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Google Video: Not the Google Library Approach

By - October 26, 2005


While Google is asking forgiveness instead of permission over in BookLand, in video, so far, it’s playing the opt-in game. Today brings news that it has struck a deal to run the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation archive of American Television interviews available for free viewing on Google Video (yup, that’s Mr. Rogers over there on the left.)

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4 thoughts on “Google Video: Not the Google Library Approach

  1. Dan says:

    John, I hope you realise that Google didn’t show up at Stanford and Oxford and took the books without permission (aka deal)?

    Same with video here. One question is whether they had to make a copyright kind of deal in order to play (as opposed to index) these videos. Nonetheless, in both cases it’s opt-in for full play/display of copyrighted stuff.

  2. JG says:

    But the issue here is not “displaying”. The issue here is “indexing”. And in the indexing case, Google is definitely opt-out for books, and from what it appears, opt-in for video (and “opt-not-even-gonna-touch-that” for music, but that’s the subject of another day).

    One thing that I do not understand with books is why Google even offers “opt-out” in the first place. Think about it: If Google truly believes its own claim about index-driven copying being 100% fair use, why would you let publishers opt-out of your index at all? Either it is fair use, in which case it doesn’t matter what the publishers want you to do (esp. when Google is not directly giving or taking any money from them), or else it isn’t fair use, in which case the entire Gprint program should be put on indefinite hold.

    Is this cognitive dissonance on Google’s part (just like they appear to be dissonant on the video vs. book “opt” policy), or am I really not understanding something here?

  3. Really good points JG. Google basically wants it all and is going to explore every option until so that all approaches are covered. You could call this “contingency planning”.

  4. Andrew S says:

    Dan, If Google truly believes that what they are doing falls under fair use, they should also be digitizing the huge video and music library that the Stanford/Oxford/etc libraries have…that’s a far simpler task than scanning books. It’s pretty clear that their legal/political folks think the threat from the publishing associations is much smaller than that of the MPAA/RIAA.