Beyond Google: Orphan Works & Section 108 Reform
“Raise your hand if you know that Google is being sued over its Google Book Search project.
“Of course, you know about this – everyone knows about this. Google’s announced in December 2004 that it would partner with several of the world’s preeminent research libraries to make digital copies of their collections and allow the text of those digital copies to be searched online. That announcement was so influential that it instantly provided legitimacy to digitization programs the world over in a way that thousands of information professionals could not.
“The announcement also ruffled the feathers of select groups of publishers and authors. Some of them ended up suing Google for copyright infringement in a New York federal court. These cases are pending.
“The Google Book Search (“GBS”) litigation has captured the fancy of information professionals nationwide. And as far as legal developments go in the information profession, the GBS litigation – with its high-profile, “Do No Evil” defendant fighting the comparatively less well-regarded publishing industry, and theories of fair use dancing around lawyers’ heads – is the sexiest legal issue out there right now.
“There are, however, two other issues that greatly affect information professionals as equally as the GBS litigation. Both of these issues – orphan works and Section 108 – have been under review and consideration from various groups for most of the last calendar year. Both issues likely will come to some resolution later this year. And like the GBS litigation, both issues will have a profound influence over the way information professionals use, copy, and access information long after this year’s initial determinations are settled into law or policy.”
A Searcher exclusive.
K. Matthew Dames. “Beyond Google: The Importance of Orphan Works and Section 108 Reform to Information Professionals.” Searcher. September 2006. p. 21.
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