Google’s newest battle with their Print for Libraries program seems as if it will be on-going for awhile. When Google’s contract with the University of Michigan was first revealed, major publishers were outraged. The contract calls for creating two digital copies of each book, one belonging to each Google and the University of Michigan. But in a May 20th letter to Google, the Association of American University Presses claimed
Google’s subsequent explanations of Google Print for Libraries have only increased that confusion and transformed it into mounting alarm and concern at a plan that appears to involve systematic infringement of copyright on a massive scale.
Not only are the publishers worried that Google may distribute the digitized books without the author’s approval, but they claim that libraries have no legal right to digitize any copyrighted material. Google has scheduled a meeting with the Association of American Publishers to discuss a six-month suspension of the Print for Libraries program.
The questions that remain are whether or not Google will continues its Print for Libraries program and if the publishers will seek legal action for copyright infringement. If they do, some people focus on the copyright infringement penalty of up to $150,000 per work, while others say the fact that Google has spent the past ten years making copies of copyrighted works on the web will play a factor in the outcome.
Google plans to sell advertising to generate revenue from its library service. Perhaps Google should use the same tactic that convinced publishers to agree to the Google Print service: split the advertising revenue with the publishers.