News Flash: Google Archives Copyrighted Content!

Lessig blogs about the Authors Guild vs. Google Print thing.

Cog criticizes Peter Givler:

Peter Givler, executive director of the press association, said that Google Print for Libraries “appears to involve systematic infringement of copyright on a massive scale.”

I have one question for Peter Givler: How, exactly, do you think Google makes the web searchable? Here’s a hint: Google does not, contrary to what Givler may believe, have an infinite army of monkeys who click around in their web browsers looking for your phrase when you hit “Google Search”. That would be pretty cool, but alas, infinite monkey armies are in short supply, and also monkeys can’t read. Instead, Google has a copy of the entire web on its servers, indexed for fast retrieval based on content and link structure. Actually, Google keeps many, many copies of the entire web on its servers, just as every web search engine has done since hoary old Altavista. And almost all of this material is technically under copyright — so does Peter Givler believe that Google’s web index constitutes “systematic infringement of copyright on a massive scale”? If so, is he willing to urge all members of the Association of American University Presses to boycott all Web search engines, since, after all, it would be immoral and hypocritical for them to patronize a service that so flagrantly disrespects copyright?