I spoke with Terry Moore, creator of Strangers in Paradise about the Google Book Search Scheme. He knew nothing about it until he read of it here.
Google’s plan to scan every book in existence and make them available online without the permission of the copyright holder is praised by some as an “information wants to be free” jackpot for libraries and researchers. Google claimed it would only make “snippets” of in print, copyrighted work available to the public. These “snippets” were supposedly limited to only a few sentences.
When I found entire stories from Clive Barker graphic novels online, I wondered how this could be justified by Google as a “snippet”. Moreover, what “information wants to be free” interest is served in posting a story about a man being eaten by pigs? Can’t we split the atom without that info?
Reader Mike Castle wrote in to assure me that Google would only post large portions of a book to its book search if it had been given permission to do so by the copyright holder.
However, this is simply not the case.
Terry Moore, creator of Strangers in Paradise informed me that not only has he not given Google permission to post his books to book search, but you can get a hell of a lot more of a look at Strangers in Paradise than a mere “snippet”. I was able to view individual issues of Strangers in Paradise as reprinted in the GN’s, and went for two dozen pages or more of “snippets” at a time.
Google does not have the right to do this, and Terry Moore opted out of the settlement. Almost every page of every Strangers in Paradise GN is available in the Google database.
The judge presiding over the settlement has decided not to rule today due to the complexity of the case.
At the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an objection over violations of the privacy of the readers who use the service:
Because the settlement does not contain any privacy protections for users, Google’s system will be able to monitor which books users search for, which pages of the books they read and how long they spend on each page. Google could then combine information about readers’ habits and interests with additional information it collects from other Google services, creating a massive “digital dossier” that would be highly tempting and possibly vulnerable to fishing expeditions by law enforcement or civil litigants.
Not to mention of the rights of the authors who did not give Google permission to make their books a part of this scheme.
UPDATES: Google lawyers get their day in court and lie a lot:
In her arguments, Google attorney Daralyn Durie argued that there was no harm in the settlement because “nothing about the settlement risks injuring the economic interest of absent rights holders.”
Yeah, baby. Copyright squatting never hurt anybody.
If people can go and read my work on other websites, then I am less likely to get traffic to my website which I depend on for income to produce more work. Because part of my income is advertising dollars generated by traffic.
So, if you can go to one resource (Google) to read any book you want, why go anywhere else? Isn’t that their whole plan?