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The Authors' Guild and Google Print

The Authors' Guild and Google Print

Posted Sep 29, 2005 20:39 UTC (Thu) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954)
In reply to: The Authors' Guild and Google Print by vmole
Parent article: The Authors' Guild and Google Print

If that's a legitimate argument, then Google should be publishing the whole book, because everybody benefits from *that*, too, except for those measly 8000 authors.

Not to detract from the argument about good-of-the-majority reasoning, but when considering what copyright is for, we should always remember that the authors are not the primary beneficiaries of it, and therefore not the main ones who would be hurt in this hypothetical. While some people believe there is a moral right to profit from one's own creativity, that's not why copyright was invented and not why many people continue to support it. The ultimate beneficiaries of copyright law are we readers. Copyright is one way we get authors to write for us.

The system also has the effect of appointing the authors to defend the system and keep material flowing to readers by filing lawsuits like this. The authors, while technically guarding their own selfish interests, tend to consequently further readers' interests as well.

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