Authors’ Guild vs. Google Print, Part 2
I’m with Google on this one: In my opinion, current copyright law fails to take account of the crucial issue of access for scholars and students. Google seems to be working in favor of access and to be working with the habits of students, who, whatever we professors or librarians may counsel, tend to begin their research by googling. By limiting access to texts, authors do themselves a disservice. More access to snippets helps all of us, students, scholars, and passionate readers, figure out and find the books we want to read–and, more to the author’s guild’s point, I guess–buy.
Richard Nash, publisher of Soft Skull Books, takes an even stronger position:
Google, from a cultural standpoint, SHOULD win. Fair use is what keeps our culture alive. And, as merchants of culture, publishers need to balance their need to own the culture they sell, with their need to have culture worth selling! The farther publishers go down the incredibly near-sighted route of extending copyright terms (…) and pushing to narrow the Fair Use defense, the harder it makes the lives of individual content creators whose creativity is dependent on access to the trove of existing culture.
Anyone else care to chime in? Send us a note.