The controversy is about how Google at first assumed it was OK to include any book it wanted in its search database, rather than first seek the authors permission. The modus operandi is now at the heart of two federal copyright lawsuits. And perhaps even worse, the discontent the practice causes among authors and publishers has tarnished Googles once sterling image as the company that "does no evil." "From a big company standpoint, its textbook arrogance," said analyst Rob Enderle.Because people only receive a couple of sentences at a time, at best, it would be quite the feat to extract an entire book out of Google Print, goes Googles legal argument. Also, Google has no intention of redistributing the entire book. Rather, its goal is to expand the amount and type of information it makes available. Predicting the outcome of the lawsuits requires a large grain of salt, but increasingly, people are giving Google less of a chance of wining the suit. One wild card in its favor is that its case will be heard by one of the most pro-copyright of the federal courts, where Googles motives and practices are more likely to be called into question. Google did not provide someone to speak to on the record for the story. Rather, a company spokesman pointed to its blog, where it vigorously defends Google Print. Read here about Google Prints impact on universities. "Litigation is going to slow the overall process," says analyst Enderle. "However, as these cases proceed, they will no doubt create case law that well be using for the next several decades, perhaps hundreds of years." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on enterprise search technology.
What shields Google, its legal representatives contend, is how it goes about distributing the book contents.