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Re: Your Lawsuit is Not Helping Me or My Book

I am not sure what legal expertise Sally and Joe bring to the case. I have
no legal qualification (aside from having written a few publishing
contracts and read a few hundred more) but it would seem to me plain that
there are important legal issues to be settled in relation to the Google
Library project, and it now seems highly likely that they will be settled
in court.

I doubt that it would have got this far if it were such a 'no brainer'. It
is not really a question of who owns what (aside from the important area
of 'orphaned' copyrights where Google appear to have an interesting
'homesteader', partial, solution in mind), but of what the limits of
ownership are. What are the limits which a copyright holder can impose on
the limits to which her text is put? How can these limits be balanced with
the fair use to which a purcaser can reasonably expect access? The uses of
an electronic text are myriad and not forseen by current copyright
statutes= . There are also important issues of public policy and it is
surely conceivable that our understanding of copyrights and copywrongs
will change as we move into a world in which the distribution of literary
texts is primarily electronic. Much the same is happening in the world of
music wher= e analog formats are also being replaced by digital formats.
Book publishers who are so hot on 'their' rigid and far reaching
copyrights need to think carefully about how a similar assertive strategy
has 'worked' for the music publishers.

Copyright is clearly at issue. But it also seems that the more interesting
questions are really to do with 'fair dealing' and 'fair use', which is
not quite the same issue, but a correlative concept, and a valuable
counterbalance important in defining the limits of copyright.

If it turns out that the American judicial view of 'fair use' is more open
and more accomodating of new technical uses of texts, then it will not
have been the first time that the USA has shown the way in free speech and
free use of information, and as a convinced European I hope that the EU
rapidly follows suite.


On 11/1/05, Sally Morris (ALPSP) <sally.morris@alpsp.org> wrote:
> I would say the question is even simpler than Joe's formulation. To my
> mind, the question is - does copyright permit it? Not should it, even -
> does it? In Europe at least, Google understands that it does not.
> All the articles I've seen about how arguably beneficial Google indexing
> is are completely beside the point.
> Sally Morris, Chief Executive
> Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers
> Email: sally.morris@alpsp.org
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Joseph J. Esposito" <espositoj@gmail.com>
> To: <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
> Sent: Friday, October 28, 2005 11:54 PM
> Subject: Re: Your Lawsuit is Not Helping Me or My Book
> > There appears to be some confusion about the salient points of the
> > current dispute over Google Print for Libraries. The question is not,
> > Who benefits? The question is, Who owns it? Google would have almost
> > universal cooperation from publishers if (a) the program were opt-in
> > instead of opt-out (which speaks to the question of Who owns it?) and
> > (b) libraries were not being given copies of the scanned files. If
> > authors believe publishers are foolish not to cooperate with Google,
> > they will find other publishers.
> >
> > Ten years from now, assuming that Google wins this fight, all the
> > advocates of the Google Library program will look back and wonder how i=
> > is they stood by as the property of thousands of authors and publishers
> > was appropriated for the economic benefit of the Google shareholders.
> > We have not seen the like in my lifetime.
> >
> > Joe Esposito