Thursday, October 27, 2005

All the fuss over Google Print

Google is a giant. We all knew that when we got sucked into the gmail marketing scheme of exclusivity, that Google was going to take over the world. Now we’re all obsessed with googling strange people and telling everyone to sign up for google earth so they can see a satellite shot of their block. Now Google has Google Video (which allows you to upload videos for free, see Ben for more on that one.) and Google Print, which is making huge waves in the publishing industry. Google print scans in books and then allows readers to scan the text for certain words. It, on one hand does not allow the reader to look at each page from beginning to end, but if you search for a characters name (which most likely appears on every page) you can have access to the entire book. Google claims that the public will not have full access to copyrighted material. I say, where there’s a will there’s a way.

Publishers are
suing Google because Google Print violates copyright laws. Authors are, of course, afraid of loosing royalties, just like publishers are afraid of lower books sales. Google might become the napster of books, although it never stopped people from downloading.

Making any type of art free to the public is a very delicate subject. Art is getting to the point that it has become inaccessible to people of lower classes, if someone can’t afford to buy a CD then they can’t listen to music, if they can’t afford to buy a book, they can have access to libraries although, from personal experience, they can be lacking in content. On the other hand as an artist it is important to be able to live off your work. Especially for writers who aren’t Stephen King, Danielle Steele, or J. K. Rowling. So there you have it. The conundrum of the day.

Check out
Maud’s piece about lower income consumers and online books stores. Also worth note is an article printed in the Wall Street journal by a writer in favor of Google Print. Via Chekov’s Mistress.


At 1:16 PM, Blogger Laura said...

You have a good point about the lower income people being unable to afford art. However, most artists I know are low income, including myself. I really don't feel keen on Google taking a bite out of fair use and distributing my work, expecting me to find a way to contact them if I don't want them using what's mine. Shouldn't they be asking me before they use it? What right do they have to assume it's ok? Also, if I want to distribute my work freely, shouldn't that be my choice, not Google's?

At 2:04 PM, Blogger mh said...

As I said, "On the other hand as an artist it is important to be able to live off your work." I definitely agree that you should have some say over your work. I think that everyone should be able to have some say in what happens to the things they create, one blogger wrote how he only recieved a small royalty each year and now with google print he probably wouldn't even recieve that.

According to an article in the Guardian Google will only publish a snippet of the published text unless they have permission from the author, when in actuality they publish an entire page.

Thanks for your input. I enjoyed your post on Google Print as well

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