Roger L. Simon

Talking Points Memo (Authors Guild Style)

Since the Google Print controversy generated such a spirited discussion on here, I thought you would be interested in some talking points sent by the Authors Guild to its members regarding the internet behemoth.

Heading to a dinner party this weekend? Here are some talking points on the suit to share with friends:

1. Google is a commercial, not a charitable, enterprise. Google is worth roughly $90 billion, making staggering profits through its online advertising programs. Its investment in Google Library is intended to bring even more visitors and profits to its website and ancillary services. The Guild is all for profit, but when the profit comes from the works of authors, the authors should be properly compensated.

2. Google is scanning entire books, not just “fair use snippets.” Google is digitizing countless texts, your books, in their entirety — every sentence, every carefully chosen word — without your permission. That Google chooses to present users with short selections from your work doesn’t change that.

Read the rest here. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not currently a member of the Authors Guild. (I let my membership lapse not out of disinterest – I applaud the organization – but out of a combination of writers club overload and good old fashioned sloth. This link was sent to me by a friend who keeps his membership in good standing.)

UPDATE: Dartblog has a suggestion.