I’m booking a seat for Google’s battle to buy our literary heritage

If you have any free brain cells next Tuesday, spare a thought for Denny Chin. He is a judge on the US district court for the southern district of New York. And he has the job of deciding a case which has profound implications for our culture.At its centre is a decision about how we will access printed books in the future. And, as you might guess, Google is at the heart of it. For the past four years the search engine has been systematically making digital copies of books in the collections of major research libraries and making these copies searchable on its website. Users couldn’t read the books online but could find out where a particular phrase occurred in the text.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/sep/06/google-digital-books-chinAlso see:US Court to test Google publishing move
A US district judge named Denny Chin is on the verge of becoming one of the most important men in the history of publishing. On October 7 in a New York courtroom he will preside over a “fairness hearing” for a deal between Google and US publishers and authors to put millions of books online.The 55-year-old Hong Kong-born judge presided over the trial of Bernard Madoff, sentencing the fraudster to 150 years in prison. The Google books settlement case is likely to send shockwaves even further afield.

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