Monday, November 28, 2005

THE Times (of London) Weighs in on Google

In a great article, Is Google Books going to kill publishing? The Times offers a series of rational comments from writers, readers and others on the debate as well as an opportunity to add your own thoughts.

Remarkably free of the polemical demonization that dominates the debate in the U.S., Times readers offer an ability to discuss the matter in a way that seems calculated to point toward a solution, rather than to polarize.

Two of the many perspectives in the article include:

"As a small academic publisher I think people are missing the point. I am required by Law to give six libraries in England copies of every single book I publish. This requirement does not give these libraries permission to reproduce the text in any way. If libraries such as the BL or the Bodleian then allow Google to scan the text of my publications and reproduce the contents whether in total or by index they are allowing my copyright to be infringed." Steven Halliwell, High Wycombe, Bucks

"William Rees-Mogg does Google a disservice, in my opinion. The new book search service is a amazing facility to search for new books and to be able to read a representative sample of pages. Not all of these pages are available, as to meet the copyright rules a certain number of pages are restricted. As a researcher into the history of molecular biology in this country, I have found Google book search invaluable. It will surely promote the sales of new books by providing would-be purchasers with the means of sampling them online before buying them." Martin Packer, Birmingham, West Midlands


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