Home » Amazon, Big Publishing, Copyright, Google » In Google Books appeal, Authors Guild decries Google’s impact on Amazon sales

In Google Books appeal, Authors Guild decries Google’s impact on Amazon sales

12 April 2014

From TeleRead:

The Authors Guild is appealing Google’s November fair use win in its Google Book scanning case. The Guild says that Google is “yanking readers out of online bookstores” and stifling online bookstore competition with its digitized books.

“Google emptied the shelves of libraries and delivered truckloads of printed books to scanning centers, where the books were converted into digital format,” the Guild’s lawyers said.

They wrote that the library project was designed to lure potential book purchasers away from online retailers like Amazon.com and drive them to Google.

Wait, what?

. . . .

Second, this is the same Authors Guild that blamed lax antitrust enforcement for Amazon’s domination of the online book sales market, called Amazon “anticompetitive,” and insisted that the DoJ antitrust suit against the publishers was only going to help Amazon.

Now they’re suddenly all concerned over Google’s impact on Amazon’s wellbeing? Seriously?

Link to the rest at TeleRead

Amazon, Big Publishing, Copyright, Google

25 Comments to “In Google Books appeal, Authors Guild decries Google’s impact on Amazon sales”

  1. I guess the Authors Guild has deep pockets (high dues?). Or is AG funded by a 5 ?

  2. “Google emptied the shelves of libraries and delivered truckloads of printed books to scanning centers, where the books were converted into digital format,” the Guild’s lawyers said.

    I thought they just checked the books out then returned them.

    • Yes, they did.

      • The way this is written, you can’t help but imagine jackbooted thugs in Hugo Boss uniforms dragging books out past a librarian’s corpse.

        • We all know that the library folks at Harvard, Yale, and the University of Illinois (the three largest academic libraries in the U.S., among many others) would be totally onboard to let Google haul their rare book collections off to some dimly-lit scan-and-shred den to…do something… :-)

          IIRC, the libraries get copies of the high-quality scans at no cost to them (and of course they get the original books back — Google spent quite a bit of effort to develop scanning tech and procedures that would satisfy a gimlet-eyed academic librarian that the books would not be damaged).

        • I don’t call 911. I call 683.4. (dewey decimal)

          The will get my Library Card when they pry if from my cold dead hand.

  3. I stopped understanding the Authors Guild years ago. I just wish they’d stop claiming they speak for all authors. They only represent a small subsection.

  4. The Publisher’s Guild position is that somebody must pay everytime somebody looks at even a scrap. Amazon is apparently paying for the right to let people “look inside” so they’re exemplars compared to Google, who simply assumed they could extend fair use that far.

    The risk here for the Guild is that a Google win at SCOTUS (where this is headed) would mean Amazon could stop paying for “look inside”. Which might lead to an amicus brief from Amazon. :)

    (Though Amazon has shown admirable restraint in both the conspiracy trial and this.)

  5. I’m flabbergasted. What will they come uip with next? Not that I support Google Books after they stole mine without even asking.

  6. April 1st was 12 days ago.

  7. Google’s library project was designed to lure potential book purchasers away from online retailers like Amazon.com

    If this is true, Google’s project is a massive failure because since the project began, more folks are buying books online every year. And they’re not all buying from Google.

    Maybe Google benefits from this project, but doesn’t lowly Barnes & Noble sell more books online than Google?

    Google may indeed be trying to lure customers but I don’t see that as a winning legal argument in this case.

    If trying to lure customers was a crime, all of us indie authors would be in big trouble.

  8. What on Earth.

    I feel like I’m falling down an endless succession of rabbit holes every time The Authors’ Guild opens its fat collective mouth.

  9. They wrote that the library project was designed to lure potential book purchasers away from online retailers like Amazon.com and drive them to Google.

    If that’s their objective, then Google must be unusually incompetent. Whenever Google books come up in my searches, they either have a link to the print edition or the ebook, and they link to multiple stores, including Amazon. I found some good historical sources that way.

  10. Google’s intent was to draw eyeballs to their book site to monetize it via ads. If the ads lead to sales, fine, but job one at Google has always been ads. Anybody clicking on an Amazon link to buy a book from Google books earns Google money.

    In that, Google isn’t too different from pirate sites who use content to draw in eyeballs and profit from banner ads and referral links. (One pirate site referenced at Telereads provides pirate epubs but links to Amazon for Kindle users.)

  11. AG knows that buying from Amazon is still buying, therefore money is still going to the publishers, therefore when it comes to no one gets paid vs. everyone down the line gets their ha’penny, Amazon is an entity to protected. It’s about who pays and who doesn’t. Also considering what % of books (physical as well as electronic) come fr
    Amazon now…they have to prefer evil zon to out and out pirate sites. Or Google books.

  12. Anyone know the annual cost of membership in the Authors Guild?

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