marketed, and
read in the digital age.

Turning “Copyright Law on Its Ear

When Google Print Library was announced in December 2004, many people thought that the Mountain View, CA,…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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