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Ruling Prevents Google From Creating Universal Library

For those of you using Android phones, you’ll notice that you can download a number of free books from the Amazon App store. Google has already made millions of titles available had no charge, classics ranging from Newton to Shakespeare, many of these titles can be downloaded for free. Google hopes to one day archive all books ever published for free. But the courts don’t seem to agree. Judge Denny Chin, a US district attorney claims that Google’s goal is not “fair, adequate, and reasonable.” Google has already made deals with many libraries to digitize their books in efforts to make information as transparent and accessible to the public as possible. In essence, Google wants to become the world’s library. This is great for anyone who seeks to enrich their mind through a good book but can’t afford to shell out $20 for a bookstore purchase. However, this obviously frightens publishers as well.

Google’s settlement is a complex 166 page document. Although Google spent a lot of time trying to protect the rights of authors (enabling only small samples to be available through preview), Google will digitize any book it can unless it has the explicit denial from any given author. Judge Chin was also concerned about orphaned books–copyrighted books that are no longer in print. Judge Chin believes that Google has the right intentions of supplying literature for all, but on the same note, doesn’t think that one company should hold all that power. It’s a battle that has been going on for six years, and still continues.

Photo Courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Photo Courtesy of Brewbooks