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Google Print October 23, 2005

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.

Eric Schwartz of Google has put up an interesting article of the legality of Google print. Eric makes a good argument, but does that make his argument right? No it doesnt. Google in my opinion this time have crossed the line. Books and magazines are copyrighted works, they are protected by copyright law. Google should have to get the publisher or the authors explicit permission to display these works online. If the author or publisher do not wish to have them online then its not Googles right to do it anyway. Putting books online does have its benefits. As Schwartz said, out of print, and works that are no longer published it does give audiences access for those that want it and I do believe its a good idea but Google is going about it all wrong.

Public Libraries have the right to display literary works such as books and magazines, and to even lend them out to people but do public libraries have the right to copy books and magazines and distribut them free of charge? Nope in fact go into any library and either on their copy machine, near the machine or on the application for the card they tell you photocopying published works is copyright infringement. In my opinion Public Libraries are not justified nor should they be able to give Google permission to scan ever page and put these works online as they do not own the copyrights or publishing rights.

Eric Schwartz likens Google Print to people recording TV shows and search engines indexing billions of pages. Not so, lets say for an example, I like the show NCIS, I DVR NCIS every tuesday night so I can watch it when I get home. I do it for personal use, I watch it then I delete it from the list. Now, if I was to put it up a bittorrent downloadable by the public is that Legal? Nope, I dont have permission to distribute the show and more than likely I would be sued for copyright infringement. I can in turn create a robots.txt file and keep Google or any search engine from indexing a site if I so wish. Shwartz and Googles arguments regarding this issue are more than less futile.



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