Re: The Ethics of Private Property: Google & the Courts
Caveat: I have written the following in direct response to Foxfyre's initial post. If I had bothered to read the rest of the thread before I did that, I could have spared you my post and have simply stated: "I agree with Fishin.'"
. . . .Consider the ongoing battle between Google and the U.S. publishing industry over whether Google can, in the name of making searchable information available to the public, ignore copyright law and make an author's work available through its search engine, regardless of the author's wishes and without paying royalties for doing so.
This is not what Google is planning to do. They are planning to create a searchable index of books and to display a page or two from a book you google for. The complete book, however, would only be displayed to a paying customer, with the consent of the copyright holder. Google is arguing, plausibly, that this constitutes fair use, which has always been enshrined in copyright law. You might agree or disagree with their argument, but it is simply not true they are ignoring copyright law.
The problem is that, with the exception of books that are "out of copyright" and therefore in the public domain, the scheme involves taking the intellectual property of hundreds of authors with neither permission nor compensation
something that the authors who labored to create the works are understandably not all that happy about.
Says who? I would have said that obscurity is a much greater threat to most authors' revenue than intellectual property theft. I can understand why the publishing industry would claim something like that because Google's search engine would remove them as a squeeze point in the dissemination of ideas. But that "the authors" as a collective reject the idea is a contention I won't believe without supporting data.