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The Media Google Patents News

Google Looks To Convert Print Pubs Into E-Articles 42

bizwriter writes "A patent application by Google (GOOG), filed in August 2008 and made public last week, shows that the company is trying to automate the process of splitting printed magazines and newspapers into individual articles that it could then deliver separately. Although this could allow Google to convert stacks of periodicals into electronic archives, it potentially sends the company headlong into conflict with a famous Supreme Court ruling on media law."
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Google Looks To Convert Print Pubs Into E-Articles

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  • by perlchild ( 582235 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @03:32PM (#31276270)

    I was just using an example that really stood out. Most magazines have one issue a year that really sells, because of just one article that outdoes their competitors. The SI example is recurrent every year, most other magazines aren't so regular.

  • by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @03:37PM (#31276352)

    Most magazines wouldn't be ok with an automated process because it wouldn't let them charge extra for some issues.

    An automated conversion process has no effect on what can be charged for individual portions of the results, it just streamlines the process of getting material into a form where it can be distributed online, separated by (and, potentially, priced differently by) article, which is even more specific than particular issue.

    Now, certainly, Google would probably like to get everything from everyone and pay and charge nothing for it, making money by serving targetted ads alongside the content. But that's not the only could do with the technology, and patenting the technology (even if one assumes that they intend to deploy it at all) doesn't tell you anything about how they plan to deploy it.

  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Thursday February 25, 2010 @03:41PM (#31276406)

    There aren't as many orphan magazines as there are orphan books.

  • by icebike ( 68054 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @03:46PM (#31276492)

    Both TFA and the summary assume leap to the conclusion that GOOGLE would run afoul of a law relating to current publications without even hinting at the utterly vast archives of newspapers molding in public libraries or on microfilm that can't be accessed conveniently if at all.

    Many worry about the loss of historical content, so much so that due to so much of our modern media being released only in digital form. []

    Yet there is a huge wealth of old newspapers, scientific journals, and popular press magazines that could be salvaged with this technology.

    Its odd, that when envisioning futuristic civilizations we almost always expect all of their literary history being contained in computers accessible from everywhere. Yet when someone develops the tools to do just that there is a huge outcry from those that posture as defenders of IP rights.

  • by belmolis ( 702863 ) <billposer.alum@mit@edu> on Thursday February 25, 2010 @04:28PM (#31277120) Homepage

    It's only recent material for which this is true. Google appears to be interested in older material, for which the publishers generally do not have split out versions, or, for that matter, in many cases, any electronic version at all.

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!