Google's plans to digitize all the books in the libraries of Harvard, Stanford and the University of Michigan and make them available on the Web (while they sell ads next to the content) has caused quite a bit of consternation with the publishers and authors who hold the copyrights to those works. Google has asserted that it doesn't need the copyright holders' permission. Business Week reports
on the latest shot fired by the Association of American University Presses' attorney, who is not pleased at Google's vague answers to the AAUP's questions about how the project will work, how much of the material will be taken, and other concerns.
In a May 20 letter, the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) blasts Google's so-called Print for Libraries program for posing a risk of "systematic infringement of copyright on a massive scale."
The AAUP isn't the only organization to put Google on notice. BusinessWeek Online has also learned that in recent months, major publishers John Wiley & Sons and Random House have also sent letters to Google expressing similar concerns about the libraries program. "We don't see how a for-profit company compiling this would be considered fair use," says Allan Adler, head of legal and government affairs for the Association of American Publishers, the principal trade organization of the book publishing industry
You can read the full text of the letter here
. If Google is really worth $71 billion, you'd think they'd be able to hire a few copyright lawyers to hash out the details with publishers. In any event, it seems quite unlikely that the entire publishing industry is going to allow anyone to take their copyrighted works without paying royalties and using it to sell ads.