The Google Print Project has been digitizing books found in several libraries, and already some examples of the work can be found when you search in Google. You can also search Google Print and find words within their archive.

Some people believe that Google Print would fall under the fair use doctrine in the United States. I still think that this is a great idea, but it seemed to me that this was clear infringement, particularly because we don’t have fair use. Nevertheless, the project was paused last month for fear of copyright infringement suits. Now three authors have sued Google with the assistance of the Author’s Guild (the complaint can be found here). I have just browsed the complaint, but it looks serious. There is no doubt that Google has made digital copies of the works without the author’s permission and that they are reproducing parts of those works online.

I wonder if Google will fight this. I believe that Google would benefit from a jury trial, as there is still considerable good will towards the company, despite grumbling nooises from many internet activists and fears that Google is going Microsoft on us. This is a case to watch.


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