Monday, October 19, 2009

Google's e-book plan slammed as 'hysterical garbage'; Sydney Morning Herald, 10/19/09

Sydney Morning Herald; Google's e-book plan slammed as 'hysterical garbage':

""Garbage" and "hysterical propaganda" was one angry reaction at the world's biggest book fair this year when Google, the world's biggest internet search service, defended plans to turn millions of books into electronic literature available online.

The row erupted at the 61st international Frankfurt Book Fair, a major annual literary event.

A literature professor from Germany's Heidelberg University responded sharply to Google Books, a massive project to give the world access to books otherwise hard or impossible to obtain.

Describing Google's claims as "just a whole garbage of hysterical propaganda," Professor Roland Reuss warned of a threat to traditional publishing, saying at a forum on the issue: "You revolutionize the market but the cost is that the producers of goods in this market will be demolished."

Google's head of Print Content Partnerships in Britain, Santiago de la Mora, responded: "We're solving one of the big problems in the world, that is books are pretty much dead in the sense that they are not being found."

"We're bringing these books back to life, making them more visible to 1.8 billion internet users in a very controlled way," de la Mora said.

Google Books is facing big legal problems in the United States, Europe and elsewhere around the globe over the key issue of copyright laws."

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