Google Library "falls squarely within fair use," David Drummond, general counsel for Google, said in an interview with PW several weeks after the Author's Guild filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the company and its library scanning project. "We are not creating a substitute for the work" by scanning the full text of a book," Drummond maintained. "We are creating an electronic card catalogue and to do that, you need to copy that whole thing."
Drummond firmly disagreed with the position of authors and publishers that the act of scanning an entire work without the permission of the copyright holder—and having that copy reside in Google's search engine—is copyright infringement, even if Google intends to allow the public to view only a snippet of the work. Drummond maintained that copyright laws permit Google to copy a work if that is the only way Google can "get to fair use." To make a snippet available, a full copy needs to be made, Drummond reiterated. He noted that when Google search engines crawl the Web, they are making copies of images that are then stored in Google databases, and he said the company is applying the same principle offline to scanning books.
Drummond said he was disappointed that publishers did not react more favorably to Google's opt-out, which gives publishers and authors the ability to ask Google not to scan copyrighted books as part of Google Library. "We think that is the right approach," he said. Publishers and authors have argued that it is Google's responsibility to seek permission to copy copyrighted works.
Drummond said that publishers should not be concerned that scanning books will set a precedent that could lead to a loss of control over their content. "We are promoting their works,not diminishing the market," he said. There is a clear line, Drummond said, "between what we're doing as opposed to someone that is developing software to promote illegal downloads. We want to help content creators monetize their work."
Google intends to "move forward" with scanning copyrighted works after its self-imposed copying moratorium expires November 1, and Drummond said he hopes publishers will support the program. In addition to helping give publishers' books greater exposure to the public, Drummond said, Google Library is a project that will benefit all of society.