Canadian writers, publishers gather to consider Google book digitization

Canadian publishers and authors have been gathering at workshops to explore the legal ramifications of internet giant Google’s massive book-digitization initiative.

The sessions are being held in advance of the May 5 deadline for authors and publishers to opt out of Google’s plan to digitize 20 million books and distribute them online and to new devices.

Google began its digitizing project in 2005, with the Authors Guild of America accusing the company of “massive copyright infringement” and spearheading a class-action lawsuit against it. The company is digitizing books regardless of copyright, but only displaying snippets of those not yet in the public domain, claiming “fair use.”