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Searching to Preserve Dominance

A smartly titled post by Devereax Chatillion on the Huffington Post explores Google’s motives for developing exclusive rights to the digital library. Chatillion, an intellectual property partner in the New York office of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, calls out the search giant for attempting to lock in their search dominance via book scanning:

If the settlement is approved by the Court, Google will be the only search engine that will serve up search results that include the contents of some 5-10 million books — the books whose authors, publishers, copyright holders can’t be found or don’t want to be found. Because of the intersection of copyright and class action law woven together by the proposed settlement, no one else will be able to do that …. It means that Google’s ability to refine its algorithms for search results and its analysis of consumer behavior, interests, and needs will have a depth and a range that no one else can match.

The author is exactly right! The same point was made by the Department of Justice when the spoke of concerns over Google’s “exclusive access” to the book library and laid out in detail by the OBA’s own Gary Reback in his January filing with Judge Chin where he wrote:

Google will get an enormous advantage over its search competitors if it can support (i.e., respond satisfactorily to) tail queries that its competitors cannot.

Google itself has stated multiple times that they’re excited about the value their exclusive digital library will add to their search algorithm.

Later in the Huffington Post piece Chatillion goes further, noting that the benefits go beyond just the exclusive access to scanned books:

Google’s exclusive ability to map these books, and to observe how consumers interact with that map and the content that these books represent, would give Google a significant competitive advantage in the most profitable internet related market in which it is already dominant.

We couldn’t agree more with that or Chantillion’s closing comments that a truly private – and exclusive – digital library is not the way to deliver benefits to the public.

Originally posted on The Open Book Alliance Blog by admin.
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Written by internetarchive

April 9, 2010 at 12:16 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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