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Google Businesses The Internet Books Media Patents

Publishers Protest Google Library Project 454

gollum123 writes "A group of academic publishers is challenging Google Inc.'s plan to scan millions of library books into its Internet search engine index, highlighting fears that the ambitious project will violate copyrights and stifle future sales. In a letter scheduled to be delivered to Google Monday, the Association of American University Presses described the online search engine's library project as a troubling financial threat to its membership -- 125 nonprofit publishers of academic journals and scholarly books. The university presses depend on books sales and other licensing agreements for most of their revenue, making copyright protections essential to their survival."
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Publishers Protest Google Library Project

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  • cory said it well (Score:5, Interesting)

    by professorhojo ( 686761 ) * on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:56PM (#12625430)
    My favorite take on the "loss of sales" argument comes from Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing on March 3, 2005:

    "When reporters ask me why I give away the full text of my novels online, for free, the day they're available in shops, I tell 'em: "It's about word of mouth. My readers have large social circles of friends whom they never see face to face. Books like Sisters of Ya Ya Sisterhoood became a success because one friend went to another friend and handed her a copy of the book, saying, 'You must read this, it changed my life.' I want to give my readers the same ability, so I have to give them a form of the book that they can 'hand' to their friends over the Internet. Even if it displaces some sales, the most valuable thing an author can get is a personal recommendation, it's the thing that is most likely to sell more copies of my books."

    Linky: http://www.boingboing.net/2005/03/03/wordofmouth_i s_why_a.html [boingboing.net]

    • by TimmyDee ( 713324 )
      Exactly. You may lose some sales by making it available over the internet, but most people want to read a book in hand. Reading hundreds of pages at the computer screen is not my idea of fun (or comfort).

      Besides, most of these academic presses end up selling books to libraries, who will always have a hard copy on hand in case people do want to read the physical copy. A good example of this can be seen in the academic journals available online. The journals are available in both electronic and hard copy
    • This implies two things - the author believes there is value in just his name being familiar and that there are other forms where sales occur.

      That is fine for an established author who may receive significant compensation based on things other than raw book sales. It doesn't mean much for an author being judged on book sales. Specifically, "Well, your last book sold really well so we would like to give you a contract for another." Compare and contrast to "Too bad your last book didn't sell all that well.

  • by daviddennis ( 10926 ) <david@amazing.com> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:59PM (#12625460) Homepage
    Why is it that Google is scanning copyright-protected works?

    I thought that was flagrantly illegal, and the fines for willful copyright infringement are steep, even for a company with Google's money.

    What's going on?

    D
    • by rovingeyes ( 575063 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:06PM (#12625548)
      If Google is scanning and making the books, that are already available in the library, I don't see why that should be a problem. They are just saving me a trip to the library. I don't buy books from library.

      For the sake of argument lets just say that you cannot have the book from library for ever (well may be by paying a fortune in fines), so just add that DMCA crap or something and give me the text for a week. I don't see how Google is stopping people from buying books. Its not like average joe says - "Oh jeez I gotta go to library, I might as well head to mall and buy the book from BN"

      • by AviLazar ( 741826 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:08PM (#12625577) Journal
        The library: You are borrowing the book and must return it


        If you really liked the work you had to buy your own version.

        Digital Copy: You have a free digital copy. Now the only incentive into buying the work is so you have a physical book in your house - which, in and of itself is not enough reason for many people.
        • Digital Copy: You have a free digital copy. Now the only incentive into buying the work is so you have a physical book in your house - which, in and of itself is not enough reason for many people.

          Are eBooks and the like really so popular?
          • Massively. The last Harry Potter book was scanned and made into a readable ebook within 24 hours of its release, and made available on the internet. Many of my friends just use their PDAs and ebook software to read books with, I dont think any of them has actually touched a physical book in a couple of years.
        • by dwpro ( 520418 ) <dgeller777@NosPAm.gmail.com> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:27PM (#12625804)
          I don't think the motive behind libraries were ever to give a sample to coax people into buy books.

          I think the goal was more along the lines of cultural enrichment, but perhaps that is an outdated idea.

          • by stlhawkeye ( 868951 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @03:35PM (#12626517) Homepage Journal
            I don't think the motive behind libraries were ever to give a sample to coax people into buy books. I think the goal was more along the lines of cultural enrichment, but perhaps that is an outdated idea.

            The original motivation for libraries was to keep books in them. The only copy. Since copying books was a long, expensive, and laborious process for all but the last 600 years of human history.

            The modern purpose of libraries depends on who set up the library and why, but among the typical motivations are:

            • Contributing to the ability of a society to self-enlighten.
            • Contributing to the ability of a university and its educators to teach and instruct
            • Establishing a public commodity through which all members of the community have equal access to intellectual enrichment.
            • Providing a central storehouse for information in all forms and for all purposes.

            There's a theme here. The public library exists to provide access to knowledge and information. I've never heard it said that libraries exist as an extension of the publishing industry. In truth, something like a library is a bit misplaced in a capitalistic society, but we've determined that the benefits of its existance far outweigh the hassle it is to deal with in our economy.

            The internet, however, has changed that formula. You are not permitted to check a book out from the library and make 1,000 copies of it. You are also not permitted to distribute digital copies of the contents.

            Again, there is no fundamental difference between what the Internet has done to these issues and was possible before. The Internet and digitalization technologies have merely reduced to the energy barrier so far that near-perfect replicas of most media can be created with literally the push of a button, and distributed nearly as easily.

            Unfortunately for the copyright owners, this seriously threatens a business model that has served them well for generations and they must find a way to protect their property. Unfortunately for us, the way most have chosen is suiting us into oblivion and trying to jam legislation through our government that is intended to deter criminal behavior but mostly just makes life inconvenient and annoying for the majority of us who are doing no wrong.

            When the innocent masses must compromise their liberty at the whims of a few powerful individuals who are motivated by "stopping the bad guys," we've taken the first step onto a bad road.

    • by MindStalker ( 22827 ) <mindstalker.gmail@com> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:08PM (#12625570) Journal
      I believe they are indexing the books. So that if your searching for some information google can tell you to look in page 9 of book so and so. Obviously the entire book will be in googles database, but not nessesary accessable to the enduser. Either way I don't get all the fluff about why they are up in arms and want google to stop.
      Wait to see if google really is violating your copyright. If they are sue them.

      I'd be willing to place a large bet that google is not going to break copyright, they arn't stupid.
    • by sgant ( 178166 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:30PM (#12625825) Homepage Journal
      Screw the why...how about the "how"?

      Imagine the guys and gals working at Google doing nothing but scanning in books.

      Do I need to decypher a billboard from a highway to get a job like this? Do I need a phd in computer science before I'm even considered being put on a list of people that will be called to go stand in the line leading up to filling out the application to work there? Isn't it like a 10 month interview process to where you have to be on-call 24/7 to give yet another interview to someone?

      All this and you end up scanning books.
  • by AviLazar ( 741826 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @01:59PM (#12625463) Journal
    Remember, that libraries generally have one copy of a book (sometimes more, but rare) and that a person is borrowing it. So if you read a book at the library and wanted to have your own - you had to buy it. By having all of these publications online, people will have a digital copy of them for free. This *will* hinder book sales. While some people might want the nice hardbound copy - most people will just settle for the digital copy which is just as good.

    FOr example, in my life, there are very few books that I have read in digital format that I have bought to have as a hard copy.
    • by N8F8 ( 4562 )
      Reading a book on computer is an unpleasant annoyance. Most consumers are more than willing to fork out $5-8 for a bound copy. Those cusumers who choose to read rather than exclusivly watch DVDs for entrertainment anyhow.
      • For you it might be unpleasant, for many people (myself included) it is fine. I do it all day, so to do it with my laptop in bed is not a problem.

        Also, not all books are $5-8...many many books are 20+.

        But this is all argumentative...I am saying the author/publisher should have an Opt-in choice. There are PLENTY of authors/publishers who would be OK with this...and there are many more publications that are public domain.
    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:26PM (#12625792)

      This *will* hinder book sales. While some people might want the nice hardbound copy - most people will just settle for the digital copy which is just as good.

      The digital "copy" offered by Google is certainly not "just as good" as a real copy. It is better in one way and worse in several others. First, it is better because you can find passages by searching. If I type "hemoglobin rupture" I can find a number of specific references. It is worse in that reading on a screen sucks, it hurts your eyes after a time and ties you to a screen and electricity. More importantly, Google is not allowing anyone to read a whole book, only a small passage from the book. In a few very specific cases (like a dictionary, or reference with very short entries) this might be as good, but for the most part it is not. Google has taken great care to limit this and design the service to help you find the name of the book you need, not to let you read it for free.

      There are three real reasons scholarly publishers are against this. First dictionaries and references with very short passages are made obsolete (as I mentioned above). Second, many modern scholars do not really want to read a work, merely cite it to back up some point and these people would be better served by just using Google's service. Finally, it allows a researcher to read a short, relevant passage from a book which is often enough to know that a book is useless and prevent someone from buying a work that sounds useful, but is not.

      FOr example, in my life, there are very few books that I have read in digital format that I have bought to have as a hard copy.

      You seem to be under the impression that Google is just offering up books for free in digital format. That is not my understanding of the service at all.

  • Dinosaurs (Score:2, Funny)

    by eSavior ( 767078 )
    described the online search engine's library project as a troubling financial threat to its membership
    The horror.
  • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:00PM (#12625478) Journal
    Making the texts searchable - provided they only show a small snippet and a reference to the book for the rest - sounds EXACTLY like fair use to me.

    Especially for academic papers, where being able to find the reference is critical to advancement of the field, and the citer would have to obtain and read more than the snippet anyhow.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
  • That's great (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Quasar1999 ( 520073 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:00PM (#12625481) Journal
    If the journals don't like being published online by google, they will stop publishing, fizzle, and something else will come and replace them...

    Now if only the RIAA/MPAA would have the same fate... Google, help me out here!
    • Re:That's great (Score:4, Interesting)

      by nacturation ( 646836 ) <nacturation@gmail. c o m> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:21PM (#12625724) Journal
      This story reminds me of every time blocking of online ads get mentioned -- there's always a chorus of people who chime in and say that blocking ads is fine because it's not up to them to support an outdated business model. Anyhoo, it's a bit tangential but this seems to fall in the same realm -- new, web-based method replaces outdated publishing model.
    • Re:That's great (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ScentCone ( 795499 )
      If the journals don't like being published online by google, they will stop publishing, fizzle...

      Do you suppose that the only function a journal (for example) provides is to physically print what they publish, bind it, maintain business relationships with its consumers, and distribute it? No. They also have editors, reviewers, and usually other organizational players that keep the journal credible and worth the subscription. Certainly leaving the paper behind would reduce their overhead (and thus the pri
  • by cnelzie ( 451984 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:01PM (#12625487) Homepage
    ...in the story Google had responded by stating that any copyrighted works would be limited to bibliographical information and a few short lines of selected texts. (I believe that Google would then use that as impetus to generate sales revenue off of their "Digital Library" by offering links to associated businesses that produce those texts.)

    Honestly, this can be a great financial gain for those publishers, if they get together with Google on how to best select enticing pieces of their copyrighted works in order to drive sales, the academic community will have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
  • Books (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lunchlady55 ( 471982 )
    If I can get for free at my library I should be able to get it free on my computer.
    • Re:Books (Score:3, Informative)

      by AviLazar ( 741826 )
      You are not keeping what you get at the library. However, you are keeping this digital copy. Two different scenarios.
      • Yes, but if you keep this copy you aren't denying the next person from having the resource. I'm not entirely sure it is. I figure it's probably analogous to photocopying.
  • Information wants to be free. No more free rides. If you want to survive then develop a book reader you can use in the bathtub and market it.
  • Luddites are protesting the installation of machines in factories. They say manual labor is vital for their survival.

    Fucking idiots. Instead of working with the industry on a micropayment systems that would allow me to buy books in electronic form at way less than $50 a piece (of which the author is lucky to receive $1) they will sabotage this stuff, and when it finally comes of age three or four years later they'll cite decreased revenues (of course, you morons) and "intellectual property violations".
    • With the exception of text-books for school, i have never paid more then $20 for a book in my entire life - and i read a lot and have a lot of NICE hardbound books.

      What are you reading?

      Also, where does it say an author only receives (on average) less then $1 per book sale?

      Also you need to realize, there are more then just authors who need to get paid: editors, publishers, printing presses, marketing, book tour costs, etc. So your $20/book needs to be spread out.
  • UPAA (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:03PM (#12625524)
    Dear Association of American University Presses:

    Please rename yourself University Presses Association of America so that we may refer to
    all evil bastard organizations as *AA.

    Thank You!
  • Although I know it probably won't cover out of print fiction books. I've got at least one book that I can't remember the title/author but could quote enough passages or facts to find it.

    How many books could there be about a 1-eyed ex-programmer turned fencing instructor who was the original programmer of a computer made of cloned brain tissue that is the server for a MMRPG but has developed consciousness due to another ex-programmer who, dying of cancer, imprinted himself into the game just before he
  • by D_Lehman(at)ISPAN.or ( 799775 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:05PM (#12625544) Homepage Journal
    In a letter scheduled to be delivered to Google Monday...

    Did anyone else do a double take on this? I almost crapped myself (Google fanboy)... "OMG, Google is going to customize my weekdays!"

    Saturday will be in Beta 18 months.
  • I guess it depends on what they are scanning. If it is mostly scientific journals used for research it might not infringe on copyrights. If they are scanning the NY Times Bestseller list for public distribution, that would be a huge violation. I have to assume that Google has a team of lawyers looking into every aspect of this project. It would be a very bad business move to be one of the most popular sites on the Internet and provide illegal content.

    Maybe they will register googlez.com and start a w
  • gasp! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by suparjerk ( 784861 )
    How dare Google make information more readily available to the general public while reducing the need to use physical resources at the same time! How dare they!
  • It is interesting to see reaction as Google moves it's search technology into printed matter. The copyright issues are actually somewhat similar. To create a search engine for the internet or for printed matter Google has to *copy* copyrighted material to their servers and the same goes for printed matter.

    Technically, to my non-lawyers knowledge, what Google does with the internet is illegal but is granted a free pass, in part because the material on the internet has to be copied via the internet to be vie
  • This just needs the right pricing model built.

    1) Google charges a small fee to the content consumer to view the entire content and conveys that back to the publisher (perhaps taking a small cut)- publisher does not have to thus pay the costs associated with producing a dead-tree version- all profit. Google also makes it extremely difficult if not impossible to reconstruct the entire content from excerpts (algorithm up to them). Optional/devious: Google makes small changes to the wording/grammar/punctuation
  • by amcdiarmid ( 856796 ) <amcdiarm@g m a i l .com> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:07PM (#12625569) Journal
    The publishers may have a reasonable issue with Googles intention to copy some copyrighted works. If the project were to limit its accessibility to Public Domain works, the publishers would not be able to legitimately gripe. I suspect that the copyrighted work at issue is such that it is no longer in print & therefore generally unavailable for purchase.

    However, a more serious concern is that Congress seems to perpetually insist on extending copyrights to the point that they are virtually perpetual. (I suspect that they are up to about 100 years.) If a publisher has a copyright, but decides that a work should not be in print - it is effectively censored.

    This perpetual extension of copyrights (likely soon to be followed by business process patents,- Quick, give me $.05 for viewing this web page;) limites the use of useful works to those whom can pay the entrance fee. Assuming that the works are still in print.

    If a publisher has a work that is unavailable (e.g. not in print), but copyrighted then they should have some way to disseminate it before they complain. The perpetual extensions of copyright are an issue that everyone should have their representatives address. (I can't help you. I live in DC, my representative has not voting power on the floor of Congress)

    If you want change, you have to speak up.
  • by Vektuz ( 886618 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:08PM (#12625576)
    Are these people complaining the ones responsible for the fact that at my university, the only way to get some info about something published in a journal was to log into some arcane heavily protected system and be told that the journal you are looking for is at another university, four stories underground, and protected by forcefields?

    Are they the ones that feel that its justified to charge 200 dollars for a 5 dollar-value book ('journal') because they control the distribution... in which case... I hope they DO lose out.
    • At my university, we had about six different systems for electronic library. They all had different ways of calling up different journals, and some of them didn't work half of the time.

      I can't believe how difficult it is to find electronic information at a university. Probably trying to keep librarians (as they're the only ones who know how to operate these things thanks to $2500 refresher courses provided by the software developer) and the middleware pushers employed.
  • um .. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) <tomstdenis@nosPam.gmail.com> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:09PM (#12625595) Homepage
    of course universities would hate a freely searchable index ... means they can't sell the 17th edition of "Introductory Number Theory" or something equally trivial [and well covered in the textbooks spanning the last CENTURY]...

    If you can look up quotes/citations/etc without shelling out for overly expensive dead trees... they'd lose their valuable money pit.

    Personally I'm glad to be out of College. Not that I bought the books while I was there [well the ones I could avoid I did]. Even in my community college we had 7th edition level 1 and 2 calculus books ... last I checked Calculus hasn't changed that much [specially at the level 1/2 levels] in the last century to require a 2nd edition let alone a 7th.

    To me "7th edition" says two things. Purposeful re-write and "sloppy editors".

    Tom
  • Academic Luddites (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lheal ( 86013 ) <lheal1999.yahoo@com> on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:10PM (#12625598) Journal

    Like street-sweepers protesting the loss of horse manure to sweep, these publishing houses seem to have trouble following historical trends.

    Another way to look at it is that they have missed their first calling, which is to disseminate academic information, by becoming enslaved to the profit they make on a particular method of doing so.

    Cynically, perhaps they are afraid that once the bulk of their collections are online people will discover that most of what they publish is rehashed from older work. No, I don't seriously think that.

    But I do seriously think that the academic publishing business, like the newspaper business, is transitioning to the Internet.

    It's time to lead, follow, or get out of the way.
    • by Valar ( 167606 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:20PM (#12625714)
      Totally. Not. The. Issue. If the works google is adding to the database are copyrighted, then they should only be reproduced by google under fair use terms. That means small snippets for search purposes (so if you find a reference in a book, you can make sure it is in the right context). Regardless of what the publisher's business model is, or what it should be, they own the copyrights and as such, largely get to dictate how the works are copied.
  • Did they RTFM? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Yath ( 6378 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:10PM (#12625601) Journal
    Google makes it extremely clear [google.com] that they won't be violating copyrights. So what more do these publishers want?

    Perhaps they just want to cast a pall of doubt over something that (quite legally) diminishes their reasons for existing.
  • Said it before and I will say it again, Very Very FEW people are willing to read a long form document like a book on a screen, send someone a, oh say, 30 page - will they read it or print it?

    People will use this to find a resource, then go to the bookstore or library and BAMO it works, the customer wins finding obscure resources, and the vendor wins with more sales.

  • by YouHaveSnail ( 202852 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:11PM (#12625608)
    Call me naive, but isn't the main mission of a university press to disseminate information as widely as possible? They exist mainly because Penguin and Random House and the like don't see a huge earnings potential in publishing narrowly focussed academic material. Google can be a huge help to academic publishers by helping potential customers locate their material. At the same time, Google will help customers to be more discriminating in their purchases. Academic publishers will need to streamline their operations. They should really hop on the print-on-demand bandwagon so that they print only what they sell.
    • Unfortunately, University Presses (and publishers of academic journals in general) stand to make HUGE profits because of the stranglehold they have on the market, however narrowly focused a market it is. University libraries are forced to continue subscribing to journals in order to stay respectable, even as those subscriptions climb upwards of ten or even one hundred thousand annually. The people who actually use the journals, mostly faculty, never see the cost. (Incidentally, prestigious journals do no

  • I am sorry but I feel no pity for the Universities and book publishers. They 'make money' on selling the same recycled crap year after year and calling each one a new edition.
  • by pliny3 ( 550829 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:15PM (#12625647)
    I think the key here is that the typical use pattern for academic works is different than for works intended for the general public. Frequently the reader of an academic journal is interested only in a specific fact, and they will often be able to glean this fact from the small amount of context provided in the Google search results. This threatens the revenue model of academic journal publishers, which is a form of bundling, namely, charging the university libraries for the whole journal or for several related journals put out by the same publisher.
  • Instead of using lawsuits, they should just screen-scrape Google, scrub out the ads and the Google logo and offer the result as a free service.
    After that, we can see how Google likes it.
  • by Zebra_X ( 13249 )
    highlighting fears that the ambitious project will violate copyrights and stifle future sales.

    How about stifiling innovation, education and learning? It would seem that capitalism is at odds with general betterment of humaity.
  • I'm involved in free distribution of text too (http://www.verbumvanum.org/ [verbumvanum.org] and I'm utterly amazed at the attitude even so-called 'non-profit' orgs have.

    The whole goddamn IP thing should be abolished, I say. True, copyrights are less worse then patents, but still; it's just not of these times anymore. Just as the feodal system didn't work anymore in the industrial age, so doesn't IP work anymore in the cyberage.

    In any case, if the authors gave permission, or, if it is in the public domain (which in first i
  • by Blitzenn ( 554788 ) * on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:28PM (#12625805) Homepage Journal
    "...making copyright protections essential to their survival.""

    That is so wrong. Copyright has nothing to do with their survival as it has not played a real role in publishing profits for centuries(expect for betwixt publishers). Libraries have always provided copyrighted materials to the public free of charge to a limited use. The publishers have relied upon the library as being too bothersome, too far away, too hard to use, etc for their survival. Most people would rather order a book than sift through their local library to try to garner the same material or item. Publishers have depended on that, not the copyright, as books have always been free for the asking.

    Now Google is poised to remove a significant portion of the 'library hurdle' that stops most people from using that resource before their local Barnes and Noble retail outlet. That is what they are upset over, not the copyright. The copyright is the only legal paper the have to hang onto and cry into. Therefore they try to raise your ire over that and hope you will miss the real point.

    Do you really know anyone that steals books? Do you know anyone who downloads books illegally? Doesn't that sound a bit proposeterous when the same material can be had in an hour or two from your local library? It sure does to me.

    As information moves to the electronic format, as most all of it will in the coming years, are we ready and or willing to lose our access to published materials freely? Will information truely become a comodity for the wealthy only too? Shame on the publishers for clouding the issue in such a way. We are not the dumb (are we?).
  • by RomulusNR ( 29439 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @02:39PM (#12625923) Homepage
    There's a serious problem here in inviting publishers to submit their material. Publishers seem eager to submit their reprints -- for which they only have copyright over the book's design -- of public domain works. As a result, completely free works are listed in Google Print as "Copyrighted Material" -- in turn, allowing the publisher to misappropriate copyright w/in G. Print over written material they do not have copyright over.

    See, for example, The Canterbury Tales [google.com] in Google Print. This was written in the 1300s. I would very much like to see Penguin's proof of copyright over the works of Chaucer, who died in 1400.

    Likewise, see Romeo and Juliet [google.com] , written by Shakespeare, who died in 1616. Or The Legend of Sleepy Hollow [google.com] , first published in 1819. Clearly no present-day entity has copyright over any of these works. Regardless, the publishers who have submitted their versions of them are able to enforce a 3-page-view limit on them without legal right to do so.

    Google Print should be scrapped, and instead, the spotlight shined on Project Gutenberg [gutenberg.org].
    • You seem to be missing at least three important points:
      1. Google Libraries for Print is completely different from Google Print Publishers. GLfP is the one being described in this article. GPP is an opt-in system for publishers who want their books indexed in Google as if they were web pages.
      2. GPP was never intended as a way to make books available for free. GPP is meant to drive sales of printed books, and that's all. I'm using GPP with some books I self-published (actually my books were scanned several mon
  • by aquabat ( 724032 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @03:12PM (#12626290) Journal
    It is true that revenues from sales of printed materials will drop if the same materials are available online for free.

    However, uneversity presses are generally non-profit organizations, so they generally price their materials to cover the costs associated with producing, storing and distributing them.

    If the materials are available free online, then all those costs are eliminated.

    If someone still wants a nicely bound hardcopy, then that person has the choice of getting one printed at a local print shop. The university press can also offer on demand printing for a cost covering fee.

    I guess I don't understand their objection to having their materials available without any work required from them.

  • Copyright's intent (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Travelsonic ( 870859 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2005 @04:40PM (#12627249) Journal
    The university presses depend on books sales and other licensing agreements for most of their revenue, making copyright protections essential to their survival."

    Unless I read this incorrectly, this goes completely against what copyrights were intended for. Copyrights were not about ensuring that the creator wuld make money, but instead that the legal monopoly they provide will encourage them to create and be creative, and/or bring further reasearch and information public. With copyrights lasting beyond what is needed, sometimes for 100yrs+ easily now, and the fact that people now care more about using copyrights for financial gain instead, we can say goodbye to conventional copyrights... for now.

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