A while back I posted about Google Print/Books and them wanting to scan in every book without first consulting the Authors or Publishers and how I agreed with Dave Winer and thought it was wrong of Google to use the model of the web in relation to the publishing world. Tom Raftery disagreed with me and supported Larry Lessig’s arguments. I still stand by what I said and suggest people Download the torrent of the Battle Over Books debate.
It must be said that Google didn’t come out well in this and had nothing significant to say or to justify their position. Allan Adler from the AAP played a blinder and came across as way stronger. I would have thought that Google with their sheer arrogance and self-praise for hiring intellectual heavyweights would have fielded a better representative or better arguments. In the end nothing was added to the debate as Google and Larry LEssig chose what seems to me to be a twisted version of fair use. It seems fair use is anything Google wants it to be. When they said all they wanted to do was index books and the publishers now want to stop them making indexes, the APP retorted “Well why not scan in all the index cards in the libraries then?” to which Google replied “Oh we want to make a better index card”. Yeah right, with their vision there would not be a difference between and index card and a book.
One thing I hadn’t thought of is that Google making the programme opt-out means that 100s or 1000s of other web companies could do the same thing, so the publishers would have to be on constant vigil for new companies doing a Google on them. No mean feat.
But after saying all that, I’m for fair use and would like to see it in Ireland but not a definition that Google decides on.