Thursday, September 3, 2009

Google tries to sidestep criticism of $125m book project; Guardian, 9/3/09

Bobbie Johnson via Guardian; Google tries to sidestep criticism of $125m book project:

Internet giant works to gather support from proponents of digitisation scheme

"Google today attempted to rally supporters of its deal with the US publishing industry, in an effort to combat growing criticism of the $125m (£76m) agreement.

In a press conference today, Google said its settlement with the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild - which was first agreed to last year - would allow millions of books to be digitised, proving many people with the chance to access information that was otherwise unavailable to them.

"The obvious social justice and social utility impact that the book project is going to have ... are getting lost in the discussion," said Professor Lateef Mtima, director of the Institute of Intellectual Property & Social Justice at Howard University, a pioneering black college in Washington.

He suggested it would help "so many segments of our society today who for decades have been left out of the communication exchange, who have been on the wrong side of the digital divide"."

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