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India Objects To Google Book Settlement

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the hey-fellas-let's-talk-this-over-some-more dept.

The Courts 169

angry tapir writes "About 15 Indian authors and publishers, and two Indian organizations, have submitted their objections to Google's plan to scan and sell books online. Google's proposed settlement of a US lawsuit turns copyright law on its head, according to Siddharth Arya, legal counsel for the Indian Reprographic Rights Organisation, which licenses reproduction rights to books and other publications."

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This is atrocious! (2, Funny)

the brown guy (1235418) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977406)

My people will not stand for this, there are over 1000 crore of us!

Seriously though, despite not RTFAing, I believe that googles bookscanning should be an opt in and not opt out process.

Thank you come again

Re:This is atrocious! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30977426)

niggers eat jew penis, jews eat nigger hooknoses, faggots suck cock

Re:This is atrocious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30977752)

Thanks for the family reunion update, don't stay out too late.

Re:This is atrocious! (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977440)

"Crore" is 100k in "Indian". ;-)

Re:This is atrocious! (1)

the brown guy (1235418) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977488)

actually crore is one million, lakh is 100 000 :)

Re:This is atrocious! (3, Insightful)

the brown guy (1235418) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977494)

fuck im retarded

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_numbering_system [wikipedia.org]

crore=10 million

I guess my indian citizenship, excessive body hair, and profound scent will be revoked.

Just Hindu gods (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30977714)

I thought you were just counting all the Hindu gods.

Re:Just Hindu gods (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30979664)

Don't be silly, there aren't that many.

He must have been counting their arms.

Re:This is atrocious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978800)

I guess my indian citizenship, excessive body hair, and profound scent will be revoked.

yay!

I am happie for the wifie (speak with head shaking).

Re:This is atrocious! (2, Informative)

gavcam (120595) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977498)

actually a crore is 10 million

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crore

Re:This is atrocious! (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977512)

My bad, but crore I checked is actually 10 mil. What are you, some kinda bogus Indian?

Re:This is atrocious! (1)

the brown guy (1235418) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978084)

Technically an Indian, but born and raised in Vancouver. My french is better than my Punjabi or Hindi for example.

Re:This is atrocious! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978138)

Ahh the Punjabis who've invaded Canada and UK :)

Re:This is atrocious! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30977462)

Well, yes. It seems atrocious when there are local prints of any and all books (including new ones) on which no royalties are paid to the publishers. Heck, we just crank up our local presses, and print off any books we want or need... If you doubt me, walk on the indian roads where they sell books on streets, and you'll find most new books, not the publisher print, but local for a fraction of the price. Thank you come again.

Re:This is atrocious! (0, Redundant)

martas (1439879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978146)

opt-in, opt-out, i don't really care. i just want this clusterfuck to end already.

So how would opt in work? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30979042)

So how would opt in work? Would the author who is dead and has no relatives or recipients of the copyrights mail google and tell them the book is OK to scan?

Maybe they would email the entire world and wait until everyone in the world has answered "no, I don't own the copyrights" before scanning?

Deciding (2)

Sanat (702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977408)

I wonder what it would be like to have to decide whether to sell your book or information for a slight profit or have your information available for many individuals who could use it for their own purposes.

I personally would prefer to share information for the good of humanity and yet I know that their are those that are in it for the money alone.

Re:Deciding (3, Insightful)

furbyhater (969847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977442)

Thanks for letting us know that you are A Good Person (TM).
Some people might object of a megacorp using their creations for profit without even giving them notice.

Re:Deciding (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977696)

Some people might object of a megacorp using their creations for profit without even giving them notice.

It sucks when a doctor learns about new medical techniques and then uses them in his practice at an HMO.
It sucks when an Avis or Hertz leases cars built with the sweat and labor of plant workers.
It sucks when a scientist at Dow Chemical uses another scientist's research results as a foundation for his own research.

Re:Deciding (0, Redundant)

mec08 (1734462) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977978)

Thanks for letting us know that you are A Good Person (TM). Some people might object of a megacorp using their creations for profit without even giving them notice.

Agree !

Re:Deciding (2)

WegianWarrior (649800) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978078)

I too would prefer to share information for the good of humanity, but then I don't live of what I write*...

But Google should have gone for opt-in for living authors, or if the author can't be found, a statement saying they would like to get in touch with him/her so they can ask him/her to opt-in.

*)If you look around the internet you'll find most of what I written since school, available for the cost of having to endure it.

Re:Deciding (2, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978208)

But Google should have gone for opt-in for living authors, or if the author can't be found, a statement saying they would like to get in touch with him/her so they can ask him/her to opt-in.

Which would have the effect of making no significant change to the current situation, and the current situation must change for their to be any significant progress.
Make no mistake about it - the problem of orphaned works is huge and intractable under anything like, "opt in." For example, posting a statement saying they would like to get in touch with the copyright holder of an out-of-print work (the author doesn't mean squat under current law, only the copyright holder) will result in nearly zero responses because in many cases no one knows who the holder is, including the holder him/it-self because over the course of events like bankruptcies, mergers, buyouts, etc the details of the individual contracts for out of print works get lost really easily because there is no money in keeping track of OOP copyright ownership details. Even when the records have been diligently filed away, no one with access to those records is going to check if Google's request applies to them because there is no money in it. The records will just sit there moldering away until the records owner thinks they might be able to make money with some of the information in them.

FWIW, if I were trying to fix the current situation I would prefer to establish a global/centralized "opt-out" database, let google maintain it if they want to, and then anyone - not just google - can freely distribute anything that has not been opted-out. I'd also end automatic copyright assignment and go back to the previous system of requiring registration.

Re:Deciding (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977684)

I personally would prefer to share information for the good of humanity and yet I know that their are those that are in it for the money alone.

Like Google, you mean?

Re:Deciding (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977710)

Interesting, so I assume you work your day job for free then? After all why aren't you profiting your services to the good of humanity but actually selling them to someone? What about all the people who could use them but can't afford them?

Re:Deciding (1)

zippyspringboard (1483595) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977962)

I noticed you used the word "work" Would you consider owning copywrite on a 40 year old book that your father wrote as work???

Re:Deciding (2, Interesting)

SpeedyDX (1014595) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978184)

That's kind of a non-sequitur. The GGP clearly implied that if he were to write a book, he would share it for free.

As for the GGP: Some people write books for a living, and that's a perfectly acceptable career choice. Sure, if I come up with a very plausible epistemological account, I would want to share that information with as many people as I can. But I'd also like to be able to SURVIVE.

Let's say that I somehow invalidated the scientific method as it currently stands and replace it with some other method that is fundamentally different and is better able to arrive at truth (For the sake of argument, please allow that this is in principle possible). I think that such an achievement would undoubtedly add value to the world. Do you think that I would be somehow morally inferior if I wanted to be compensated for my contribution to human knowledge? I may not study what I study or write what I write motivated only by greed for money, but that doesn't mean that it's a moral failure on my part to derive the money I need in order to survive or be able to live a good life from the fruits of my study or writing. Same goes with people who write fiction or how-to guides or what-have-you. They are providing something of value at significant cost to themselves.

I don't know if you realize this, but it takes a LOT of time and effort to write a good book. Sure, a sizable portion of the author population want to share what they write to the world, but they need to live. They need to feed themselves, they need to feed their families, they need shelter. How is that a moral deficiency as you imply by your post?

As much as people around these parts like to say that information wants to be free (as in beer and/or speech, depending on who you ask), the fact of the matter is that the process of coming up with that information and writing and organizing it in a way that is clear and comprehensible is not free (as in beer). Money goes in for research grants, people put in tremendous amounts of hours painstakingly researching and organizing their data or information. These people contribute (some significantly, some less so) to the common good of human knowledge. And you don't think that they should have the moral right to some recompense for their investment?

I can't comment on the case proper as I don't know enough about the specifics, but your implication that it is a moral deficiency on the part of an author to expect some compensation when someone makes use of or otherwise consumes their work is ludicrous.

Re:Deciding (2, Interesting)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978200)

This is, I think, the most significant argument against copyright extensions. I have no problem with someone living off their own creative works. But when a corporation lives off the work of an individual long since dead, thats a sign of something gone askew.

If 95 years isn't too long, take it to its logical conclusion. Indefinite copyright extensions. Sound absurd? I bet I'll see it in my lifetime, bought and paid for with Disney's dollars.

Copyright was a grant to artists for the benefit of society. We get to enjoy their art years after they produce it. They get temporary exclusivity to make money off it, supposedly to produce more art for us to enjoy. It was a great idea conceptually. Kind of like a patent. The pendulum has swung far, far in favor of artists or corporations. Society is no longer a benefactor of the copyrights they grant.

The pendulum will swing back eventually, but not before populists takes over completely.

Re:Deciding (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30979164)

What about all the people who could use them but can't afford them?

Most day jobs are of the type where you're sold out - if you make 800 products, 800 people will buy at $50 and 800 people will buy at $0. It's just that their $40000 is going to you, so there's no net harm done.

Opt out is a valid option (2, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977420)

I used to get called every evening several times by unscrupulous companies trying to part me from my money. They expanded from just calling my home to calling me at the office, then calling my family. What started as a polite brief conversation in which I rejected their offer and asked them to stop calling me became a vicious conversation with yelling on each end of the phone. Hanging up had no effect since they simply called me back. Somehow my phone number was marked as Active and I was harassed incessantly by these goons.

But then I found out about opting out and did just that. Now when I get a call from these telemarketing agencies I make sure I get their name and then report them to the local BBB. It's nice to have recourse when I get called now.

So when an author with a handful of books and articles needs to write a single note to Google to tell them to leave them alone, it's not a terribly huge burden. For a bunch of people who make their living *writing*, what's the big deal in saying, "Hey Goog, don't upload my books. Thanks, Chief Breaks Like The Wind"?

Re:Opt out is a valid option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30977528)

Now when I get a call from these telemarketing agencies I make sure I get their name and then report them to the local BBB.

And how's that working out for you?
Are you under the delusion that reporting them to the BBB actually affects them in any way?

Re:Opt out is a valid option (1)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978916)

10,000 dollar fines if he reports a violation of the national do not call list.

Re:Opt out is a valid option (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977542)

Chief Breaks Like The Wind

I think they're the other kind of Indian. You know, from India.

Re:Opt out is a valid option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30977674)

Shh. Ignorance is bliss, and you're ruining his.

Re:Opt out is a valid option (1)

nashv (1479253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978574)

And might I add, the actual Indians, not those who owe their name to Columbus' navigational skills.

Re:Opt out is a valid option (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977748)

It's not about *leaving them alone*, it's about *not using their work*. To go for a Good Analogy: how would you like if the telemarketing agencies directly signed you up for the product without telling you? After all you just have to opt out...

Re:Opt out is a valid option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978156)

and how about when the next company wants to do it, you going to write them a note too? or how about the 10th, or the 100th? What google is doing is borderline criminal and definitely immoral and unethical. Opt Out sucks when you suddenly have to opt out of them stealing your work. If it is too much effort for them to try and contact the author then they shouldn't be doing this at all.

Re:Opt out is a valid option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978254)

Compare that to an opt-in system where you wouldn't even have had to bother with them in the first place ...

Communism! (5, Insightful)

schmidt349 (690948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977430)

God forbid Google should try to catalog, preserve, and make available out-of-print specialty books that are never going to get another run on the presses. I'm a specialist in a discipline (classical philology = ancient Greek/Roman literary studies) that depends heavily on this type of book, and I can't tell you the number of times I've discovered an old (like ca. 1960 or earlier) but important volume in a bibliography that my library doesn't have. I would kill to just be able to dial those books up on Google, but of course I can't because of bloodsuckers like these guys.

Eventually rare but important books are just going to start disappearing, and by the time the problem gets big enough that the right people are aware of it we won't be able to do anything. Thanks a lot, publishers, for destroying untold amounts of information. I hope it was worth it.

Re:Communism! (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977452)

Mod parent up. Bloodsuckers is the perfect term. Google is already giving them more then they'd have had otherwise.

The issue must be even more prescient in your field. The pain of watching a book about the library of Alexandria fall into disrepair would be palpable.

Re:Communism! (2, Funny)

atheistmonk (1268392) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977846)

The pain would be pulpable, even.

Re:Communism! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978754)

Oh, stop palpating your organ.
You've been waiting for WEEKS to use that word in a sentence, haven't you?

Re:Communism! (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978998)

Didn't realize palpable was particularly noteworthy... I have wanted to call a republican a misoneist...

On a related note, The symbol for the Dems is a donkey; What was the Rep symbol again? ... Right~~, a fear of change.

And before the bipartisan bitching starts, it was just a joke.

Re:Communism! (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978958)

Oh, well, if it's just about money, I guess it'd be fine for Microsoft to take the Linux kernel, close the source off, and throw a bunch of crumpled bills in Linus' general direction, right?

Re:Communism! (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30979284)

That is closing something not opening it. So the example you are looking for would be to open source windows 98 and pay windows for the opportunity. But the analogy still isn't even that good :/

Re:Communism! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30977600)

Why give this power just to Google? Give everyone the right to make unauthorized copies of copyrighted material, if the registered copyright holder can't be contacted.

Re:Communism! (1)

broken_chaos (1188549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978278)

Precisely. I don't think copyright is in anything resembling a proper state, but swapping it out with Google(R) Copyright (Beta!) is not the answer, not at all.

Re:Communism! (5, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977798)

Your problem isn't with people like this guy. It's with politicians who have pushed copyright into the realms of insanity. If works expired in 14 years, they would probably survive to enter the public domain.

Re:Communism! (2, Interesting)

SpeedyDX (1014595) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978216)

This is exactly right, I think. If copyright were held to some reasonable time limit, most works would easily be preserved. Additional changes to copyright could also work to ensure that any reasonably available works are preserved. If, for example, third parties like Google were allowed to scan and store the books without distributing or otherwise making use of them (other than fair use, presumably) until the copyright term expires, then it would allow the archival and preservation of works. Of course, this probably opens a whole other can of worms in terms of other copyright issues.

So really, the problem is not that people want to be compensated for their work (we all do - some of us code, some of us do constructions, some of us cook, some of us write, but we all want to be paid for doing whatever we do), but rather that systems of copyright as they stand are not striking a good balance (or ANY balance, really) between ensuring that people are paid for their work and ensuring the preservation and free use of works for the future.

Re:Communism! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30977848)

It's easy to call the publishers "Bloodsuckers" but you're missing the issue. As an author, I should NOT have to notify Google, or anybody else, that they can NOT use my copyrighted material. I already GAVE them my opt-out notice when I took out the copyright on the material to start with.

I'm all for preserving knowledge, but it can be done just as well without making it available for copying. Google can archive all the data on the planet for all I care, as long as they don't give my stuff away without me telling them they can. And I shouldn't have to run to a dozen, hundred, or million organizations to say they can't use it, if they want it, they can come to ME.

Re:Communism! (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977874)

What is your solution for all the orphaned works then? It is impossible for an author that cannot be contacted to opt in.

Re:Communism! (4, Interesting)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977982)

The solution of course, is registration and renewal.

To get a copyright, an author must opt-in by registering with the various national copyright offices in the countries in which he seeks protection. If he fails to do this within a modest period of time (say, 1 year after the first publication of the work, anywhere in the world, where publication is taken very broadly, or 5 years after creation of the work if unpublished), the work falls into the public domain. For copyrighted works, the copyright term is very short (say, 1 year from registration), but can be extended for another term if the copyright holder renews the copyright before the current term expires; if he fails to do this, the work falls into the public domain. And the number of renewals is limited depending on the class of work (e.g. software might have a maximum copyright length of 5 years, while a movie might have a maximum length of 20 years), letting the work fall into the public domain when it can no longer be renewed and the last term expires.

The forms for registration and renewal would always require the applicant to provide up-to-date contact information. This would be further strengthened by strengthening and enlarging the notice formality, using unique IDs for works, similar to how patents are handled and patented goods are marked. Not only would third parties have a good idea who held the copyright at any given time, but they'd also have a good idea of which copyrights were involved to aid in finding the right records to begin with.

This is by no means difficult for authors. In the US, registration and renewal, by various means, were standard features of our copyright system for nearly two centuries, and we managed okay. The paperwork is roughly about as difficult as a change of address form filed with the Post Office, and in any case, authors encounter plenty of forms in their daily lives just like the rest of us, whether it's taxes, registering to vote, getting a driver's license, filling out an intake form at the doctor's office, etc. They're not children, and don't need to be coddled. There might be fees, but they should be kept to a minimum, merely to avoid having people abuse the system, rather than to raise revenue, or make the system self-supporting, or to tax authors. I'd be perfectly happy with a token $1 fee per registration or renewal.

Re:Communism! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978710)

I'd be perfectly happy with a token $1 fee per registration or renewal.

So.. everytime you commit changes to a VCS, you pay $1 to register that snippet of code? Also note that there is a lot more countries than just one.

And how is this different from opt-out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30979170)

And how is this different from opt-out? Except it's run by governments (178 soverign countries last I looked) rather than corporations (three search engines last I looked, with a few pissant little places that couldn't afford this idea anyway).

Google should register with the WTO all books opted out, when they were mentioned and who said they owned it. It should also register all works it has scanned (and anyone else scanning books should be allowed to do this). Anyone in the world can contact the WTO registration and opt out and anyone can dispute the assignment of copyrights.

Paid for by the Authors Guilds around the world as part of the copyright responsibility for commercial copyrights.

For works not registered in the WTO database, you cannot assert statutory damages but CAN assert a revenue sharing system if your copyrights are broken commercially or require that the infringing work be removed. Such works should always carry the (c) symbol if text or movies that normally carry a copyright notice.

Yet this is, again, no different from what Google is currently doing, except

1) Google didn't have to pay the Authors Guild (these authors should go after the US guild, not google)
2) Google doesn't have to keep the list

BUT IT IS STILL OPT-OUT.

Re:Communism! (1)

cetialphav (246516) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978002)

What is your solution for all the orphaned works then? It is impossible for an author that cannot be contacted to opt in.

If the owners of a copyright are impossible to locate, then you can actually just infringe like crazy and do what you want. It is not technically legal, but if there is no one around with the right to sue you then there will be no downside.

This does not mean that it is easy to determine if a work is orphaned. Just because someone does not respond to Google's opt-out call does not mean their work has been orphaned.

Re:Communism! (1)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978182)

Actually it kind of does. How many books would an author honestly write? It's not like there are companies all over they need to be concerned about this thing with. Seriously, if they can't be bothered to write a simple letter saying to please take their work down, they either are a hack who no one will care to read anyways, or no one can lay claim to the material anymore. The person likely wrote a 300+ page manuscript, how hard is one more page to write?

Re:Communism! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978148)

Why can't google (or ) still copy and digitize all the books in question, but not release them to the public? Copying for copying sake (read: not distributing) should be fine in this case. And at least this way, when the powers that be do realize the importance of having a book published in 1960 available to the public in 2135, the copies will have already been created and preserved.

This assumes of course, data stored on today's media will still be readable in 2135, time travel has not been perfected, and that has not been taken over by the Pepsi-Cola Corporation.

Your tone suggests it's a bad thing... (4, Insightful)

peipas (809350) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977438)

Google's proposed settlement of a US lawsuit turns copyright law on its head

Good. Copyright law has been quite ridiculous for some time now.

Go you good thing! (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977654)

That's exactly my thoughts on reading TFA. Especially this:

"It means that the world has fundamentally accepted the concept that anybody, anywhere can copy what they want en masse without permission, and then ask people to opt out", he added.

I was thinking how great it would be if that was how it worked. If copyright owners basically had to contact the users and distributers of works and say "Oi, that's mine, either throw us some money (a reasonable amount) or cease, desist and delete."

Re:Go you good thing! (2, Interesting)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977672)

As long s the "a reasonable amount" is set by the Copyright Holder. They own the rights, and should be free to set the price.

Re:Go you good thing! (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977774)

Of course they set the price. They might be willing to haggle with someone who says, "I love your stuff and I can show at least ten people I introduced to your work who hadn't heard of you before, hows about 90% a discount" but they set the final price. I so wish google had got this through the courts without anyone really noticing...

Re:Go you good thing! (2, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978168)

As long s the "a reasonable amount" is set by the Copyright Holder. They own the rights, and should be free to set the price.

No, they do not own the rights - at best they are leasing them from the Public.
Since it is the Public who Grants the copyright in the first place, then the Public should have a say in the pricing too.

Re:Go you good thing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978356)

Hey I know, the public also pays wages of firefighters, etc. Let's just make them slaves so they have to work for 1 cent per day. What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Go you good thing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30979144)

Hey I know, the public also pays wages of firefighters, etc. Let's just make them slaves so they have to work for 1 cent per day.

Nobody is enslaving writers and forcing them to write OR to publish. They were free to write and publish before copyright existed, I think they would survive just about any modification of copyright including a return to a world without copyright.

Re:Your tone suggests it's a bad thing... (2, Funny)

DMiax (915735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977716)

Do not worry, the settlement will only apply to Google. You are still subject to death penalty if you whistle a copyrighted song.

Re:Your tone suggests it's a bad thing... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978214)

Google's proposed settlement of a US lawsuit turns copyright law on its head

Good. Copyright law has been quite ridiculous for some time now.

Yes. Its much better now that the law only applies to the populace and not to mega-corporations.

Wait - Sell? (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977448)

I've seen dozens of stories about this, and never got the impression that Google was going to sell the books it's scanning. I thought it was purely free searching and browsing, with google profiting maybe from contextual advertising.

Are they planning selling print-on-demand copies? For cost, or to turn a profit?

Re:Wait - Sell? (2, Informative)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977556)

Yes, they plan on selling/presently do sell the print-on-demand versions, very cheaply. I haven't had to pay to view any text on Google Books over the internet, though, so I imagine that should remain free indefinitely.

Re:Wait - Sell? (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977870)

The settlement in question which these Indian authors are so upset about was just about the right to publish excerpts though right?

Re:Wait - Sell? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30979452)

Google has a deal with some books-on-demand kiosk company to sell these out-of-print books via that means. I hear the binding is super-shitty, but if you could optionally get it printed on good paper and with some kind of durable toner (or whatever) you could have books rebound if you wanted to keep them. It might even lead to a cottage industry in bookbinding :)

As a Cherokee author (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30977486)

I have just unleashed my ditiyohihi on Google!

For whom the inconvenient bell tolls.... (4, Insightful)

Onetus (23797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977526)

Having read the article, it seems like a rather large whinge.

If you're receiving a royalty cheque for your books, then have whomever is paying you your royalty cheque opt-opt of google if you so desire.
Is it such a technical hurdle for a publishing company to indicate to Google that Books X, Y & Z are opt-out, or even that ALL books that they publish are to be opt-out?
Because if you're not receiving money for your books - why would you have any objections to it being available to all ?

Whom deserves the greater inconvenience? Those who actively publish books or those who can't find the authors (dead, recluse, one name among millions) to get permission. Which one of those two is doing it for a living and has the ability to do so? Imho we can't trust publishers to provide information/contacts for authors and books so permission can be sought, when it's a task that won't earn them money. It seems that slating it as an opt-out forces those who want to maintain their control must actively do so, and no amount of spin is going to make the complaint about having to do more as part of publishing seem anything more than a whinge.

All of the publishers *did* already opt-out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30977618)

It says in the front of all their books "Do not copy this book. If you want to copy it, you have to ask us for permission (and receive it) first".

Re:For whom the inconvenient bell tolls.... (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977652)

IIRC, if the author is receiving royalty payments then Google isn't going to scan their works and sell them. The opt-out provision only applies to works where the copyright holder is either unknown or not responding to contact attempts (the class of works referred to as "orphan works"). If as an author you've got works out there that Google won't be able to associate with you, it's your responsibility to tell Google about it. To me, that seems reasonable. The alternative is seeing a large body of work disappear because nobody can legally preserve it, which seems to me to be socially undesirable.

IMO the right response to the Indians is "OK then, what's your proposal for handling this? And it's got to allow for the preservation of orphan works in some fashion.".

Re:For whom the inconvenient bell tolls.... (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978188)

Also 14 authors/publishers does not make a lot of people for a country like India. Can't someone in India start a counter-petition? Acquiring more than 14 signatures shouldn't be too difficult these days. With a site like Facebook or its Indian equivalent, it shouldn't take more than five seconds.

Re:For whom the inconvenient bell tolls.... (2, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 4 years ago | (#30979018)

Opt out is NEVER a good thing. But appernetly Google can do so.

I got some copyright. That copyright tells that there is no opt-out. It is all opt-in. So if you, as a company, start to make deals I am not involved in that overstep those rights, you can be sure that I will complain.

What needs to change and can be done by governement is to firstly change the copyright laws. e.g. 14 years and after that it is in public domain. At that moment my rights are not violated and the company (or individual or whoever) can still index it to their harts content after that 14 years.

And to answer who deserves a greater inconvinience, that is easy to answer: the person who does not have the rights. And you are right that you can't trust publishers. However I also can't trust the indexer as they are also profit driven.

You do not have any rights of my copyrighted stuff. At this moment if I write something and have no desire to print more then 100 books, you do not have a right to make book 101, no matter how good or importand it is. If you want to read that content, you either buy one of the books second hand, or convice me to publish book 101. If you want to distribute the content, you better ask permission as you do not have it.

It is not that I am in favour of this system, but what you need to do is slove the cause of the problem, not give ne company rights to ignore my rights.

if copyright expired, this wouldn't be a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30977532)

copyright law already got turned up on its head when copyrights stopped expiring (well the technically expire, but the expiration date keeps getting pushed back in a way that nothing currently copyrighted will expire). One of the points of this being opt-out instead of opt-in is to preserve what is essentially the book version of abandonware. If this was opt-in, then books where the copyright owner was not known or disputed or couldn't be tracked down would not be able to be apart of the project. If copyright expired, then this wouldn't be as much of a problem since Google would only have to wait until the copyright expired before making it a part of the project. Since copyrights don't expire, this is the next best option (at least from their perspective).

the reason it's opt-out (5, Informative)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977636)

The reason it's opt-out is that there's a huge number of orphaned works out there whose copyrights are still valid but that can't be bought legally because they're out of print. The authors are probably dead, and the publishers aren't interested in communicating with anyone about the works, because the amount of money they could get out of it wouldn't be worth their time. Therefore it can't be opt-in. The copyright regime is having the effect of making these books permanently unavailable, which isn't doing the authors (or their heirs or their readers) any good. If copyright terms were more reasonable, it wouldn't be such a big problem, but congress has basically decided to keep extending copyrights so that they never expire. That's what's created this huge class of orphaned works. The only way to deal with the problem is to make it opt-out.

Some authors are complaining, after the class-action suit is all over, that it's unfair and they weren't consulted. Well, sorry, but that's how a class-action suit works. They have to make a certain legal effort to notify you as a member of the class, but if you don't see a notification, you're out of luck, and the settlement applies to you just like everyone else. Boo hoo. Go ahead and opt out.

Re:the reason it's opt-out (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977718)

Go ahead and opt out.

I really don't see the problem. If a Copyright holder doesn't want to be involved, they can opt out.

If the copyright holder is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30979076)

If the copyright holder is dead, how can they want anything? It's orphaned. It's not a human, so it can't want anything, and nobody owns rights to want anything and deserve to have it obeyed.

Re:the reason it's opt-out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30979084)

Yes very easy for a writer that doesn't even speak English and makes 20 USD a month to just file some papers (in the correct way) and have them sent to Google, and possibly 200 other companies around the world, in 22 different languages who decided to use your work... all you have to do is opt out...

Seriously, I agree that copyright needs to be reformed, but taking the power from the writer and giving it to megacorps isn't the way to go. Shorten commercial copyright instead.

Re:the reason it's opt-out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30977780)

Yes But I'm Not American - so why does your legal system grant google the right to my work for free?

Re:the reason it's opt-out (2, Insightful)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977828)

As a side effect of the same process that lets our legal system grant you copyright over your work. Namely, it's our legal system, in our country, and we can do what we like with it.

If China wanted to remove all copyright from anyone who isn't a Chinese citizen, they would be legally allowed to do so, largely by virtue of the fact that they are beholden to no-one. Legally speaking, this is the same situation.

(You can make a moral argument about it, of course. That's different entirely.)

Re:the reason it's opt-out (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978262)

You could make the moral argument but it would be mistaken.

I know a lot of eyes will roll but this is exactly the sort of situation where one can see, if one will look, just how critically important good semantic hygiene and objective morality are important to society. If "copyright" were a basic human right then these objections would absolutely be valid, the moral argument solid, and the legal change would be ultimately ill advised and damaging to the species as a whole in the long run.

However since the first is not true - since "copyright" is not a basic human right nor a pure derivative of such - none of the rest follows.

Re:the reason it's opt-out (5, Insightful)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978152)

The real problem is that this is a huge change to how copyright law has previously worked, and it's being implemented by private enterprise and a trade association and their associated lawyers without any actual involvement of an elected legislature or executive.

I'm all for the creation of a right to scan, archive, and make available orphaned works. I'm happy for Google to do the work and take whatever profit they can obtain from the market for orphaned works. (In fact, I think that if a copyright holder fails to make their copyrighted works available on Reasonable And Non Discriminatory terms, their copyright protection on those works should automatically cease. It should *never* be possible to use copyright to keep culture and knowledge away from public access). However, I think that right should be created by proper modification to copyright law, not by using class-action law to make an end run around the legislative system to create a monopoly on Google's behalf.

Re:the reason it's opt-out (1)

grepya (67436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978334)

However, I think that right should be created by proper modification to copyright law, not by using class-action law to make an end run around the legislative system to create a monopoly on Google's behalf

  That would be the right position to take if the legislative systems the world over were not simply puppets of Disney when it came to IP laws. If you think that an actual piece of legislation diluting the copyright holder's powers in any shape or form could get through, say, the US congress, you've not been paying attention. I'd rather prefer the "public square" approach that google has taken to bring some sanity to this process.

Re:the reason it's opt-out (1)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978536)

Sadly, I suspect you're correct in your assessment of US Congress (and most other ruling bodies).

Still, it would have been nice if Google's settlement with the Author's Guild permitted bodies other than Google to get the same deal for creation of digital libraries of orphaned works.

Re:the reason it's opt-out (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30979086)

The reason it's opt-out is that there's a huge number of orphaned works out there whose copyrights are still valid but that can't be bought legally because they're out of print.

This is not a good enough reason.

Here is the deal. Right now its just Google trying to get this deal set up, so right now you would have to contact only one entity (Google) and that doesnt seem so bad...

...but you can bet your ass that Google will not hold an exclusive here for very long, because that would be terribly wrong on so many levels (can you say Monopoly?) Microsoft will get in the game, then others. Before you know it, the author will have to opt out on a dozen different services.. then two dozen.. then four.. all of them of course claiming that they couldnt contact him... which brings up another question: How much effort is actually required to contact the owners of the work before its considered "orphaned?" My guess is NONE.

You can't make shit like this law. Its wrong. If you've got a problem with copyright law (as most of us do) then fix the law.. don't extend the problem by giving rights to Google that lets them side-skirt it.

The optimistic side... (1)

Asadullah Ahmad (1608869) | more than 4 years ago | (#30977690)

Didn't they consider that this will indirectly promote their works to thousands of people?

The proportion of people who would go to a library to read about something is getting increasingly small as far as I know. Any form of exposure on Internet will be beneficial to the authors in one form or another.

So, Siddharth A. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30977866)

So, Siddharth A., "legal counsel for the Indian Reprographic Rights Organisation" eh... Disobeying your father, stealing the ferryman's money, running off... And now you probably don't want my biography to be published either. Kamala must have been a bitch.

Indian Books (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30977928)

Yes because Indian books are in such demand worldwide. Im off to download a book right now on how to tie a diaper to my head and paint a dot on my forehead.

Google has some trouble (2, Interesting)

mec08 (1734462) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978008)

In fact, I support google . He just want to give more use-full information to people on the internet. But he has some trouble, not only in Indian ,Also in my own county,China. Good luck ! google !

oh-so-funny (1)

iamagloworm (816661) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978040)

this is amusing as india is one of the largest producers of copyright protected books, without license, in the world.

Re:oh-so-funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978314)

Right ... this is as bad as the US opposing global warming !

Re:oh-so-funny (1)

benxx (1240318) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978340)

Now, it's time to give the taste of their own medicine.

Re:oh-so-funny (1)

nashv (1479253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978620)

Based on what reports? I'd appreciate a pointer - mostly because in 23 years of living there - I've found the problem to be the opposite, and have cringed at paying dollar/pound-converted prices in rupees that are disproportionate to the average Indian monthly income. We know those books don't cost that much to print...there is a huge profit margin. I'd love to see Google digitize old books - paper is on its way out anyway.

the brown guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978076)

I think "India" objects to this deal about as much as the "USA" objects to China's censorship of the internets.

As in, not at all, because it's people and corporations that are objecting, not countries.

Objects in India? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978328)

Objects in India are going to Google a book settlement? What kind of objects? And why can't they use Bing?

Ultimate Max Burn (1)

stenlty (1734644) | more than 4 years ago | (#30978564)

Microsoft and Yahoo are the next largest global players after Google. After that are hundreds of smaller competitors who inhabit various niches. Ultimate Max Burn

Top 5 Annoying Things about Indian Dudes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30978940)

The Staring Habit:

Males all over love to stare at women. Indian males love to keep staring at women. They’ll stare you to death if they want to. You can try giving them ‘the look’ in the eye but no use. Somehow their eyes are rock solid, on target. They scan you from top to bottom and left to right. Their dark eyes scan every inch of flesh on you.

The Stinking Habit:

Indian guys stink, to the core. Guys this is a a wake up call. I believe that guys think investing in a 100 buck deodorant hurts more than investing in stocks. Every time a guy walks by and I can feel that disgusting body odor. I wonder if you guys even hit the showers every day.

The Peeing on the streets Habit:

This is not new. At any given time there’s an Indian guy peeing across the street in the public right in front of a sign that says, “Yahaan peshaab karna mana hai” meaning you can’t pee here. Just because you guys can pee standing up doesn’t mean you must pee everywhere. Use the public loo next time.

The Comment passing Habit:

Walk across a bunch of guys and your ears automatically gear up to pick up the sound signals. Every single woman in the country is so bloody used to these comments that it doesn’t bother most of them anymore. Sexually unfulfilled, testosterone charged males would make all sorts of attempts to prove their worthiness out on the streets.

The Over-friendly Habit:

Indian males tend to become over-friendly for all kinds of reasons known to them. Go to a public place and drop a pin, hundreds of men jump out of nowhere and battle to get that pin back to you. Then they’ll strike a conversation with you. They’ll want to know all sorts of personal things about you. They just don’t seem to stop. There’s a fine line between being a gentleman and being uncomfortably friendly. Indian men cross the line as usual.

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