Bronwyn's Library Blog

Monday, November 14, 2005

Google infinite library, copyright pirate or monopolist?

Google: infinite library, copyright pirate, or monopolist?

From the ALIALIBTEC list.  Thanks Sharon.

The National Institute of Social Sciences and The Law The AustralianNational UniversityGoogle: infinite library, copyright pirate, or monopolist?The Innovations Building, ANU, 12:00-2:00pm, Friday 9 December 2005In the past year, there has been much debate about Google and itsimplications of the search engine's activities for copyright law,privacy, and competition.On 14 December 2004, Google announced that it had entered intoagreements with four university libraries and the New York PublicLibrary to "digitally scan books from their collections so that usersworldwide can search them in Google."  The search engine claimed thatthis would be an "expansion of the Google Print program, which assistspublishers in making books and other offline information searchableonline."In September and October 2005, the Authors Guild and the Association ofAmerican Publishers filed lawsuits in the United States, alleging thatthe Google Library program had infringed copyright in literary worksthrough its unauthorised scanning and copying of books.In response, Google declared that it respected copyright:  "The use wemake of all the books we scan through the Library Project is fullyconsistent with both the fair use doctrine under U.S. copyright law andthe principles underlying copyright law itself, which allow everythingfrom parodies to excerpts in book reviews."The search engine has also attracted other law suits.  The AgenceFrance-Presse has alleged that Google News infringed on its copyrightbecause "Google includes AFP's photos, stories and news headlines onGoogle News without permission from Agence France Presse."  TheCalifornian company, Perfect 10, has filed a lawsuit against Google,claiming that the reproduction of its images infringes the company'scopyright, trade marks, and publicity rights.   Furthermore, there havealso been concerns about the privacy implications of Google services *such as Gmail, and Google Earth.  Some also worry that the company hasthe potential to become a commercial monopolist.This forum explores the legal issues surrounding Google from theperspective of lawyers, librarians, authors, publishers, and consumers. Will the search engine become an infinite library?  Is it the saviour ofthe public domain?  Or is Google violating the copyright of authors andpublishers?  Does the search engine respect privacy? Or does itencourage surveillance?  Does Google have the potential to become amonopolist?  Or will the search engine provide much needed competitionfor Microsoft?SpeakersThe speakers and discussants will include:Mr Chris Creswell, Consultant, Copyright Law Branch Information Law andHuman Rights Division, Attorney-General's Department.Mr Michael Handler, Lecturer, ACIPA, Faculty of Law, the AustralianNational University.Ms Moyra McAllister, Copyright Officer, the Australian Library andInformation Association.Dr Matthew Rimmer, Senior Lecturer, ACIPA, Faculty of Law, theAustralian National University.Ms Sarah Waladan, Executive Officer, the Australian Digital Alliance,and Copyright Advisor, the Australian Libraries Copyright Committee.Also invited:Mr Roger Clarke, Visiting Professor, Faculty of Engineering andInformation Technology, the Australian National University, and XamaxConsultancy


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