Friday, January 24, 2014
Google Book Search and Amazon "look inside the book" could have become relevant to COPA a few years ago
In editing the galley proofs for my “Do Ask, Do Tell III” book, I noticed an anomaly in the arguments that had been used to both defend and overturn COPA a few years ago.
That concerns the fact that many newly published books go into Google Book Search (link), which has itself been controversial from a copyright perspective in some circles.
This would hold for most self-published books produced through print-on-demand since about 2003.
Therefore, the argument that a particular passage or image might be “harmful to minors” and must not be available online in an “everyone” searchable mode but could be acceptable if in print only could not hold.
In some cases, it’s possible for authors to refuse to let their books be indexed (as a few have done).
Amazon’s sneak preview “look inside the book” could have run into similar issues.