Seems like everyone and their uncle has opinion on Google Print, Google's plan to index massive libraries of books and make them searchable through the Internet for free. As a published author, I feel like I can speak with some sort of purpose towards this issue.
First and foremost, let's review what has people so up in arms. It's copyright law, plain and simple. The publishers don't like the idea of someone giving everyone access to their books' contents (simplifying a bit, but this is their basic argument). They say that it violates their copyright on books and Google has no right to do it. Further, they state that Google will be making money off of this search while they will not, and that makes them angry. They say that Google is effectively copying their works without permission and using it for profit. I think this is a stretch.
I'll probably incur the wrath of writers and publishers everywhere for saying this, but I think Google is in the right here. Are they being overly arrogant about it? Yes. Should they have discussed their plans with publishers before they started? Yes. Is what they're doing illegal or in violation of copyright law? I don't think so. Here's my rationale.
Copyright law is intended to protect the copyright holder from someone else copying and either giving away or selling their intellectual property thus affecting sales of the original. I can't photocopy a Harry Potter book and resell it; that would be copyright infringement. The publishers' main complaint seems to be that Google is copying an entire book without permission. The difference is that Google isn't giving away the book or selling its contents, it's indexing them so that others may search through books. You cannot print out a copy of the entire book through Google Print, which may actually entice you to buy the book outright.
There's even mention in copyright law about how it is legal for a library or archive to make one copy of a work so long as it is freely available to the public and not for sale. One could argue that Google Print falls under this exclusion.
The other argument from the publishers is that Google will be making money off of this but the publishers will not. Arguably, the publishers will because people will know that their book contains information they need, and therefore they must buy it. And why shouldn't Google make some money off of it? They've spent countless man hours, written software, and set up servers to handle all the traffic they will get. Don't they at least deserve to make some money for the service they're providing?
Overall, I think that the publishers are mostly upset that they didn't think of the idea first. I'm sure both sides can see the benefit of working with the other, as this could turn out to be a hugely useful research tool for people and a very successful marketing program for publishers. I mean, no more using that crappy search engine that most libraries across the country have? Sounds like a bright future to me.
You know, I proclaimed the Patriots game over after Denver scored on the first possession of the third quarter to make it 28-3. Still, I found myself suckered into believing that they could actually come back and win when they pulled to within 28-20 in the fourth quarter, only to fall short yet again. Those of us in New England never thought we'd utter this more than once in a season, but the defense really let the offense down. They gave up 21 points on three consecutive drives which each had a single play of around 50 yards. That is completely unacceptable!
And pretty much all three were as a result of Duane Starks not staying with his man or missing a tackle. That guy has me wishing for a return of Earthwind Moreland. It seemed that later, when we put in Randall Gay and Arturo Freeman, the defense started to come together, but it was a case of too little, too late.
The offense sputtered in the first half, but did remarkably well in the second. Brady had another great game, and Patrick Pass emerged as a legitimate running and receiving threat. But unless the defense can learn not to give up big plays...repeatedly...the offense isn't going to get enough touches to eek out many more wins.
I guess it's gonna be one of those seasons. Yes, the Patriots one yesterday, but barely so against the Atlanta Falcons without Michael Vick. Are the Falcons that good? No. It's that the Patriots defense is that bad. I mean, there were some bright spots, but no big plays. Here's the rundown in the traditional good, bad, ugly paradigm:
- The tight ends played a huge part in the offense for big points. Finally!
- The running game was back, with Dillon carrying for over 100 yards and Pass getting some crucial yardage in key situations.
- Deion Branch showed up and had some great receptions as well as drawing the big pass interference penalty at the end of the game.
- The offensive line opened up some big holes and did some good blocking.
- The secondary got burned way too often.
- The run defense allowed slightly more than 100 yards to a team that averages over 200 per game...but that's more because of Vick not playing than the defense playing well.
- Penalties! Way too many for too many yards.
- Asante Samuel missed big plays on at least two scores.
- The tackling is still not-existent. Wrap those guys up with your arms!
- The defense gave up close to 300 yards passing to a backup quarterback.
Yes, this week was better than last. The offense looked great while the defense couldn't give them any support whatsoever. This will be a long season if the defense can't get their act together.
As I'm writing this, the Patriots game isn't yet over even though it really is. I had to turn the TV off because it was making me nauseous. Is that San Diego picking apart our defense each and every time down the field? I don't even know the name of the San Diego punter. It seems like every time San Diego got the ball it was a touchdown or field goal. How could their receives be so wide open? How could we get no pass rush whatsoever? How could the offense, which seemed unstoppable in the first half, completely sputter and disappear in the second?
I'm taking nothing away from San Diego, they played to perfection. Many people probably don't remember, but San Diego was the first team to beat the Patriots three years ago when they didn't make the playoffs after winning the first Super Bowl. Cleary, San Diego is not a bad team, and today, they were a superior team. Looks like the NFL has gotten their wish: they gave New England one of the toughest opening schedules in the history of the league to try to knock them off of the top. Looks like it's working.