Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Time to Change "Book Search" Back to "Print"?

Book Search is now offering free PDF downloads of books in the public domain. While publishers can't complain about this, since they no longer have any control over these works, it's worth remembering that the previous name, Google Print, was changed because Google said it gave people the wrong impression:
Why the change? Well, one factor was all the comments we got about how excited people were that Google Print would help them print out their documents, or web pages they visit -- which of course it won't.
So the question is why the change back? The change to Book Search probably had more to do with avoiding a lawsuit from the likes of the Author's Guild (too late) and in strengthening its fair use argument (Book Search certainly sounds more "fair use-y" than Print). If I were better at reading the tea leaves, I would like to say that this suggests Google is feeling good/bad about the prospects of winning in court against the Author's Guild, but I'm not.
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