Google Library Project attracts copyright lawsuit

— 9:20 AM on September 29, 2005

Google's plan to digitize books from various major libraries has been raising copyright objections from authors, and those objections have now crystallized into a lawsuit intended to stop to Google Library Project. At the heart of the authors' concerns are questions over the extent of fair-use doctrine in an application like this, which seems to have few close precedents. Google allows authors to request that their books not be included among those abstracted and excerpted by the project, but the authors think it's Google who should be asking permission, not vice-versa:

"Copyright law says they have to get my permission, not that I have to go out of my way to opt out," says Grant, who is based in Rhode Island. "Google must be stopped. If they are allowed to get away with this, it would be horrendous for every author and publisher."
The class-action suit is being brought by the Authors' Guild, and it seeks an injunction to stop Google from proceeding. The prospect of the Library Project being online excites me, but I can see the authors' point.
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