|Google printing books becomes controversial|
|Written by Cassie Monroe, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Tuesday, 29 September 2009 22:11|
Some book publishers have a big problem with Google’s growing practice of digitizing out-of-print books and making them available for sale online. After being in court for over a year, the two parties are finally negotiating a settlement. Some of the parties involved in the settlement are Microsoft, Amazon, Yahoo and the U.S. Register of Copyrights among many others.
“Now Google is digitizing millions of books that are out of print, not copyright. Book publishers and authors are afraid they will have a monopoly on all these materials,” Dane Ward, Milner Library’s associate dean of public services, said.
Google has had many books available online to print for several years legally because all books they made available were out of copyright. This generally means the books were published before 1923.
However, some of the books Google has been scanning into their online collection for the past five years have been reprinted, causing several legal issues to arise.
Google has gone to court, and it was decided they could continue scanning books online, but at a price. U.S. District Judge Denny Chin presides over the court case. Recently, he canceled the upcoming hearing on Oct. 7, because Google is still re-negotiating with the plaintiffs.
The Justice Department and Chin both believed the settlement negotiations should not be stopped yet.
“The proposed settle would offer many benefits for society. It would appear that if a fair and reasonable settlement can be struck, the public would benefit,” Chin said.
The books are available to print on a high-speed publishing machine called the “Espresso Book Machine.”
“The Espresso machine costs about $100,000, and it’s just the beginning of something that will be happening now,” Ward said. Espresso can print and bind a 300-page book in less than five minutes.
“I think it would be really good for students, since the books Google is offering would be hard to find anyway,” Laura Matter, senior athletic training and physical education major and Milner employee, said.
The retailers, who own the Espresso machines, will make the final decision regarding the cost of the books.
However, the creator of the machine, On-Demand Books, will receive $1 for each book, and another dollar will go to Google. Google says it will donate its share to charities and other non-profit organizations.