Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Google Book Lawsuit: Continued

A new group called the Open Book Alliance has just created a web site that states the case that the Agreement between Google,the Authors Guild, and the Association of American publishers should be scuttled. Members of the Open Book Alliance include: Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, the Internet Archive, the New York Library Association, Small Press Distribution, and the Special Libraries Association.

As I stated in an earlier post, I am against the agreement in its present form because it appears to grant Google an unfair monopoly, it short changes some copyright holders, and it may enable Google to track the published works that a user views. While I applaud Google for taking the lead on this initiative, Google should not be handed a monopoly just because it started the project.

The bottom line is that the parties who favor the Agreement will reap financial benefits from it while the parties who are against the Agreement may be financially harmed or may not benefit from the Agreement. History has demonstrated that monopolies stifle innovation and hurt consumers. For example, when Network Solutions controlled all domain registration the cost to register a domain name was exorbitant . However, after other companies were allowed to become domain name registrars the cost to register a domain name drastically dropped and more people were able to participate in e-commerce.

Copyright 2009 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.