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Anti-Google protest from German authors

German authors have mounted a protest against Google’s mass digitization of the world’s books for their http://print.google.com project.

Members of the German main association of authors are in uproar claiming books are being digitized by Google without their authorization. Google claims the digitization of books will in fact encourage sales. Not so, says Wilfried F. Schoeller, general secretary of PEN Germany “…it would dispossess the authors of their work.”

It is not just German authors that are angry with Googles plans to digitize the world’s books. Authors from the UK and US, as well as other countries, are united in protest claiming that Google is using text snippets without authors’ permission.

Google has already begun scanning the university libraries of Harvard, Stanford, Michigan and Oxford, and the New York Public Library and is also receiving new books to scan from publishers, mainly smaller ones. Google provides links for each book to its publisher and to online bookstores so that the web user can buy it. Google says it will finance the project entirely by selling spot advertising placed next to the search results.

In August, after protests from some U.S. publishers and libraries, Google called a moratorium till November in the scanning of library books which are still subject to copyright restrictions.

Source: DPA / Expatica

I’ll be surprised if this doesn’t land in a court somewhere one day. I’m sure Google have done their legal research however.

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Alan Webb

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