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Google Print - Peter Brantley in Chronicle of Higher Ed

Should no one ever make money on public domain or orphan works? 
Many publishers are doing just fine selling Jane Austen these 
days in one form or another -- and we are glad of it, aren't we? 
Ann Okerson


Reading Bad News Between the Lines of Google Book Search


Mr. Brantley is executive director of the Digital Library 
Federation, a group of 39 academic libraries and other groups 
promoting electronic resources. He wrote a blog post this month 
that complained about a possible settlement of a lawsuit that 
publishers and authors brought against Google. The plaintiffs 
charge that Google Book Search violates their rights since vast 
amounts of copyright-protected books are being copied without 
their permission. Citing a February 5, 2007, article by Jeffrey 
Toobin in The New Yorker, Mr. Brantley says the two sides are 
most likely to strike a deal in which publishers, authors, and 
Google divvy up the revenue that flows from online advertisements 
connected to Google Book Search.

Q. Why are you concerned about Google Book Search?

A. The quality of the book scans is not consistently high. The 
algorithm Google uses to return search results is opaque. Then 
there's the commercial aspect. Google will attempt to find ways 
to make money off the service.

Q. Shouldn't Google be commended for helping to preserve library 

A. The company is not preserving books. It is creating an archive 
for Google's own purposes.

Q. How does Google Book Search hurt libraries?

A. The libraries have to make a significant commitment in terms 
of getting their books to Google. The books have to come off the 
shelves. Then after being scanned they have to be put back on the 
shelves. And this resource drain is going to limit the ability of 
libraries to engage in other activities.

Q. Why are you opposed to an out-of-court settlement to the 
Google lawsuit?

A. A settlement leaves unresolved how people can use out-of-print 
books whose owners cannot be identified -- orphan works -- and 
the question of what is fair use regarding digitized books.

Q. How should Google treat orphan works?

A. No one should be making money from these. Yet that will happen 
because their [copyright] status is unknown.

Q. What would be a good outcome to the litigation?

A. Having a court determine once and for all that it is fair use 
to digitize a copyrighted work and make a snippet of it publicly 

2008 Chronicle of Higher Education