Publishers and authors are suing Google over its Book Search program (formerly called Google Print), which lets users search for terms within volumes. Though users will see only a few lines of text related to the search term, Google is planning to digitize entire copyrighted works from the collections of three university libraries. The publishers and authors contend that without their approval, that is a violation of copyright laws....
Google ... maintains that it needs to scan a whole book for its search engine to work. Successful searches will return only three to five lines of text, which the company says constitutes a "fair use," allowed under copyright law.
David Drummond, Google's general counsel, said the company's service allowed users to find books that are in libraries but no longer in bookstores, and that would otherwise go undiscovered by most potential readers.
[Allan Adler, a vice president for legal and governmental affairs at the Association of American Publishers,] and Nick Taylor, president of the Authors Guild, which is also suing Google, made several pointed references to Google's status as a for-profit company. "The issue here is indeed control," Mr. Taylor said. "It is the appropriation of material that they don't own for a purpose that is, however altruistic and lofty and wonderful, nevertheless a commercial enterprise."
Translation: Google is making money, so we don't care that it is improving life for both authors and readers. We want some of the money!