Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Microsoft plans to fight Google Books

One of Microsoft's top attorneys is planning to fight Google Inc. for its use of books online and in advertising, according to today's Wall Street Journal. Thomas Rubin is associate general counsel at Microsoft who is taking on the fight. He says:
"Google received "unfettered access" to the libraries, it then "basically turned its back on its partners" by making copies of copyrighted books without first obtaining copyright holders' permission. The approach, Mr. Rubin argues, "systematically violates copyright and deprives authors and publishers of an important avenue for monetizing their works."

Google says they have the right to digitize the book under "fair use" since it provides users with only brief excerpts and bibliographical information if works are still in copyright.
"We do this by complying with international copyright laws, and the result has been more exposure and in many cases more revenue for authors, publishers and producers of content," said David C. Drummond, Google's chief legal officer.

The arguments from Google are similar to what we've been discussing in class and have been reading about this week. It's good exposure for these creative works, many of which would be lost from the radar, and seems like its helping more than hurting authors.

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