Intellectual Property - Gprint  

The Google Gprint project

  1. What is Gprint?
    • Gprint is an idea created by Google to scan and index the majority of the books in libraries to make it easier to find which book they need to rent or purchase. Using the vast resources the company had amassed and the power of their search engine, Google would allow anyone to search inside of books and then show them an excerpt surrounding the term they searched for to make sure it was in the correct context. Google imagined a giant electronic card catalog that makes all the world's books discoverable with just a few keystrokes by anyone, anywhere, anytime

    • The Gprint project aimed to make the print world as accessible worldwide as is the internet. They would be putting tens of millions of previously inaccessible volumes into one vast index, every word of which is searchable by anyone, rich and poor, urban and rural

  2. The Conflict
    • The Publishers' Side
      Publishers and authors are saying that Google is infringing on their copyright by copying the entire text of these books into digital form. They say that "It's not up to Google or anyone other than the authors, the rightful owners of these copyrights, to decide whether and how their works will be copied"

    • Google's Side
      Google has said that they respect copyright by allowing any author or publisher to "opt-out" and ask Google not to scan their work, similar to how their website search engine works. Even for books they have scanned and available online, when searching for a term that is present in that book Google will only show you a small excerpt of where the search term is found. The rest of the book is restricted. Instead they provide you with links to purchase the book or find it in a local library. Google says that this in fact helps the author and publisher by helping people to find their book and purchase it.

    • Google Getting Too Big?
      Google has become an internet giant, offering services from searching, news, email, video, maps, etc. This allows them to collect information and statistics that many marketing individuals find very useful and pay Google large amounts of money for their targeted advertising. Google seems to be spreading into every corner of the internet. It even has blogging, image managing, and many other services it offers all for free. While many people do not see Google as a big threat, this lawsuit brought about publishers may be a warning sign that Google may be bitting off more than it can (or should) chew. Perhaps we should start looking closer at Google, specifically copyright issues like the ones the publishers are suing google over.

    • Google's Motives?
      The majority of Google's services are offered to the general public for free this is because Google's money comes from its abilities to offer some of the best targeted advertising. This means people who are only interested in a product see the advertising, this allows Google to charge companies more money for advertising. Google is able to offer this level of targeted advertising because it is able to see what information people are searching for, what they email, what they blog, and now what books they read. So while people may see these services as free for them, in the long run it costs them their privacy.
      Study Guide - Index of Topic