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Harry Potter Publisher: It's Time To Boycott Google

The U.K. publisher of the Harry Potter series is so outraged over Google's project to scan and make books available online without the copyright holders' permission that he has called for a boycott of Google. "Its quest to monetize for its own benefit the literature of the world must be stopped," he told a packed U.K. book fair.
Nigel Newton, CEO of Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury, is the latest to join the criticism of Google Books, in which Google is scanning books and making them searchable online without the permission of copyright holders. Google is being sued by authors and publishers over the project.

Newton is not impressed with Google's claims that only a portion of books will be able to be viewed at a time. Google, he says, is opening up a "Pandora's box," with the project and he says that inevitably, the next step is Google offering 100% of books for free.

"It must be regarded as likely that a subsequent management regime at Google will pressure publishers to allow it to offer 100 percent of text as battles for market share are joined against the other mighty search engines," Newton said.

Newton has it right. Google should once and for all end its Google Books project in its current form. If copyright holders want in, then scan the books. But if copyright holders don't give their express permission, Google should be hands-off.