Lawsuit Hobbles Google’s Australian Digitization Efforts
It seems the lawsuits against Google concerning the legality of its Book Search project are affecting the search company’s digitization efforts outside the United States. ZDNet Australia reported last week that Australian libraries have withheld their collections from Google’s Books Library Project for fear of facing legal action from that country’s publishing industry. A high level official from the National Library of Australia is on record as supporting the project, but concedes that institution likely will not partner with Google while there is “legal uncertainty.”
The article doesn’t address this issue, but a decision on the merits in the American litigation may not affect legal issues over the Books Library Project in countries outside the United States, since copyright law differs in each country. In fact, one could argue that a settlement could have a bigger impact on the Project’s internationalization. Since the large companies that comprise the American publishing industry do business across the globe, these companies would have an incentive to persuade international countries to honor the terms and conditions of such a settlement.
Munir Kotadia. Legal Issues Delay Libraries’ Google Move. ZDNet Australia. March 20, 2006.
K. Matthew Dames. Google Shouldn’t Punt on Litigation. CopyCense. Oct. 5, 2005.
CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the law, business, and technology of digital content. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.