Look before you click

Published: Monday 31 October 2005

-- (Credit: Shyamal) GoogleUSA

A group representing more than 8,000 us writers is suing Google, alleging that the search engine's attempt to digitise book collections of major libraries (See 'Click for classics,' Down To Earth , January 15, 2005) is copyright infringement. The lawsuit was filed by the New York-based Authors' Guild in the Manhattan district court. All the authors represented by the guild claim copyright to at least one work in the library of the University of Michigan, one of the us libraries -- along with Harvard and Stanford -- that agreed to let Google create a database of their entire collection.

The search engine company is also scanning books stored at the New York Public Library, usa and Oxford University library, uk. But these libraries are providing Google only with material no longer protected by copyright. A Google spokesperson said, "Only small portions of the books are shown". But Nick Taylor, president of the Authors' Guild contended: " It's not up to Google, or anyone other than the authors, to decide whether and how their works will be copied".

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