Now this hospital claims that Google Print will harm children by depriving it of royalties that it uses to heal kids.
Nevermind the actual facts: Google Print will sell more copies of books in its index, thereby delivering higher royalties (where those books are bought in England -- sensibly, they are in the public domain everywhere else in the world). Nevermind that royalties on novels by long-dead authors are a dumb, inefficient way to fund a hospital in the first place (every school that pays monopoly pricing for its copies of Peter Pan drains the same general treasury that is lightened from funding the kids' hospital through the monopoly -- wouldn't it be cheaper to give the school and all Britons a break and use the savings to fund the hospital?).
The sheer intellectual dishonesty here is enough to sicken you. The googlephobes can't explain why the fair uses that will make Google Print possible are bad for writers, so they fall back on "Google kills kids" as a way of bypassing the intellect and going straight for the heart-strings. For shame.
Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity has received royalties from Peter Pan since 1929. An Act of Parliament, passed in 1988, extended the book's copyright indefinitely. If people stopped buying the book, and accessed it through Google's service, the hospital – which cares for seriously ill children – could lose millions of pounds.Link (via A Whole Lotta Nothing)
A spokesman for Great Ormond Street said he hadn't had a chance to view the site yet but hoped Google would think twice before publishing the book. "I wouldn't be surprised if Google do this, but it will rob the hospital of a major core of its charity revenue," he said.
Update: Bill Thompson points out: "Project Gutenberg already has Peter Pan online as it's not copyright outside the UK. If Karen Gomm [the journo who wrote the ZDNET story] had thought about it for a moment she would have realised. I'm printing it even now just so I can deprive the little kiddies of a few pence!"
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.