Representing more than 8,000 writers from across the United States, the Authors Guild is suing Google for “massive copyright infringement,” claiming damages and “demanding the search engine stop uploading the contents of library books,” James Sturcke of the Guardian reported yesterday.
“This is a plain and brazen violation of copyright law,” said the Authors Guild president, Nick Taylor. “It’s not up to Google or anyone other than the authors, the rightful owners of these copyrights, to decide whether and how their works will be copied.”
Google’s product management vice-president, Susan Wojcicki, says authors will be the ones losing out in the end. She claims the project will encourage the sales of books by making out-of-print, obscure, and lightly marketed titles accessible to millions of potential buyers, while preventing piracy with safeguards that include disabled copy and print functions. Says Wojcicki: “At most we show only a brief snippet of text where their search term appears, along with basic bibliographic information and several links to online booksellers and libraries.”