In New Delhi, Google’s Strategic Partner Development Manager Gautam Anand on Saturday announced that Google would soon be promoting books in Hindi and other Asian languages.
From [The Hindu]:
Speaking at a seminar on “Google and the Google Book Search Programme” organised at the ongoing New Delhi World Book Fair at Pragati Maidan, Mr. Anand said the Google book search, a free worldwide sales and marketing system of promoting books, had successfully enabled publishers in the United States and European countries to promote their books.
“It will now be available to Indian publishers as well as those based in China, Japan and Korea,” he added.
Read more on [The Hindu]
Gary Price points to an article on the BBC News site and said it just might be an online bookstore for ebooks. This idea was floated past reporters and other invited guests in a post keynote backstage press conference last Friday night.
From the BBC story :
Google has suggested it may consider setting up an online book store.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt told reporters at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that this would depend on permission from copyright holders.
The web giant has been electronically scanning thousands of volumes and has put some online.
But its plans to create an index to all the world’s books have run into opposition from publishers and authors.
Those ‘damn’ publishers and authors… where have we heard that before?
Nathan quoted Publishers Weekly on November 19th 2005 :
“AAP’s Allan Adler said if Google’s theory of fair use was adopted, it would put Google in control of other people’s content that it downloaded onto its own databases. While Google says it will use the scanned book content in a limited way, that could all change, Adler said.”
And indeed. If this bookstore rumor comes true, Adler just might be right on top of it with his prediction.
According to Chicago Business, Google is now partnering with the Chicago Sun-Times to display ads in unsold space in the newspaper.
From Chicago Business :
The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, allows Google to fill what’s known as “remnant space” in the Sun-Times — unsold space where the paper would normally run in-house ads. Google fills those spots with its own ads. The Google connection is hardly trumpeted: “Ads by Google” appears at the top of each box of ads in very small type. […]
On Dec. 12, for instance, Google ads touting ticket brokers, White Sox apparel and Chicago Bears memorabilia ran in the Sports section.
via [Google Blogoscoped]
Sadly, I wasn’t able to make the New York Public Library’s Google Print (now Google Book Search) debate this past Thursday (due to an unfortunate incident with a sharp knife, more on that later), but it seems like almost everyone else was.
Brad Hill (who wasn’t there, and wishes he was):
The slate, then, was [Nick] Taylor [of the Authors Guild] and [the AAP’s Alan] Adler against [Google VP of corporate development David] Drummond and [Lawrence] Lessig, with the NYPL president sitting in the middle with inclinations toward Google.
Stanford professor Lawrence Lessig argued before a packed house that if the publishers and authors win their lawsuit against Google’s Print for Library program (now renamed Google Book Search, see accompanying story) they would gain total control over content that would stifle future innovation and development. The definition of fair use needs to be expanded in the digital age, Lessig argued.
AAP’s Allan Adler said if Google’s theory of fair use was adopted, it would put Google in control of other people’s content that it downloaded onto its own databases. While Google says it will use the scanned book content in a limited way, that could all change, Adler said.
Google v-p of corporate development David Drummond said Google Book Search was designed with fair use in mind and not to harm publishers. If the company ever goes beyond the bounds of fair use, other copyright protections would kick in, Drummond said, to which Adler quickly responded “that’s why we went to court.”
Lessig added a slight twist to the debate when he said he was worried Google would settle with the authors and publishers thereby creating a system that would precent smaller companies from creating new products. Judging from last night’s discussion, a settlement is far away.
The New York Times:
If there was any point of agreement between publishers, authors and Google in a debate Thursday night over the giant Web company’s program to digitize the collections of major libraries and allow users to search them online, it seemed to be this: Information does not necessarily want to be free.
Rather, the parties agreed, information wants to be found.
But when it comes to how information will be found and who will share in the profits, the various sides remain far apart - not surprising, perhaps, since the issue has already landed in federal court.
Google has renamed Google Print as Google Book Search.
According to the Google blog:
What’s in a name? Quite a bit, actually; what you call yourself says a lot about what you think you are. And we’ve been thinking lately that Google Print should really be called Google Book Search.
Why the change? Well, one factor was all the comments we got about how excited people were that Google Print would help them print out their documents, or web pages they visit — which of course it won’t.
More important, the change reflects our product’s evolution. When we launched Google Print, our goal was to make it easier for users to discover books. Now that we’re starting to achieve that, we think a more descriptive name will help clarify what our users can do with it: namely, search the full text of books to find ones that interest them and learn where to buy or borrow them.
No, we don’t think that this new name will change what some folks think about this program. But we do believe it will help a lot of people understand better what we’re doing. We want to make all the world’s books discoverable and searchable online, and we hope this new name will help keep everyone focused on that important goal.
Methinks that this has a lot more to do with the fact that Google Print has some horrible press. Do a search for Google Print and all you’ll see are articles about the controversy, good or bad. Maybe Google is hoping that Google Book Search can start with a clean slate, and slightly better search results.
Print.google.com forwards to the new site.
Dave Winer points out that the New York Public Library is going to have a public debate on Google Print and the thorny copyright issues surrounding it.
Co-presented with WIRED Magazine
THE BATTLE OVER BOOKS: Authors & Publishers Take on the Google Print Library Project
Thursday, November 17, 2005
at 7:00 PM
South Court Auditorium
at the Celeste Bartos Forum (entrance on 42nd street)
Allan Adler, Association of American Publishers
Chris Anderson, Wired Magazine
David Drummond, Google
Paul LeClerc & David Ferriero, The New York Public Library
Lawrence Lessig, Stanford Law School
Nick Taylor, The Authors Guild
$15 general admission and $10 library donors, seniors and students with valid identification
Tickets go on sale November 9
For tickets, call (212) 868-4444 (alternatively, you can click on www.smarttix.com)
I’m going to make every effort to be there. Spoke to PR and they informed me of the place change (the new venue is much larger) and got the information for how to get tickets. Oh, and I’ll definitely be there Thursday. If you’re going, let me know.
The Google Blog announces that Google Print has added a large number of books in the public domain, thanks to the assistance of several libraries. They don’t say how many they’ve added, but the full text is readable and searchable. Books still on copyright sre still restricted in the same ways. This won’t pacify any of the publishers suing Google, but it does help legitimize the project.
Search Engine Journal has more.
Google Funds Open Source Development Initiative
at Two Oregon Universities [read]
Talk of Sun-Google Hosted Productivity Suite: “Way off Base” [read]
On Google Print and Google Scholar [read]
Search Engine Watch reports that some German publishers have banded together to develop a rival in their country to Google Print, just a week after Google launched a German interface for the program.
Brad Hill reports that the American Association of Publishers has sued Google over its Google Print book scanning initiative, following suit (literally, pardon the pun) with the Author’s Guild, which did the same a month ago.
The AAP represents over 300 publishers, including some of the world’s largest: Pearson Education, Wiley, McGraw-Hill, Simon and Schuster.
Brad makes the correct point that even if Google’s program is a good thing, which the publishers may agree with, they still have to sue on copyright principle. Couldn’t Google have handled this at some point over the last year?
AAP president Pat Schroeder:
Schroeder: ”As a way of accomplishing the legal use of copyrighted works in the Print Library Project, AAP proposed to Google that they utilize the well-known ISBN numbering system to identify works under copyright and secure permission from publishers and authors to scan these works. Since the inception of the ISBN system in 1967, a unique ISBN number has been placed on every book, identifying each book and linking it to a specific publisher. Google flatly rejected this reasonable proposal.”
UPDATE: Fascinating. Google CEO Eric Schmidt had an op-ed in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. The Google blog reprints it in its entirety.
For some, this isn’t enough. The program’s critics maintain that any use of their books requires their permission. We have the utmost respect for the intellectual and creative effort that lies behind every grant of copyright. Copyright law, however, is all about which uses require permission and which don’t; and we believe (and have structured Google Print to ensure) that the use we make of books we scan through the Library Project is consistent with the Copyright Act, whose “fair use” balancing of the rights of copyright-holders with the public benefits of free expression and innovation allows a wide range of activity, from book quotations in reviews to parodies of pop songs — all without copyright-holder permission.
From the [New York Times] :
“Google said Monday that it had begun operating local-language sites in eight European countries for its Google Print program, its closely watched effort to make all of the world’s books searchable online, expanding into territories where it has drawn fierce criticism.
The Google Print sites - for France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Spain - enable users to search books provided by publishers in each country as well as English-language books in the Google library for which the company has secured local rights.”
“Google is planning to discuss the new sites this week at the Frankfurt Book Fair, one of the largest annual gatherings of publishers, agents and authors. A Google executive is also scheduled to take part in a three-hour panel discussion on Friday about the numerous competing efforts to digitize books. “
… and in Belgium, not a word in the papers about this. Perhaps they don’t think it’s that big of a deal yet? Maybe tomorrow they will