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Publishers Paste Google

The comments come a day after Google chief Eric Schmidt defended the indexing project, called the Google Print Library Project, in an op-ed column in The Wall Street Journal.

"The program's critics maintain that any use of their books requires their permission," he wrote. "We have the utmost respect for the intellectual and creative effort that lies behind every grant of copyright. Copyright law, however, is all about which uses require permission and which don't; and we believe (and have structured Google Print to ensure) that the use we make of books we scan through the Library Project is consistent with the Copyright Act, whose 'fair use' balancing of the rights of copyright-holders with the public benefits of free expression and innovation allows a wide range of activity, from book quotations in reviews to parodies of pop songs -- all without copyright-holder permission."

Last month, some writers accused Google of "massive copyright infringement" for its plans to scan and copy books, according to a statement posted on the Web site of the Authors Guild. Former New York Times editorial writer Herbert Mitgang, children's book author Betty Miles and poet and critic Daniel Hoffman were also named as parties to the suit.

Google investors, awaiting word after the close Thursday on Google's third-quarter earnings, shrugged off the latest salvo, sending the stock up $3.78 to $307.06.

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