Editorial: Google’s Book Deal

Google’s ambitious proposal to scan, index and make available every book ever written promised a cultural revolution. Yet for all its promise, Judge Denny Chin of the United States District Court in Manhattan was right to strike down the plan last week, ruling that a settlement with the Authors Guild and publishers that would allow Google to put millions of books online without the explicit consent of their authors “would simply go too far.”Google, like anybody else, is entitled to scan and post books that are in the public domain. As for new books, most publishers cut deals for Google to provide access to portions of their new titles and give readers an option to buy a digital copy. The settlement, signed in 2005 and revised in 2008, covered books in the middle, those out of print but still protected by copyright.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/opinion/31thu2.htmlAlso see:Protecting privacy — and hindering competition?
The Federal Trade Commission’s action this week against Google and its Google Buzz social-networking initiative is largely a reminder that the FTC will crack down on companies that violate their own privacy policies. But the commission went an important step further: the consent order it tentatively adopted says that if Google changes its products or services, it must obtain its customers’ permission first before disclosing personal information to third parties in ways not previously contemplated.

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