05 April 2009

Google's Plan for Out-of-Print Books Is Challenged

(New York Times)
The dusty stacks of the nation's great university and research libraries are full of orphans — books that the author and publisher have essentially abandoned. They are out of print, and while they remain under copyright, the rights holders are unknown or cannot be found. Now millions of orphan books may get a new legal guardian. Google has been scanning the pages of those books and others as part of its plan to bring a digital library and bookstore, unprecedented in scope, to computer screens across the United States. But a growing chorus is complaining that a far-reaching settlement of a suit brought against Google by publishers and authors is about to grant the company too much power over orphan works.