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Is Google Print Headed for Congressional Hearings?

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The Google Print story (specifically, the Google Print for Libraries aspect of it) continues to make headlines. No, not another lawsuit but this time a letter from the National Consumer League (NCL) calling for congressional hearings on the matter.

Highlights from the announcement:

In a letter to the chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary subcommittees overseeing intellectual property issues, the nation's oldest consumer advocacy group raised concerns about a forthcoming ambitious effort to catalogue the entire collections of four major American libraries. The letter, signed by National Consumers League President Linda Golodner, acknowledges the tremendous potential value in Google Inc.'s bold vision for the new initiative, in which the complete collection of works at the university libraries of Stanford, Michigan, and Harvard, and of the New York Public Library, would be scanned and made available electronically to the public. The Washington-based advocacy group warned, however, that the project, which will resume scanning on November 1, 2005 poses dramatic threats to the principle of copyrights; fairness to authors; and cultural selectivity, exclusion, and censorship...We do not doubt Google's good intentions," wrote Golodner. "But any database which represents itself as being a 'full' or 'complete' record of American culture as reflected in the collections of four major research libraries must, in fact, be complete.

The full text of the letters from the NCL to:
Honorable Lamar S. Smith, Chairman, Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property (PDF) and
Senator Orrin Hatch, Chairman, Subcommittee on Intellectual Property (PDF) are also available. Smart move for Google to have just opened a lobbying office in DC. (-:


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