Google Book Search will never have an effective competitor

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18 Responses to “Google Book Search will never have an effective competitor”

  1. Joe says:

    Couldn’t a deep-pocketed competitor do the same thing Google did? Start scanning orphaned-work books in large numbers, and when publishers sue, countersue for violations of the antitrust laws, accusing the Authors’ Guild, the publishers and Google of setting up an illegal monopoly?

  2. Jose Gómez says:

    Alternative projects are growing right now like our search engine: http://www.neotake.com

  3. redesigned says:

    Does this only affect the US?

  4. Forwardista says:

    I do really like this idea, all that knowledge available and searchable is pretty cool. And I don’t mind Google maybe money off of it either, but Google having exclusive rights, even if it is only in America, is no good. And I wonder, if Google has these rights, could they easily edit books without people realizing what they did?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Out of curiosity, does anyone know what the copyright status of Google books are? Say for instance the original is public domain. Presumably then the text is free, since it hasn’t changed, but could one freely take the diagrams and images, or does Google have rights to their scanned version?

  6. Anonymous says:

    All this fuss about orphaned works?

    If they woulg generate any money they would not be orphaned in the first place.

  7. jonathan_v says:

    Exactly how do the 10k members of the Authors Guild have legal standing to negotiate on behalf of every other author, living dead or somewhere-in-between ?

  8. AGC says:

    Blah Blah Blah … orphaned works.

    For some reason the U.S. has trouble figuring out who owns the rights to books, music, houses, businesses. Property rights are the bedrock of America’s legal system, except when nobody knows who legally owns what.

  9. alllie says:

    I, too, was happy that Google was bringing back orphaned works…but then I found the book of Riverbend’s, Baghdad Burning, The Iraqi Girl Blog on google books. What did this mean, I asked myself. Her book was only published in 2005. How can it qualify as abandoned? Is Riverbend dead? Her location unknown? Is she no longer getting royalties from her writing? If she is alive and her work not abandoned, why is Baghdad Burning on Google books? Why is Google stealing from Riverbend!?!

  10. hbl says:

    in reference to the headline: “and neither will google search…” – oh, snap!

  11. lasttide says:

    Couldn’t a competitor simply copy the publically available portion of Google Books? Google doesn’t own that information, they just own the scan images. And, the legality of the Author’s Guild decision seems pretty dubious.

  12. Metostopholes says:

    a class action agreement that gives Google default rights to all books ever published in the U.S. unless the holder of their copyright contacts Google to opt out

    It’s not that Google only has the right to scan orphaned works, just that those are the ones other companies would have trouble getting rights to.

  13. Metostopholes says:

    Meant to be a reply to #6 alllie, sorry.

  14. dw_funk says:

    I mean, it’s not like those “orphaned” books are going to just dissolve into dust. It seems like the second people really start feeling creepy about the whole idea, it wouldn’t be too hard to negotiate a new agreement with an outside source. The only reason it’s an exclusive deal is because nobody else has the stones (or the mountains of cash) necessary for the job. Hell, if it gets entirely too creepy, the government could force Google to spin that section of the company off.

    Cory, I’m curious: what firm would you prefer to have undertaken this task? I like the Internet Archive as well, but Google’s resources can get the job done faster. The way I see it, the great digitization effort has to happen exactly once, and nobody with the resources to do that is clean. Let Google do the job of getting it all online; we can take it back if it becomes necessary.

    • Anonymous says:

      The only reason it’s an exclusive deal is because nobody else has the stones (or the mountains of cash) necessary for the job.

      Then it they would have a monopoly, not an exclusive deal. They aren’t the same.

  15. Cheaplazymom says:

    Where does the Library of Congress fit into all of this? Do they have their own scanning initiative?

  16. Cassandra says:

    Google default rights to all books ever published in the U.S. unless the holder of their copyright contacts Google to opt out

    Cory, I’m a writer.

    Do you know if publication of a work on Google Books counts as electronic publication? If so, what will happen to works where the only rights sold were first North American serial rights, but the electronic rights were not sold? Do they just get to be put up on Google Books, without either the publisher or author getting paid or having any say in that?

    Does Google just get to publish my work electronically without my consent? Can I opt out of Google Books and then sell them first North American electronic rights? I’m curious, since I know I have signed contracts where electronic rights were explicitly left out with the idea that if the publisher wanted to buy the electronic rights to the work they’d need to pay me for them.

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