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AAP's Peter Givler in the Chronicle of Higher Education

>From Monday, May 23rd, Chronicle of Higher Education
This article is available full text to subscribers to the Chronicle


University-Press Group Raises Questions About Google's Library-Scanning

Saying that Google's high-profile library project "appears to be built on
a fundamental violation of the copyright act," the Association of American
University Presses listed concerns and questions about the project on
Friday in a six-page letter to Google's top lawyer. The complaint is one
of a growing list of formal objections to Google's digital-library plans
by publishing groups.

The university-presses group, which represents 125 nonprofit scholarly
publishers, posed 16 detailed questions about Google's project, which the
company calls Google Print for Libraries. The project, announced in
December, involves libraries at Harvard and Stanford Universities, the
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and the University of Oxford, in
England, as well as the New York Public Library (The Chronicle, December

The libraries are letting Google scan some or all of their books, and
Google plans to add the full-text records to its popular search index.
Scanning is already under way at some of the libraries, though Google
officials say that only a handful of texts have been added to the index so
far. The entire project could take up to a decade to complete.

Although many of the books being scanned are so old that copyright no
longer applies, Google officials say they also plan to scan books still
under copyright. For copyrighted works, Google officials say that online
search results will offer only short excerpts. But publishers say that
even to scan those books could violate copyright.

"Copyright means the right to make copies, period," said Peter Givler, the
university-press group's executive director, in an interview. "Copyright
law can seem pretty byzantine and technical and elaborate and
complicated," said Mr. Givler, who wrote the letter, "but at its simplest,
that's what it is. It's the right to make copies."


Copyright 2005 Chronicle of Higher Education