• http://twitter.com/ScottyMack Scott McKirahan

    I have yet to figure out what damages the authors are alleging have occurred because of Google’s actions. The books are not being made available to read online or to be printed. They simply offer snippets of text. I’m not sure how this is any different than the snippets of songs that  you can hear on any number of websites, like Amazon. If anything, you would think the libraries that asked Google to make digital copies of the books for them would be the ones far more likely to be in violation of copyright infringement.

    I have a funny feeling that the reason Google did this has nothing to do with users being able to search for snippets of text in a book. I’m betting this has far more to deal with making their semantic search capabilities even better (oops, I mean their “knowledge graph”).

  • http://twitter.com/Ernieiceman Ernie Iceman

    If your last point is true and they are using the scanned data to improve their search, then wouldn’t they be profiting from the authors words indirectly in relation to its PPC business?  

  • http://twitter.com/ScottyMack Scott McKirahan

    If those words were included in a PPC ad, then perhaps you could make that case. The bottom line here is that the burden of proof under the law is on the Writers Guild to show that the actions of Google has caused a financial hardship and loss of revenue to the original authors – something that is definitely difficult to prove. If anything, I would suggest that showing a snippet of no more than an eighth of a page of an entire book might entice people to purchase the whole work.