AAP Asks Google to Halt Book Scanning Until It Reviews Legal Issues

August 1, 2005
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July 1-15, 2005 Edition

AAP Asks Google to Halt

Book Scanning Until It

Reviews Legal Issues

NEW YORK, NY/06/21/05—The Association of American Publishers (AAP) has asked Google to stop scanning copyrighted books published by the association’s members for at least six months while the company answers questions about whether its plan to scan millions of volumes in five major research libraries complies with copyright law. The move was reported in an article by Jefrey R. Young in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The AAP made the request in a June 10 letter to Google CEO Eric Schmidt. According to the Chronicle article, the letter “stopped just short of calling for a “cease and desist” of Google’s Library Project. Allan R. Adler, vice president for legal and governmental affairs for the AAP, signed the letter, asking for a six-month moratorium to “facilitate discussion.”

Google’s library project, which many publishers believe is a violation of copyright laws, is part of a larger program called Google Print, which aims to make the text of books searchable online. A number of major libraries, including Harvard and Stanford Universities, the University of Oxford in England and the New York Public Library and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, are participating in Google’s Library Project.

Members of the AAP feel they have not gotten satisfactory answers to their questions about copyright infringement, and say Google has no right to scan copyrighted material. The AAP argues that making a digital copy of a book for any commercial purpose requires the copyright holder’s permission.

The letter asks for a meeting between AAP leaders and top Google executives. As of last week, Google acknowledged receipt of the letter but had not yet replied. Susan Wojcicki, director of product management for Google Print, said the company is in discussions with publishers, authors and other organizations to understand their concerns and “discuss the benefits of Google Print.” She also said Google believes the program is full consistent with fair use under copyright law.

The Chronicle of Higher Education is the No. 1 source of news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty members and administrators. Online, The Chronicle is published every weekday and is the top destination for news, advice, and jobs for people in academe. The Chronicle‘s audited Web-site traffic is routinely more than 10 million pages a month, seen by more than 800,000 unique visitors.

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