EFF's Concerns About the Google Book Search Settlement

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) notes that the Google Book Search settlement accomplishes a degree of access that litigation might have taken years to develop, but it also observes areas of concern: fair use, innovation, competition, access, public domain and privacy.

Innovation: It seems likely that the “nondisplay uses” of Google’s scanned corpus of text will end up being far more important than anything else in the agreement. Imagine the kinds of things that data mining all the world’s books might let Google’s engineers build: automated translation, optical
character recognition, voice recognition algorithms. And those are just the things we can think of today. Under the agreement, Google has unrestricted, royalty-free access to this corpus. The agreement gives libraries their own copy of the corpus, and allows them to make it available to
“certified” researchers for “nonconsumptive” research, but will that be enough?

Full analysis available at EFF.org

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