Trouble For The Book Search at Amazon?
The Volokh Conspiracy seems to be a blog run by Eugene and Sasha Volokh and various other legal minds, devoted to discussion of legal issues of many kinds. On Saturday, Eugene posted "Trouble for Amazon's Book Search?" in which he reprinted an e-mail from The Author's Guild about Amazon's new full-text search, adding his own comments on the legal ramifications.
In his words, "I don't know whether their claims about the authors' contracts are accurate, but if they are, this could pose problems for Amazon. (Amazon would still have a decent fair use claim even if they can't claim a contractual right, but it won't be open and shut, for some of the reasons the e-mail below describes.) I leave it to readers to decide whether this shows that the copyright system imposes too many transaction costs on worthy endeavors, that publishers and other businesses violate authors' rights, both, or neither..."