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December 14, 2004
John Palfrey on the tremendously exciting news that Google will digitize and make searchable some of world's best research libraries: "It brings with it a host of issues about the need to revisit, and likely to reform, the intellectual property regime to make the use of digital works in scholarship more reliably lawful."
Joe Gratz: "Having this material available has the potential to place in the foreground the importance of the public domain. Further, Google may have the resources and incentive to figure out comprehensively which post-1923 books are already in the public domain for failure of formalities.
It will be interesting to see how Google and the libraries plan to justify digitizing entire copyrighted books without a license. Even if theyre not included in the public database, merely digitizing them involves making one or more unauthorized copies."
Edward Hasbrouck, via Dave Farber's IP list: "Google's unauthorized for-profit electronic re-publication of 'cached' copies of Web pages has always been copyright infringement. (The copyright holder can remove a work from the 'cache,' but such an 'opt-out' provision doesn't satisfy the requirements of copyright law, which requires explicit 'opt in' licensing for anything other than 'fair use.')
Google's new moves, however, greatly expand its copyright infringement. ...The New York Times reports that Google will sell ads which it will display along with copies of library books. Whatever 'fair use' rights a library may have to loan out a physical copy of a book, they clearly don't extend to licensing commercial online publication. ...
This is copyright theft and for-profit online bootlegging by Google."
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