Brin Blasts Anti-competitive Arguments

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-10-09 Print this article Print

Brin continued:

"I wish there were a hundred services with which I could easily look at such a book; it would have saved me a lot of time, and it would have spared Google a tremendous amount of effort. But despite a number of important digitization efforts to date (Google has even helped fund others, including some by the Library of Congress), none have been at a comparable scale, simply because no one else has chosen to invest the requisite resources. At least one such service will have to exist if there are ever to be one hundred."

In this respect, Brin expanded on what he told reporters Oct. 7 while he was in New York with Schmidt. During a 90-minute roundtable with press at Google's New York office, Brin said the companies that are complaining about out-of-print books-Amazon and Microsoft-are doing nothing for them.

After reading that comment, Internet Archive co-founder Brewster Kahle wrote that his group opposed Google Book Search because it disrupted orphan works legislation that had passed one house in Congress.

"If Google were to abandon its attempt to grab these books for its own private gain, then technology companies and libraries could speak with a strong voice, speaking in unison, working together to get proper legislation passed," Kahle wrote.

However, Brin in his op-ed argued that if Google's proposal passes muster with the court and regulators, others-and legislation-will follow. Brin wrote:

"And they will have an easier path: this agreement creates a books rights registry that will encourage rights holders to come forward and will provide a convenient way for other projects to obtain permissions. While new projects will not immediately have the same rights to orphan works, the agreement will be a beacon of compromise in case of a similar lawsuit, and it will serve as a precedent for orphan works legislation, which Google has always supported and will continue to support."

Brin's op-ed was published one day after Google, authors and publishers convened with New York District Judge Denny Chin to discuss amendments to the proposal. Chin ordered the parties to present the revamped deal to the court Nov. 9.

Read more coverage of Brin's op-ed on TechMeme here


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