3
Oct/05

Google and Opting In Or Out


An entity that doesn’t make its content freely available on the web editorialized on the Google Print project.  It noted that Google has adopted an opt-out rather than an opt-in policy for inclusion in the project in which Google is indexing full-text copies of books (but is offering only snippets that contain the searcch results – not the full text).

The editorial states that Google argues in support that inclusion in Google Print benefits publishers (through increased exposure).  The editorial then (correctly, in my view) notes that ‘neither Google nor its fans should presume to tell them [the copyright holders] what’s best for their own property.’

However, that point is relevant only in a good citizenship/good business analysis of Google’s behavior, and not, in my view, to the legal analysis.  By definition – if Google’s use is a fair one (and I’m not opining on that it is), the copyright holder’s permission is not required and Google is not required to offer an opt-in model.

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