Google Print is the service Google is working on where they are scanning the text of books that are in the public domain, and then converting it to searchable text with optical character recognition, and then allowing the text to be indexed and searchable just like any website on Google. The full text of the book cannot be read from Google. It will only display a couple lines from the book’s text that were relevant to the search, and a link to more information on the book. Besides out-of-print, public domain books, authors and publishers can opt in to have their books as part of the program.
Google Library is a similar program where Google is scanning any book they want to, but no text from the book is show on Google. The Authors’ Guild is sewing Google because the works are being used without permission. Google’s defense is that it is fair use, and this is what allows them to cache every page on the internet.
Google has already indexed a couple books. According to Search Engine Watch podcast at in this link, Amazon.com is getting this free traffic from Google Library and Google Print search result. Now, who can understand the benefits of this more than Amazon? Who already has a relationship with authors and publishers? Amazon! Amazon, come to Google’s defense already and explain to these misinformed authors and publishers that it will help them sell more books through Amazon! It is only for your own benefit! We know that you know this is a good thing for authors and publishers (selling more books!?!?).
Lawrence Lessig has commented on his blog about the Google Library vs Authors Guild public debate to be held in NYC on November 17. I wish I could go, should be exciting.
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