Trying to Avoid Google’s Fight

For as long as we get to keep a public domain, I guess. I still expect to see some fights, though. After all, it took a fight by JibJab to find out that the song at question *was* in the public domain: Yahoo to digitize public domain books

“If we get this right so enough people want to participate in droves, we can have an interoperable, circulating library that is not only searchable on Yahoo but other search engines and downloadable on handhelds, even iPods,” said Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive.

The project, to be run by the newly formed Open Content Alliance (OCA), was designed to skirt copyright concerns that have plagued Google’s Print Library Project since it was begun last year.

The Authors Guild sued Google last week, alleging its scanning and digitizing of copyright protected books infringes copyright, even if only small excerpts are displayed in search results as Google plans. Google argues that the project adheres to the fair use doctrine under U.S. copyright law, which allows excerpts in book reviews and the like.

Unlike Google, Yahoo will scan and digitize only texts in the public domain, except where the copyright holder has expressly given permission. The OCA project also will make the index of digitized works searchable by any Web search engine. Because Google is restricting public access to excerpts of copyright protected books, it is maintaining control over the searching of all the digitized texts in its program.

Slashdot: Yahoo Competes with Google in Book Scanning