Author's Guild sues Google over book scan project
The Authors Guild in the US has started an action against Google over Google's plan to scan millions of books. Those books would be searchable by anyone, much like using Google to search the Web. Google says that while entire books are scanned, for books covered by copyright users will only be able to see limited portions of a book at a time - thus not detracting from book sales. Many author's and publishers are concerned that may not always be the case, and don't want entire copies of books to be available on-line.
There is some suggestion that the program has already boosted sales of some obscure book titles.
My personal view (keeping in mind that I authored a book called Legal Landmines in eCommerce, published by McGraw-Hill), is that for books that are still covered by copyright, I welcome the ability for people to be able to find it, search, and see snippets of it. The possibility of the entire book being available on-line to read without compensation is definitely a concern.
It will be interesting to see how the legalities of this pan out.