inside the man

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Fair use put to the test

In what will be one of the most important copyright cases to hit US courts - if it goes to trial at all - The Author's Guild is calling the Google Print initiative on its apparently liberal interpretation of fair use. It is important to note when asking the question, "has Google gone to far?", that both Google Print and Google News, both of which search, aggregate, and excerpt from intellectual property not owned by Google, lack any Google adds and thus do not directly generate any revenue for Google. Maybe that does constitute fair use?

From el reg:

"Google operates two programs intended to incorporate print material into its search index, one of which, the Google Print for Libraries program, is targeted by the suit. Google has been scanning the collections at five libraries, bypassing the authors - who of course hold the copyright on their works - and including selections in search results. 'This is a plain and brazen violation of copyright law. It's not up to Google or anyone other than the authors, the rightful owners of these copyrights, to decide whether and how their works will be copied,' Authors Guild president Nick Taylor said in a statement."

UPDATE
: The EFF has a quick review of the legalities of the case and sides with Google. There is also a detailed review of the legalities of Google Print here.

2 comments:

Colby Cosh said...

Don't topple into that "commercial use cannot be fair use" trap-ola...

thrashor said...

Mr. Cosh, it is not my intention at all to opine on whether commercial use can be fair use. However, non-commercial use has a better chance of being judged as fair use under current US legislation. I am talking about what fair use currently is, while I believe you are suggesting what fair use ought to be.

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Returned to working as a Management Consultant, specializing in risk, security, and regulatory compliance, with Fujitsu Canada after running the IT shop in the largest library in the South Pacific.

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