Google Book Search and Plagiarism

This recent article from Slate states:

Given the popularity of plagiarism-seeking software services for academics, it may be only a matter of time before some enterprising scholar yokes Google Book Search and plagiarism-detection software together into a massive literary dragnet, scooping out hundreds of years' worth of plagiarists—giants and forgotten hacks alike—who have all escaped detection until now.

Google Book Search is an interesting tool, and its implications for plagiarism detection in our field seem clear, but I think more interesting are the questions it raises about intellectual property. It is possible that a digital tool such as this may reveal a hidden issue: the heated debates surrounding the borrowing and modification of new digital media are relevant to print as well.