Google and Its Books{1}

by Joey L

This article is relates how digitization of print media is becoming one of the largest infringements in history.  One of the most notable digital infringements is Google’s Books project.  Google Books has become an easy access for anyone to find reference to millions of books and magazines.   Many of these books are claimed to be illegally scanned by Google, which then hands their database of books to HathiTrust, a partnership of universities and libraries.   A few groups of writer unions have filed a lawsuit with Google asserting that Google Books is publishing copyrighted works without the author’s authorization.   Currently, about 7 million books from Google are claimed to be illegally scanned.   Because these scans are unauthorized, the writers are seeking to withdrawn all illegally scanned books from Google’s database.  Google is currently offering the authors to either sign a contract and giving them their share or remove their book from their database.  If the authors do not contact Google, the books will become available to the public.   The lawsuit is still active as of September 15, 2011 and hopefully, Google and the writer unions will reach an agreement soon.


The article relates to this week’s topic, database, because it is about Google scanning different kinds of text print references into their database and publishing it online for the public. Currently Google has stored over millions of books onto its database and giving it out to the public as free access.  Storing all these books onto their database is an easy way for people to search and read books conveniently.  As a result of providing free instant access to books and magazines, Google is sued to remove copy-righted books that were not authorized by the author from its database.

I think Google’s vision of giving free instant access to reference materials online is a convenient way for everyone to access information.   That is why I am not against Google’s “infringement” acts.  Google is already offering the authors a share of the profit gained from visitors viewing their book.  If the authors are still unsatisfied, they could contact Google and have their book removed from their database.  I do not think this is an act of infringement because it could just be a fair use of the book.  Most of the books are just excerpts which will require one to purchase the book if one wants to continue reading it.  I think this lawsuit will end soon since Google is already giving money to the authors.  What else would the authors want besides money?

Murray, P. (2011, September 27). Google Brings Books, Authors Guild Brings Lawsuit. Retrieved from