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Once Again, US DoJ Opposes Google Book Search

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the no-so-fast-there-cappy dept.

The Courts 218

angry tapir and several other readers passed along the news that the US Department of Justice has come out against the revised agreement to settle copyright lawsuits brought against Google by authors and publishers. This is a major blow to Google's efforts to build a massive digital-books marketplace and library. From the DoJ filing (PDF): "...the [Amended Settlement Agreement] suffers from the same core problem as the original agreement: it is an attempt to use the class action mechanism to implement forward-looking business arrangements that go far beyond the dispute before the Court in this litigation. As a consequence, the ASA purports to grant legal rights that are difficult to square with the core principle of the Copyright Act that copyright owners generally control whether and how to exploit their works during the term of copyright. Those rights, in turn, confer significant and possibly anticompetitive advantages on a single entity — Google."

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Yay! (0, Troll)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31033932)

Huzzah for delaying the inevitable future, fuckwads!

Re:Yay! (3, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31033948)

Its inevitable that google charges for other peoples still-under-copyright work without their permission?

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31033962)

Yeah I don't see how letting Google make money off of other people's work for which they are not compensated makes any sense whatsoever. Google has to play fair like everyone else with the copyright law.

Re:Yay! (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034034)

Why? They have periodical indexes. What's so different about Google?

Oh these poor book publishers and authors. Oh woe is them. I can search for subjects or bits of text and have results sent back to me including links to Amazon and B&N.

OH THE HUMANITY!

Give us a f*cking break with this nonsense already.

Re:Yay! (4, Insightful)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034282)

Yeah, bits of text, seems to me like excerpts. It's like google is generating an admittedly badly organized ( what do you want from ai? ) essay in response to a query. That essay is the search results and text excerpts. These are clearly referenced as being quoted and like you said, more than a bibliography is given, frikken links to buy the stuff is given. It would seem to me to clearly fall under fair use.

Re:Yay! (1)

Aeros (668253) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034544)

But the authors and publishers should get paid for their work correct? I have several titles that I wrote years ago on there and I actually would have had no problem with having them add them for free (my publisher might differ on that). They are all computer books that I feel would be great to give back to the community. But for them to just go out and assume they can do it kind of pissed me off.

You DID get paid for your work, correct? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31035188)

You DID get paid for your work, correct? therefore why do you want to get paid for someone else's work? I take it that what you'll be fine with is if Google charge you for their copying up front and transfer and pay you a proportion of the revenues they get from your work. You wouldn't want to steal someone else's hard work would you?

And you're pissed off they didn't ask.

Well how do you know they did? Or could? After all I can't see any books with author: Aeros on google book search.

And remember, you can just assert your copyright and ask google not to copy them.

If Google just didn't ask ANYONE, then you'd STILL have to complain to Google about copyright infringement, so what's the problem with doing it now?

Re:Yay! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31033974)

No, it is inevitable that someone is going to eventually do this.

While I fully understand where the copyright holders are coming from, why not work with Google and strike a deal instead of just saying no?

I know, I know...it was a knee-jerk reaction. Still, I feel like this is a missed opportunity for the publishers and the public.

Re:Yay! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31034018)

Because Google just took it upon themselves to violatie other people's copyrights without even consulting with the authors and publishers?

To put it a way the slashtards might understand. Imagine if some company took a bunch of copyrighted GPL code and stripped it of it's original copyright and license because maybe the original author(s) couldn't be found and then slapped a brand new license. And then after getting caught doing this the company gets some bogus settlement where it's decided that other orphaned GPL code's authors only have some arbitrary short time to come forth otherwise this company will take their work and do the same. Then imagine there is a backlash against this from the OSS community. Would you be going on andd on about how the OSS community should be striking a deal instead of saying no? Would be you claiming they are "missing" some opportunity as well?

A work lost versus a work preserved... (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034168)

Why is it that the copyright maximalists always have to resort to LYING to make a point?

Companies engage in this nonsense all the time. All anyone ever asks of them is that they
comply with the license as soon as someone steps up and tells them to. These companies
don't just use "orphan" works, they use works very well knowning that they are actively
maintained and "belong to someone else".

Yet the all the community at large ever asks of them is to come into compliance.

So from the GPL compliance point of view, there's nothing out of the ordinary with what Google's doing.

Even from the point of view of "orphaned" works, the only entity that ever has standing to persue a
GPL enforcement suit is the "actual owner" or author of the work. This is why the GPL asks for
assignment over to them. Otherwise, they may be no one around that can legally complain when a GPL
work is violated.

On the one hand, Google could end up stealing a few pennies from someone that
can't be bothered to keep their work available. On the other hand, Google is
ensuring that the relevant work is kept around.

What do friends and defenders of literature value more: a few pennies or the actual work?

Re:A work lost versus a work preserved... (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 4 years ago | (#31035202)

On the one hand, Google could end up stealing a few pennies from someone that
can't be bothered to keep their work available. On the other hand, Google is
ensuring that the relevant work is kept around.

It isn't a monetary issue. If the copyright holder wants their work to languish in obscurity, it's within their rights to require that of potential distributors. Until the copyright expires, they have the full right to control how it's disseminated. And it defaults to 'hands off.'

Re:Yay! (4, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034030)

If Google wants to strike a deal with me, then why are they litigating with other people?

No, Google does not want to strike a deal over my rights with me. Google wants to strike a deal over my rights with those other people.

This is slashdot. We think that copyright terms are way too long and so forth. This isnt the solution.

So what books do you have? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31035126)

So what books do you have? Any? Are they being copied by Google for this?

Re:Yay! (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31035284)

What google really wants is for books to have the equivalent of "mechanical licensing" that other IP works have.

However, they can't create it by negotiating with a million people, they can only create it by being sued and having the decision go their way and the lawmakers finding this intolerably vague and deciding put it on paper.

Same thing happened with radio royalties, rebroadcasting OTA on cable, and ring tones; and is currently happening with drug patents in poorer countries.

Re:Yay! (2, Interesting)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034110)

The problem is there are lots of books out there where it is not reasonably practical to get in touch with the copyright holder. Hell with some of them the copyright holder probablly doesn't even know they own it (BTW does anyone what happens legally to a copyright a company owns but doesn't know they own when said company goes bankrupt?).

IIRC Google decided to make such books available anyway claiming that doing so was fair-use (a somewhat tenuous claim) and someone sued them over it, got the case made a class action and tried to settle the case in a very pro-Google way.

I really wonder if they initiated the class action deliberately to let them get things settled in Googles' favour, if they did then it's a blatant abuse of the class action system.

Re:Yay! (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31035216)

If the companies buying the assets of the failed company do their work, it transfers. Otherwise it falls into limbo and no-one can legally do anything with it until copyright expires.

Re:Yay! (5, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31033964)

The inevitable future being what? That of one where anyone can circumvent copyright (or indeed any other property law by extension) by making an agreement with a body that purports to represent an entire industry, but has no agreement with most of those supposedly represented?

Re:Yay! (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034014)

The inevitable future where most if not all major (and likely minor) written works are available digitally.

The book industry is acting just like the music industry was in the early 2000's. Publishers should try to work with google instead of against them. It's in their (and the public's) best interest.

Re:Yay! (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034048)

What do the publishers have to do with my copyright?

Re:Yay! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034104)

If you are independently published, absolutely nothing.

Re:Yay! (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034116)

Even if I used a publisher at one time, I can still hold the copyright. Thats between me and the publisher, not between me, the publisher, and google.

Re:Yay! (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034148)

It could be my ignorance of the way the industry works (which is most likely), but what I'm getting at is this could be used as another avenue for income. What Google did was wrong, yes...but there is still money to be made (not to mention the public gaining even more access to information.)

I'm just curious why people want to shut it down instead of shaping it to work to their advantage. Right now, no one is benefiting...but everyone could be.

Re:Yay! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31034284)

Because Google is ignoring thousands upon thousands of people's copyrights who weren't part of the or reprensented by the publishing guild they made the deal with?

Re:Yay! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034306)

So instead of striking a deal forcing google to not ignore those copyrights and let everyone make some money, you want to force google to not ignore those copyrights and let no one make money?

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31034450)

So instead of striking a deal forcing google to not ignore those copyrights and let everyone make some money, you want to force google to not ignore those copyrights and let no one make money?

Yes. I guess I missed the part where it was owed to Google to make money off of other people's copyrighted works.

Re:Yay! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034488)

I think you misunderstood what I was saying.

Right now, they are trying to shut down Google's ability to do this. Instead of trying to shut it down, why not hammer out an agreement with Google that requires money up front or a portion of the money generated when someone views their content? Or, even better, with links to where someone can buy the thing.

Google makes a little extra, publishers make a little extra and/or get more eyeballs on webpages where their stuff can be bought, and subsequently authors make a little extra. I fail to see what would be wrong with that.

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31034760)

Right now, they are trying to shut down Google's ability to do this.

Boohoo.

Instead of trying to shut it down, why not hammer out an agreement with Google that requires money up front or a portion of the money generated when someone views their content?

Because for a vast number of the books they are going to scan and make money off of Google isn't going to pay them money? Google settle with the Author's Guild that doesn't represent any and all authors whose works Google wants to scan and make money off of. But Google still thinks they should have the right to ignore the copyrights on those books.

Google makes a little extra, publishers make a little extra and/or get more eyeballs on webpages where their stuff can be bought, and subsequently authors make a little extra. I fail to see what would be wrong with that.

What you fail to see wrong is not all authors whose works are going up WILL see money.

Re:Yay! (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31035062)

Google's original plan was to pay everyone. Basically they'd go ...

"Hey, this book has been out of print for 45 years the author is dead and there are only a few hundred copies left on the planet. Lets scan it. Then let anyone who wants it dl it.... but it is copywritten, how about we charge people to dl it. With that we will pay the author money they certainly wouldn't be making otherwise. Hell, lets even throw in some extra money for when we put up each book as well.
And we'll email/phone/mail/fax every person we can find that owns copyrights telling them this. If they are alive and give a shit then they can ask us to take it down. Or they can take our money. Everyone wins, tons of books available for all."

Google books is likely to be a major loss leader, it is there to keep books from a near certain doom. Also in regards to copyright law, you are supposed to defend your copyright. If you don't defend it no one will do it for you. So if you are an author and your shit is up their without your permission. You can likely take Google to court. BUT! Because google has a very very easy opt out system in which they STILL pay you even then the initial 60$ or so. It will probably be hell to get a landslide victory. The courtcase protects Google a bit further, from people signed up to the writers guild or w/e.

Re:Yay! (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034298)

First off, let me say that I agree with your post; however, for argument's sake, I'll play devil's advocate. How can putting my "hard work" online for anyone to view at their leisure benefit me financially?

Re:Yay! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034400)

For the same reason I put some of my music online at no charge and with no DRM: Free exposure. [livingwithanerd.com]

Sure, a bunch of people will download it and not buy the album (when it becomes available)...but they still know my name and are aware of my work. That's as valuable as a sale, just in a less tangible way.

Re:Yay! (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034532)

I specifically put the word financially in there knowing this would be the first response. This isn't about popularity, recognition, fame, fan-base, etc. This is about the money side of things, and I'm asking why any professional writer who lives by selling his written work would make a decision to give his work to the world for free.

Re:Yay! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034574)

I specifically put the word financially in there knowing this would be the first response. This isn't about popularity, recognition, fame, fan-base, etc. This is about the money side of things, and I'm asking why any professional writer who lives by selling his written work would make a decision to give his work to the world for free.

You are implying popularity, recognition, fame, fan-base, etc. have nothing to do with making more money as a professional writer.

Do you really need me to point out what is wrong with that implication?

Re:Yay! (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034726)

Yes, please point out what is wrong with my implication.

Write a book, keep tight control, make profit on its sales = $X.
Write another book, put it online for free, make profit on its sales > $X.

Is that really what you're saying? I'm genuinely curious, not trying to be an idiot.

Re:Yay! (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034872)

I neglected to mention another thing I'm thinking. I understand where you're coming from -- give something out for free, get the recognition, and be able to sell more... IN THE FUTURE. Giving something away gives people no incentive to purchase that specific product. Giving something away would, perhaps, give people the incentive to purchase a product released by you for sale in the future. I agree with this, but to stand by this argument through hell and high water is to imply that every aspiring New York Times best selling author should release their first work for free, in full. Fundamentally, this theory is somewhat contrary to the structure of the IP industry and capitalism in general.

Re:Yay! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034920)

I neglected to mention another thing I'm thinking. I understand where you're coming from -- give something out for free, get the recognition, and be able to sell more... IN THE FUTURE. Giving something away gives people no incentive to purchase that specific product. Giving something away would, perhaps, give people the incentive to purchase a product released by you for sale in the future. I agree with this, but to stand by this argument through hell and high water is to imply that every aspiring New York Times best selling author should release their first work for free, in full. Fundamentally, this theory is somewhat contrary to the structure of the IP industry and capitalism in general.

Take a look at the New York Times best seller list. How many obscure, non-promoted authors do you see on there? Hardly any, if any. These are people that have the full force of a major publication house to advertise their book.

Independent or smaller writers, even those on a major publisher, don't have that same luxury. All advertising costs something...what more effective advertising is there than giving people a portion of your work for free?

Re:Yay! (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31035086)

You began by seemingly advocating the unlimited distribution of copyrighted work for the sake of selling more products. You ended by advocating a powerful (but optional) path to popularity, a useful business model, and consequently increased sales. In my opinion, I would consider the debate ended due to mutual understanding finally peeking over the horizon.

My problem was with someone saying, "oh no! This is good for the writers; give it out for free and they'll sell more," rather than, "it should be the artist/writer's choice whether to use a business model incorporating 'freebies' that is capable of increasing sales in the future, and this is a good avenue for them to do it." As a ghost writer by profession, I agree with the latter but disagree with the former. Feel me?

Re:Yay! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31035156)

As a ghost writer by profession, I agree with the latter but disagree with the former. Feel me?

As someone just getting into freelance writing as a way to earn a little extra money to pad my savings account, absolutely :-)

Re:Yay! (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034876)

Yes, please point out what is wrong with my implication.

Write a book, keep tight control, make profit on its sales = $X.
Write another book, put it online for free, make profit on its sales > $X.

Is that really what you're saying? I'm genuinely curious, not trying to be an idiot.

Say you are either an obscure or not a top-shelf author. The publisher isn't going to spend a bunch of money on promoting you, so you are left to get your name out there. The hardest part about being a writer is getting people to recognize your name and read your work.

Fans will buy what you write no matter what, but you have to get the fans before that can happen. Slashdot favorite Wil Wheaton [typepad.com] is a great example of this. He makes the majority of his income from book and audio book sales...yet try to find his work on torrent sites. You will be suprised at how little of his work is pirated. This is because people love what he does and understand that their support enables him to care for his family. His books have gotten slightly more expensive over the years, because his fans are willing to pay for his work. He still gives away a TON of content at very little or no cost. His audio production diary from Criminal Minds [lulu.com] is a good example of this. It was originally a free blog post, people enjoyed it, and now he can charge money for it.

In summary:

Write a book, sell it = sales
Write another book, put it online for free = exposure
Write another book after the increased exposure, sell it = more sales than your first book.

Making a portion of your work available for free increases the number of people that it will reach, since people don't have to spend money to see if they like what you do. Exposure is basically free advertising. Given what it costs to properly and professionally promote your work, giving some of it away for free is the cheapest and most effective form of advertising you could possibly engage in.

Re:Yay! (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31035080)

They put orphan works up for a price. Google will then hunt you down and PAY YOU for the privilege, an initial sum and then money each sale.

Re:Yay! (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31035152)

What Google did was wrong, yes...but there is still money to be made (not to mention the public gaining even more access to information.)

Here's an idea. Why doesnt Google make me an offer, either a blanket opt-in or personally to me, and then I can accept or reject said offer.

This doesnt require changing any laws. If there is money to be made, then surely they can make an offer that will be beneficial to both of us.

If Google was so concerned with preserving older works that arent being published, there would be an ad on all their services saying "Are you an author? Google would like to publish your old works. Click here to see our offer"

But no.. thats exactly not what Google has done.. instead they started copying every book that they could get their hands on with complete disregard for anyones rights.

Re:Yay! (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 4 years ago | (#31035248)

I'm just curious why people want to shut it down instead of shaping it to work to their advantage.

'Working to their advantage' could include totally barring further distribution of a work. You might be a famous author, but you wrote some terrible drivel when you were younger. You might want there only to be 240 copies of that early work on acidic pulp paper and crumbling to dust. And it's your right to limit your work's distribution to 240 copies. The individual rights of the creator trump these purported 'collective rights' to the creators work. Nobody is a slave to society.

This is The Big Dance (2, Informative)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034448)

The book industry is acting just like the music industry was in the early 2000's. Publishers should try to work with google instead of against them. It's in their (and the public's) best interest.

Substitute "Napster" for "Google" in your statement to see how wrong it is.

Everyone on both sides know the digital transmogrification of the book publishing industry is inevitable. But Google has been the Barbarian at the Tea Party, acting like submission to Mountain View was the best and only route authors and publishers could take. In walks Jobs, looking all natty with his turtleneck and iPad, with whispered promises of doing for the publishing industry with his blend of sleek device and e-commerce what he did for music. Then there's Amazon and Sony, both with vested interests in not killing the golden e-goose of digital book retailing. Google doesn't want this to play out, they're looking to brute-force their way in. Too fuckin' bad, sez me.

As a writer and a reader, I've got no problem with the iTunes-ification of publishing. As a consumer and a citizen, Google scares the hell out of me.

Re:This is The Big Dance (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034546)

Substitute "Napster" for "Google" in your statement to see how wrong it is.

OK. Here it is.

The music industry should try to work with Napster instead of against them. It's in their (and the public's) best interest.

...you do realize that the music industry did everything in their power to get Napster shut down, and now sells music THROUGH Napster, yes?

So, if anything, substituting "Napster" for "Google" just makes my statement more right.

Re:This is The Big Dance (2, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034828)

First of all the Napster of now and the Napster of old have nothing to do with each other other than the name. Secondly, why should Google be rewarded with exclusive rights to books, which the authors has to opt-out of Google getting, after blatantly ignoring other people's copyrights? This isn't even getting into the fact that not even all the authors that Google will be making money off of will get anything out of this.

Re:This is The Big Dance (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31035052)

First of all the Napster of now and the Napster of old have nothing to do with each other other than the name

Are you trying to say that using the Napster name didn't have a hand in the new service's success? If you are, I disagree.

, why should Google be rewarded with exclusive rights to books, which the authors has to opt-out of Google getting, after blatantly ignoring other people's copyrights?

They shouldn't.

This isn't even getting into the fact that not even all the authors that Google will be making money off of will get anything out of this.

This is where my original point came in. What google did was messed up, I agree with that. However, by doing this, publishers and authors are shutting out an additional avenue for potential revenue and sales. Why would they deliberately do that? How is it a good idea to shut down more ways to earn money instead of coming to an agreement where everyone benefits?

Re:Yay! (3, Insightful)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034090)

Property laws and Copyright laws are mutually exclusive. We could completely nullify all copyrights without having any effect on property laws whatsoever.

There is no need for intellectual property anymore. Information is moving and changing to fast. If you lock something up in a patent or have it copyrighted derivative works are set back half a generation or more. Intellectual property laws need a full overhaul to address the change in technology and how information is spread. Personally I don't believe we need any intellectual property restrictions at all; I believe they do more harm than good. I believe that people could fully share all knowledge with each other and that there would still be a market for using that knowledge as a service or to produce a good. I think we should still cite the original creators of the knowledge, but that it should be free to all. We should give credit to the authors of knowledge, but at the same time they shouldn't be able to horde and monopolize knowledge.

Re:Yay! (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034334)

If only the rest of the world believed what you do, it might work. The problem is that not even a majority of the world believes that; in fact, they believe quite the opposite. Care to elaborate on some real-world circumstances and applications, rather than spewing ideology?

PS: I agree with you; once again, playing devil's advocate to learn a bit more from the people posting here.

Slashdot hypocrites (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31034162)

This is Slashdot, IP is "phony" property - unless it's someone violating the GPL, then IP is a good thing.

Re:Yay! (1)

ichthyoboy (1167379) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034588)

Which sounds remarkably similar to Sound Exchange collecting streaming audio royalty payments for all musicians, and not just those associated with RIAA/ASCAP

Re:Yay! (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034596)

Copyright laws which rely on creating artificial scarcity need to die. Compulsory "mass media" licenses like this are a step down that inevitable path.

Re:Yay! (3, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034230)

So the inevitable future is that Google gets certain rights which no one else has?

Say someone (be it Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, or some startup company) wants to become a competitor to Google books. He can't. He doesn't have the special rights Google would be given by this agreement. He would still have to hunt down every single copyright owner and get his permission for every single book, while Google can just publish it unless the copyright owner explicitly told them not to. That's a huge competitive advantage for Google, and it's an unfair and anti-competitive one.

Re:Yay! (2, Insightful)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034362)

Who said these rights must be exclusive to Google? Aside from the Slashdot community having a general pro-Google bias, I believe it doesn't matter whose company's name is in the story, it's about the freedom of information.

Re:Yay! (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034420)

Who said these rights must be exclusive to Google?

The settlement, combined with the way U.S. law works for class-action lawsuits. At least that is my understanding. I'd love to be proven wrong.

Aside from the Slashdot community having a general pro-Google bias, I believe it doesn't matter whose company's name is in the story, it's about the freedom of information.

It doesn't matter whose companies name is in the story. It does matter that a single entity gets the extra rights, be it Google, Microsoft, the FSF, or whoever.

Re:Yay! (4, Informative)

VertigoAce (257771) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034814)

The objection that the DoJ and other companies have is that Google is being granted a wide license by way of a class action settlement. Normally a company can't make a licensing agreement with all copyright owners without contacting each and every one of them. But since this is a class action settlement, all members of the class are automatically opted in to the agreement. Interestingly, all the publishers who sued Google in the first place have opted out of this particular arrangement (they negotiated better deals with Google). So this settlement is being agreed to by a group of publishers who have nothing to lose.

The only way a competitor could get a similar agreement is by being sued and hoping that a similar settlement is the end result.

The proper way for something like this to occur is for Congress to modify copyright law to allow any company to set up a similar service (potentially with a single entity in charge of distributing royalties and managing any opt-in/opt-out process).

Re:Yay! (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31035110)

"Say someone (be it Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, or some startup company) wants to become a competitor to Google books. He can't."

Says who?

Re:Yay! (1)

AnotherUsername (966110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31035288)

What you wrote:

Huzzah for delaying the inevitable future, fuckwads!

How I read it:

Google isn't being allowed to use other's people's stuff to make money! That isn't fair! I like Google, so they shouldn't have to follow the rules just like everyone else! They should be able to do anything and everything they want!

Opposes? (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31033990)

I read the official press release this morning [justice.gov] and it sounded somewhat optimistic:

The department continues to believe that a properly structured settlement agreement in this case offers the potential for important societal benefits. The department stated that it is committed to continuing to work with the parties and other stakeholders to help develop solutions through which copyright holders could allow for digital use of their works by Google and others, whether through legislative or market-based activities.

Seemed to me they weren't happy with Google 'ownership' of orphaned works and the fact that it's "opt out" not "opt in" for authors [pcpro.co.uk] . I guess you could see that as opposition but basically the amended contract failed to satisfy them. That's why they're having a hearing on Feb. 18, 2010.

A deal this big is bound to have lengthy negotiations and investigations as it's truly game changing for everyone involved and the world at large.

Re:Opposes? (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034044)

I agree with Google's aim: Prevent orphaned works from disappearing.

I disagree with the way they are trying to do it because it tramples all over the law to do so, -and- guarantees a monopoly while it's doing it. I think the DOJ is saying the same.

Re:Opposes? (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034394)

I agree with Google's aim: Prevent orphaned works from disappearing.

I disagree with the way they are trying to do it because it tramples all over the law to do so, -and- guarantees a monopoly while it's doing it. I think the DOJ is saying the same.

Leave that up to the US Copyright Office to manage, not a corporation.

Re:Opposes? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31034164)

If an author could opt-in for orphaned works, it would not be an orphaned work. I fail to see how requiring orphaned works to sit in the dark until copyright expires benefits anybody. The problem people have with this is that Google is attempting to use what is essentially an unused, untapped resource.

Re:Opposes? (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034378)

So Google Books is only fighting over orphaned works?

google content needs to be opt IN not opt OUT (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31034042)

Opt out is evil. It's evil when spammers do it and it's evil when google does it.

If I create a work and hold the copyright on that work, google has no right to provide copies of that work without my permission, and they cannot say, "you can opt out!". That's backwards according to long established law.

This applies to much of what google does - online books, news stories copied from the organizations which create them, and providing cached versions of web pages.

Copyright law does not magically no longer matter if you add "on the internet" to it.

Re:google content needs to be opt IN not opt OUT (1, Insightful)

Compholio (770966) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034210)

If I create a work and hold the copyright on that work, google has no right to provide copies of that work without my permission, and they cannot say, "you can opt out!". That's backwards according to long established law.

How would you feel if a library had to get permission from copyright holders before offering books? It seems to me that there are some circumstances where an opt-out makes more sense than an opt-in.

Re:google content needs to be opt IN not opt OUT (3, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034290)

Libraries aren't producing extra copies of works, they are operating under the first sale doctrine and nothing more.

Re:google content needs to be opt IN not opt OUT (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31035280)

The orphaned book thing is supported by pushed by and coming from libraries.

Re:google content needs to be opt IN not opt OUT (2, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034894)

How would you feel if a library had to get permission from copyright holders before offering books?

It would be ridiculous. But I don't see how this has any bearing on the matter at hand. Libraries aren't out there scanning copyrighted works and trying to sell ads to make profit off of them.

Re:google content needs to be opt IN not opt OUT (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034750)

Opt out is evil. It's evil when spammers do it and it's evil when google does it

If spammers provided a single opt-out for all spam ever that they actually obeyed, no one would be unhappy.

The reason opting out isn't workable is that you'd have to opt out of every spammers efforts and almost no spammers actually obey opt-out requests (some actually do, believe it or not, because they're not in the business of spamming, but rather of maintaining mailing lists of likely suckers, the value of which they increase by removing people who request it).

The only concern I'd have, here is if Google did get this through and then failed to share their opt-out list with other organizations that did the same. Now, I realize that the word "evil" just magically works its way into any conversation about Google, but are you really saying that you're willing to devalue that word by suggesting that Google is doing "evil" by creating a situation which relies on their ability to share information?!

Re:google content needs to be opt IN not opt OUT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31035028)

Opt out is evil.

No Copyright is Evil. You have no right to tell me what I can and cannot do with the ones and zeros on my computer in my house. I realize pundits will sound the alarm bells as to how the whole world would end if their way of monetizing their creative works suddenly became invalid. Sorry no dice. Their were creative works before copyright laws and there will be creative works after they are gone. Copyright laws are an artificial mechanism. Their are NO TRUTHS that are self evident that give you exclusive rights to your creative work. NONE!

If you aren't smart enough to monetize your creativity in this brand new digital world, then don't publish. There will be plenty of people who are just happy that someone would take the time to read their creative work. Whether your works are better than theirs is subjective and relative. If your works come with the included societal price of Copyright then they I would argue they actually have a negative value in terms of societal worth.

Re:google content needs to be opt IN not opt OUT (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31035260)

Copyright law is ALWAYS opt out. Think... Youtube for godssake. (Being that Youtube is not a mailman, they don't have common-carrier laws for it) There is copyrighted stuff put up and then taken down at request, ie opt out. It is your job to protect your own copyright. And Google provides an opt out where not only will they try and hunt you down to start with, if they are unable to find you but you find them. You can opt out and they'll send you like 60$+ for your trouble. Sucky and all but you won't get much sympathy from me or a judge.

Think if it were the otherway. Someone uses your photo on their website and you sue them plus damages for a few grand? Without emailing them first? Or trying to make a deal or agreement? Gooood fucking luck.

Google : "WE supported Obama for this?" (1, Funny)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034070)

Larry and Sergei : Guess the commander in chief's not getting any rides on Larry and Sergei's private party jet any time soon!
Obama : My current private jet is actually much better.
Larry and Sergei : We can play Call of Duty on a giant screen.
Obama : I play Afghanistan and Iraq on mine

Good (5, Insightful)

metamatic (202216) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034076)

The right solution is to fix the brokenness of copyright law, not to write in a special exemption for a particular company.

For starters, we should have an orphan works provision, and the duration of copyright should be cut back down to reasonable levels.

Re:Good (2, Interesting)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034152)

IMHO the entire concept of an 'orphaned work' is a fiction designed to push this agenda - a copyright holder shouldn't have to make themselves known to anyone, regardless of the reason.

I agree that shorter copyright durations should be granted, with a clearer expiration line for works, but the entire line of reasoning regarding 'orphaned works' should not be one enshrined in law anywhere.

Re:Good (5, Informative)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034338)

You know, an 'Orphaned Work' isn't just works where the copyright holder doesn't make themselves known. There are examples of where an organization has spent a great deal of time and effort to just follow the trail of ownership of copyright where the ownership has changed hands several times, and apparently has been forgotten even by the other owner. Many times even with great effort to establish the owner, it simply can't be found.

Re:Good (4, Insightful)

yar (170650) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034704)

Orphaned works are most certainly not a fiction. As someone who regularly works with libraries, archives, & museums, I can say with some certainty that orphan works are huge problems for such entities, and copyright law as it's currently instantiated ensures that these works may disappear forever. Orphaned works are the majority of works in existence.

See the Copyright Office comments (and the US Copyright Office favors strong copyright laws)
http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/
See the Association of Research Libraries comments to the Copyright Office
http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/lcacomment0305.pdf
See the Society of American Archivists Best Practices
http://www.archivists.org/standards/OWBP-V4.pdf
See some of Peter Hirtle's comments.
http://blog.librarylaw.com/librarylaw/2009/09/orphan-works-and-the-google-book-settlement.html ...and so on.

Orphaned works is a huge issue, and will become more of an issue as we attempt to work with and preserve digital works.

Re:Good (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034254)

not to write in a special exemption for a particular company. ... For starters, we should have an orphan works provision,

Calling the Slashdot research department:

Does anyone have a link to an article with the quotes from some Google exec saying that the reason this right should be conferred on Google, and not create a general orphan works provision, was because Google invested in the legal muscle to make the deal happen?

I just poked around for it, but could not find it. I remember being moderately swayed at the time (must have been a Jedi mind trick, or my deep-set capitalism feuding with my equally deep-set belief in blind Lady Justice), but it seems ludicrous on reflection that they were basically saying legal entitlement belongs to those who can afford it.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31034446)

You really have never paid attention, have you.

Let's put this in a way that you can understand, shall we?

I am a law-writer (legislator). I see that something needs to be regulated. There is no law to do this. I write a law. Other people agree that the law is a good idea. They make some changes to the law and then pass it. The law goes into action
.
Now I am a law enforcer. Now there is a law that needs enforcement. I enforce the law by making sure people who use the resource do not break the law. When someone breaks the law I take them to court. Alternately, if I am a resource-user and someone breaks the law in a way that harms me I bring them to court.

Now I am a judge. I get to decide if the law was 1) broken, 2) enforced properly, and 3) what the penalty should be (this is what judges do, BTW). Both sides present their case. I make my ruling. No one is happy because either 1) I decide the law really wasn't broken or 2) I decide the law wasn't enforced the correct way or 3) I decide that the law was broken and enforced correctly and someone needs to pay.

Now I am the law-writer again. If I am unhappy with the way the judges deal with cases involving the law. I try to amend it so it is fixed.

And 'round and 'round. This is why EVERYONE wants the resource users/owners/creators/whatever to just make deals already and quit bugging them to fix the laws. It is a pain in the a$$.

Samuel Clemens (2, Interesting)

quotes (1738456) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034480)

I am interested particularly and especially in the part of the bill which concerns my trade. I like that extension of copyright life to the author's life and fifty years afterward. I think that would satisfy any reasonable author, because it would take care of his children. Let the grand-children take care of themselves. That would take care of my daughters, and after that I am not particular. I shall then have long been out of this struggle, independent of it, indifferent to it. It isn't objectionable to me that all the trades and professions in the United States are protected by the bill. I like that. They are all important and worthy, and if we can take care of them under the Copyright law I should like to see it done. I should like to see oyster culture added, and anything else. I am aware that copyright must have a limit, because that is required by the Constitution of the United States, which sets aside the earlier Constitution, which we call the decalogue. The decalogue says you shall not take away from any man his profit. I don't like to be obliged to use the harsh term. What the decalogue really says is, "Thou shalt not steal," but I am trying to use more polite language. The laws of England and America do take it away, do select but one class, the people who create the literature of the land. They always talk handsomely about the literature of the land, always what a fine, great, monumental thing a great literature is, and in the midst of their enthusiasm they turn around and do what they can to discourage it. I know we must have a limit, but forty-two years is too much of a limit. I am quite unable to guess why there should be a limit at all to the possession of the product of a man's labor. There is no limit to real estate. Doctor Hale has suggested that a man might just as well, after discovering a coal-mine and working it forty-two years, have the Government step in and take it away. What is the excuse? It is that the author who produced that book has had the profit of it long enough, and therefore the Government takes a profit which does not belong to it and generously gives it to the 88,000,000 of people. But it doesn't do anything of the kind. It merely takes the author's property, takes his children's bread, and gives the publisher double profit. He goes on publishing the book and as many of his confederates as choose to go into the conspiracy do so, and they rear families in affluence.

Boycott those authors/publishers then! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31034098)

As subject says. Put somewhere a list of those authors and publishers, then let we the people decide to punish them with the only legal and viable way we have.

I agree with the DOJ (4, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034144)

I agree with the government's position on this one. What started out as a lawsuit over the scanning of books (to make them searchable, which I consider fair use) has now become an attempt by Google to gain rights they wouldn't have enjoyed without a contract with copyright holders. The idea of a class action lawsuit is to compensate plaintiffs for an alleged wrong, not to grant defendants new rights that could otherwise only be obtained through contract or legislation. In my opinion, the Author's Guild has sold out the class and acted against its best interests. Indeed, the proposed settlement affects even those authors who aren't members of the Author's Guild and does so in a way that is not in their best interests.

If Google wants access to people's copyrighted works beyond what's allowed by the fair use doctrine, let them negotiate with authors or else let them petition the government for sensible laws on orphaned works. The courts are not the way to secure such broad rights as Google has attempted to do through its settlement with the Author's Guild.

who fucking cares about author's rights (2, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034356)

for the vast majority of author's we're not talking about jk rowling: they're obscure. and their works are, frankly, unknown, out of print, forgotten. such that putting the artificial boundary of negotiating with thousands of random yahoos and working out arcane legal arrangements with all of them is completely unwieldy, unworkable, and monetarily not worth the effort

instead, dump all their work in one big database for free, and these authors, because of much greater ease in accessing their works, see an IMPROVEMENT in their accessibility, marketability, and prominence. imagine fucking that

it gets to a point where copyright law is simply gets in the way of technological, social, and cultural progress

there are numerous examples of people wanting to use obscure works, and finding it daunting and impossible to contact anyone to get the rights. the perverse result being that exposure, and therefore money to be made, is denied to these obscure works. copyright law is BLOCKING the long tail and therefore blocking profit making for authors via ancillary means

i'm so sick of copyright law. it needs to be actively destroyed, not simply ignored. luckily, the internet makes copyright's uselessness easily demonstrated. it's easy to circumvent copyright on the internet. meanwhile, enforcing copyright on the internet is a fool's errand. go at it teenagers, bring this ridiculous house of cards from a dead technological era crashing down. copyright is absurd, a farce, it's dead

Re:who fucking cares about author's rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31034476)

^^^^ THIS.

Re:who fucking cares about author's rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31034612)

You're missing the point. Google is trying to backdoor this by doing a deal with an organization that claims to represent all authors, which clearly it cannot.

Copyright does need addressing, it's completely out of control. But it's certainly not dead. The fact that Obama's presidency was paid for by the behemoth companies that have interests in expanding copyright law in their favor tells us copyright is not dead, far from it, it's growing. All around the world the same companies have positioned people in power to push through laws that suit them to the detriment of the public and general sanity of due process.

What's the solution? Copyright reform will not happen in our life time unless something massive happens, like a global boycott of big media products to kill their income. But that will never happen, like Elvis or the Beatles music becoming public domain.

Re:who fucking cares about author's rights (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034648)

instead, dump all their work in one big database for free, and these authors, because of much greater ease in accessing their works, see an IMPROVEMENT in their accessibility, marketability, and prominence. imagine fucking that

You're just rehashing the tired (and incorrect) old slashdot meme that somehow increased prominence is automatically economically beneficial (oh, they like when you pirate their software, that means more "marketshare").

Re:who fucking cares about author's rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31034850)

You're just rehashing the tired (and incorrect) old slashdot meme that somehow increased prominence is automatically economically beneficial (oh, they like when you pirate their software, that means more "marketshare").

Yes, of course, because that never worked, and companies like Microsoft and Adobe don't benefit at all from people pirating their software.

Re:who fucking cares about author's rights (3, Insightful)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034780)

copyright law is BLOCKING the long tail and therefore blocking profit making for authors via ancillary means

So your argument boils down to this: There is money to be made, so fuck the rights of everyone involved and hand that gigantic wad of cash as an exclusive deal to one of the richest corporations in the world?

Here's one for you: Just because you want something, even if you want it badly, doesn't give you a right to it.

it gets to a point where copyright law is simply gets in the way of technological, social, and cultural progress

Bold words coming from a guy who hasn't figured out punctuation or capitalization. How's that cultural progress working for you?

angst badger (0, Redundant)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31035098)

well named

listen up, anxiety ridden adrenaline filled large rodent:

the AUTHORS make money from prominence they don't currently have in current a system which buries their works in obscurity

understand?

and that IS progress, for consumers and authors. the only people who lose out are traditional distributors

as for google benefitting, yes, but this new understanding can easily be divorced from google. i am saying "do away with copyright", i'm not saying "give all copyright to google". if google is the first to move against traditional distributor model inanity, good for them

Re:who fucking cares about author's rights (1)

fusiongyro (55524) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034904)

To do this legally, all Google would have to do is make it an opt-in. In a hundred years or so, everything in copyright now should be out of copyright (I agree that there should be a hard time limit to copyright, and 99 years is too long) so everything published to now could be included for that reason. Google could partner up with publishing houses to sweeten the deal; if you got a book deal, it would likely have a clause in there about Google getting to use it. If you didn't like that, you could self-publish or find another publishing house. Google could offer incentives directly to authors to get their works included. They haven't had any trouble until now making databases with absurd amounts of information in them, this wouldn't be much different. This way, your vast majority of authors get the benefits, the consumers get the benefits, and the people with something to lose don't get fucked. The main difference between these two scenarios is, it involves Google negotiating with publishers at a cost rather than the government to get a free pass. Lots of people have rights they don't use. That doesn't mean the right should go away.

Re:I agree with the DOJ (4, Interesting)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034798)

I agree with the government's position on this one. What started out as a lawsuit over the scanning of books (to make them searchable, which I consider fair use)

Unfortunately, that you consider it fair use doesn't really matter. Fair use is defined, and it is not defined to include copying an entire work for your own commercial purposes, which is exactly what Google did.

Google should be sued for a vast sum of money over this, just like you or I did if we copied all the works the RIAA or MPAA get so jumpy about "just to make them searchable".

You don't get to abuse other people's property rights just because you're Google.

Re:I agree with the DOJ (3, Informative)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31035162)

Fair use is defined, and it is not defined to include copying an entire work for your own commercial purposes ...

This is how fair use is defined by copyright law:

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. 106 and 17 U.S.C. 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

As you can see, the law leaves a lot of room for interpretation, and nothing in the above text rules out the possibility of a successful fair use defense when books are scanned for the purpose of making them searchable (not to be confused with making it viewable) online.

You must change both sides of the equation (5, Insightful)

RandomFactor (22447) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034196)

> copyright owners generally control whether and how to exploit their works during the term of copyright

Which would be much more reasonable if copyright wasn't permanent (by any reasonable measure) now.

Copyright has been changed. As such, the rules governing it need to adjust to maintain the benefit of having it for society.

Do no evil (2, Interesting)

grapeape (137008) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034246)

Somewhere along the way Google forgot one of its own rules. Their subtle yet ever encroaching methods of "helping" the world seem more of an attempt to ensure that google is firmly entrenched in every aspect of our daily lives. IMHO their approach is just wrong. We have lived for thousands of years without street level photos online of our homes and without navagable photos of the insides of public buildings and retail spaces, do we really need them? Many see them as an invasion of privacy.

I'm already concerned about google wanting to control the storage and distribution of medical records, financial records and other areas they seem determined to control.

It took being bitten by the hand that fed them to finally come out againt their own willingness to censor in China, but still show a willingness to cowtow to political and well connected interests.

Their gmail, adsense, and cookie policies are well lets just say less than privacy friendly.

As for books and other media, this should be a opt in system rather than an opt out. If spam was opt out many more would be protesting but its violation is the same. Many argue its to protect media that would be lost in the future, but the proper fix for that is to change laws not skirt around them because your some big coporation.

I just dont see how "do no evil" and a great desire to become big brother can peacefully co-exist.

Re:Do no evil (4, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034322)

Somewhere along the way Google forgot one of its own rules.

Wrong. Google is just abiding by it's Golden Rule:

Make all of the world's data publicly available and searchable.

Most people still haven't fully considered the implications of this; or just how single minded Google is going to be about this goal.

Re:Do no evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31034700)

We have lived for thousands of years without street level photos online of our homes and without navagable photos of the insides of public buildings and retail spaces, do we really need them?

We also lived for thousands of years without the Internet, telephone, electricity, and sanitary sewers. What's your point.

Opt-In Copyright? (4, Interesting)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034340)

Why can't these guys introduce some required opt-in copyright for works older than say 25 years? Make the renewal 20 years long and put a US$5 price on it.

Lawrence Lessig has been arguing for something like this for years... it would solve the orphaned works problem, and Disney probably wouldn't care, so they actually might let it happen.

Re:Opt-In Copyright? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31035148)

Thing is there was a time when this would have worked. That time is LONG since past.

Take disney for example. Now lets say they like the idea. They have THOUSANDS of 'big' works, and probably millions of smaller works. Dozens upon dozens of smaller companies they have bought. They would literally have to get its whole catalog in order. Every scrap of extra info. The hundreds of different releases of snow white. All the extra cells, extra art work, extra everything cataloged and tagged.

So your talking hundreds of people you would have to hire to archive all of this info. Track it. Make sure they are the proper owners. What were the original contracts involved etc...

Now for *EACH* work (and this could be a quite a large pile of things for each movie) has to have a fee paid on it. Lest it fall out of copyright too soon.

The idea you speak of sounds good at first. Until you realize what a LARGE pile of things some of these companies have. They will not put up with that idea.

They literally did not have to keep track of it. They barely keep up with what they have now (and then only if it is convenient and very cheap or makes them money). But now they would. It is a huge cost to them and they do not want it. Movies never make money any way. Just act the dude who played darth vader.

I got it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31034454)

We need only to declare that we are the copyright-holders of our private information.

The DoJ will get stuck trying to decide whether to favor the copyright holders or screw over the privacy advocates (who are the same person), and promptly implode.

This the same DoJ (3, Insightful)

BitterAndDrunk (799378) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034698)

That thought a merger between LiveNation and Ticketmaster wouldn't constitute a trust.

These fuckers are not only corrupt, but shamelessly corrupt.

I'm confused. (1)

machine321 (458769) | more than 4 years ago | (#31034954)

This is Google... am I supposed to be mad at them or mad at the government? Couldn't the NSA help them? This is all so much easier when Apple does it first, because then I know I'm supposed to like it.

The last $$ I will earn from my out of print books (1)

ooutland (146624) | more than 4 years ago | (#31035144)

will come from the Google Book Settlement, into which I've "opted in." Call me naive but I don't see how it would benefit me or anyone else to see those books remain in their static state, unavailable save as used books, from which sales I never see a dime. IANA Lawyer but I don't see why Google couldn't break this up into waves, wherein all of us who've opted in can get our checks now and start earning any "royalties" available through search, and leave the disputed rights and claimants for another day.

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