Friday, November 28, 2008

Article: Is Google Deal a Setback for Rival Digitization Efforts?

Has Google stopped paving the way for others to follow in its footsteps? For a while, it seemed that it settled challenges in a way that were good for the industry, but this settlement gives the rest of the industry a hurtle. As quoted from the University of Richmond law professor James Gibson from a Washington Post op-ed:
The settlement itself is proof that a company can pay licensing fees and still turn a profit. So now, no one can convincingly argue that scanning a book requires no license. If Microsoft starts its own book search service and claims fair use, the courts will say, ‘hey, Google manages to pay for this sort of thing. What makes you so special?’ By settling the case, Google has made it much more difficult for others to compete with its Book Search service.
Has Google given itself a monopolistic advantage? Is this a decision that we will soon regret? Time will tell.

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