Schroeder and Barr on Google Print

3 Nov ’05

Pat Schroeder and Bob Barr team up on an op-ed for the Washington Times today, with peculiar results:

Not only is Google trying to rewrite copyright law, it is also crushing creativity. If publishers and authors have to spend all their time policing Google for works they have already written, it is hard to create more.

The triviality of this argument should be an embarrassment to two people who’ve had such distinguished careers in public service. Time to do some house-cleaning on the staff, I think.

Update: Tim Lee notes that Schroeder and Barr err when criticizing Google’s intention to display only snippets of copied text. From their op-ed article: “The creators and owners of these copyrighted works will not be compensated, nor has Google defined what a “snippet” is: a paragraph? A page? A chapter? A whole book?”.

From Tim:

The answer is “less than a paragraph.” You can find that page by going to the Google Print home page, clicking “About Google Print,” and then clicking “view our Google Print Screenshots.” There are links to that page in several other places on Google Print’s web page as well.

Good grief. Poor staff work, indeed.

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