Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Authors Guild Sues Google

When Google announced plans to put the contents of major libraries online, they neglected to ask for permission to put entire works online which are protected by U.S. copyright laws. reports on the ensuing lawsuit.
Google Print the hot new search service, doesn't actually offer up the entire text of novels, but does search the text. If you're looking for a quote or a reference, within a book, Google Print will offer up the quote on the scanned page of the book, and offers a peak at a sample chapter, but if it's the whole book you're looking for, there are links to publishers and leading you to purchase the book. It's hard to see how authors are loosing money here, but maybe I'm missing something.
After months of negotiations with the Authors' Guild, Google agreed to allow writers to "opt-out" of having their works appear on the service. The solution sounded about as sound as an Enron balance sheet to the Authors' Guild, which filed suit against Google yesterday in New York, seeking an injunction against further printing of books online. Let's hope a judge can negotiate the survival of a great idea without bilking thousands of hard working writers of their hard earned money.

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