Microsoft publicly bashes Google's Book Scanning project

Microsoft publicly bashes Google's Book Scanning project

Summary: Paragraph after paragraph of Google bashing from Microsoft explains why Google's book scanning effort is evil.  The problem, as Microsoft sees it, is Google's blatant lack of respect for copyright -- they simply scan every book regardless of its copyright status.

TOPICS: Google

Paragraph after paragraph of Google bashing from Microsoft explains why Google's book scanning effort is evil.  The problem, as Microsoft sees it, is Google's blatant lack of respect for copyright -- they simply scan every book regardless of its copyright status.  Not only that, they also have potential to monetize the hard work of this material.

Microsoft takes issue with Google's "opt out" strategy too -- what happens if hundreds of book scanning projects are undertaken by various companies?  Publishers will have spend more and more time actively seeking out these companies to request their removal.  The only "fair" way to do this is through an "opt in" method.

I think Microsoft has some very valid points -- and I agree that Google's efforts could be classified as "unfair".  The project does give publishers access to many new potential buyers, but is Google's stepping over the fine line called "fair use"?  What do you think?  Does Google have the right to copy material regardless of copyright?

Topic: Google

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  • tough issue

    In library school, discussions around this issue are a hot topic. Similar copyright issues are faced by any library that would like to offer full text searches of material in their catalogs. I have to admit, the full text features of Google's Book project (and Google Scholar), in terms of searchability, are very nice. Full text searches offer potential for much more accurate information retrieval than those that only make use of (sometimes inadequate) subject headings. (They also present the potential of gathering too many "hits" and thus decreasing relevancy of search results ... an issue being dealt with by combining subject headings and full text).

    However, presenting full text on the screen is another issue entirely. Full text searching simply makes use of the full text of the book to determine whether the content of the book matches that of the search term(s). Then, a record of the item is supplied to the user. Besides linking to bookstores, Google Books links to WorldCat, an online index of the materials of over 10,000 libraries worldwide. WorldCat can be used to find the closest library that holds a copy of the book you are looking for.

    That should be enough. Making use of the full text for searches, and offering links to libraries and bookstores that possess the book would be more than enough. But offering the full text to the user, without the explicit consent of the copyright holder, is over-stepping their bounds (in my opinion). On screen presentation of full text should be limited to the classics (books that fall within the public domain).
    • Ditto.

      There's nothing at all untoward or evil about full-text indexing and serving up the location of the books. It's what search engines are for.

      There's also nothing terrible about showing enough of the text so that a querent can determine whether this is indeed the book he's looking for. That's fair use.

      Making the full text available is another matter. That's not what Google does, though, even with classics like [i]Moby Dick[/i]. They offer limited previews and snippet previews. So is what [b]Google[/b] doing evil? Doesn't look like it. Looks more like Microsoft's just eager to find any reason at all to find [i]another[/i] evil company to share their limelight.
  • Google's Weakness aren't as simple as Microsoft would hope

    I don't think it's quite fair to claim that Google's business model is simply to take people's content and sell advertising around it. If that's all there was to it, then why is the Google search engine doing so much better than msn or windows live search or just live search or whatever microsoft is calling it now? Why is msn/live/microsoft/whatever playing catch up with many online services to a company that creates "no content of [its] own"?

    Because it's not that simple. Google doesn't simply steal content for other people and advertise around it. They ORGANIZE other people's content, so that other-other people can find other people's content when they want to. Having your content indexed by Google isn't theft, it's FREE advertisement!

    I have a band, Fishkiss. We are small and local, so not too many people have heard of us outside of friends/family and a few acquiantances. But if anyone sees us perform and wants to find out more about us, I don't even need to specificy a website because a Google search will turn up a couple pages worth of results. Google isn't stealing our copyrighted content to sell advertising around; they're actually doing us a service by indexing it and making our web presence more easily noticeable by fans who are trying to learn more about us.

    There [i]is[/i] a big difference between stealing and indexing/organizing. It's not as simple as Microsoft seems to try to imply.

    Or, maybe, it's actually simpler.

    Microsoft (or its representative) seems to be trying to suggest that Google ignores copyright, "concocts" fair use argues, to try and make billions of dollars without having to innovating. Versus the Microsoft approach which protects copyright and (apparently?) encourages creativity and innovation.

    Am... I the only one that finds that statement a little hard to believe? Am I the only one that thinks that's just some wishful thinking on Microsoft's part?
    • Weaknesses*

  • Compare it to Amazon

    Amazon uses sampled reading of its bookwares as marketing.

    Google gives this advantage on a wider scale.

    Microsoft - well, what do you expect from them?
    Narr vi