Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

After 7 Years In Court, Google Settles With Publishers On Book Scanning

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the you've-been-organized-as-part-fo-the-world's-data dept.

Books 127

redletterdave writes "After seven long years of litigation, Google Inc. and the Association of American Publishers have reached an agreement to settle over the search giant's book-scanning project, which will allow publishers to choose whether or not they want their books, journals and publications digitized by Google and accessed via its Google Library Project. The agreement, according to the two companies, acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright holders, so U.S. publishers can choose to remove their books and journals digitized by Google for its Library Project, or choose to keep their publications available. For those that keep their works online with Google, those publishers will be able to keep a digital copy for their own use and sell their publications via the Google Play marketplace." Also reported by Reuters, as carried by the Chicago Tribune, and the BBC.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Wow! What a victory! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41551251)

Wasn't that Google's approach to start with? So the AAP was just forcing Google to do something they were already doing...?

Re:Wow! What a victory! (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41551593)

Pretty much, yes.

Although from the beginning Google would scan books from the affected publishers, it would only put fair use amounts (often only a couple pages) on the web. Essentially what you could photocopy in a public library.

Now they can put up to 20% online, far more than most libraries would photocopy for you, and any publisher can ask the book to be pulled, which I predict none will do.

Intensely idiotic (3, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#41551315)

Like every copyright case initiated by one of the big names, like the *AAs or big corporate publishing houses, this case is INTENSELY idiotic.

Google got the good end of this. Basically the corporate assholes can shoot themselves in the foot and pull their material... and lose money in the long run. Google can provide a free publicity service or you can take your ball and go home.

What a difficult choice....

Re:Intensely idiotic (5, Insightful)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#41551351)

I though the publishers are on the right here. What gives google the right to scan and put up copyrighted work on their website, without the permissions of the copyright holder?

Re:Intensely idiotic (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41551411)

Because... FUCK the copyright holders! Nobody has any right to tell me (or Google) what I can or cannot do with my (or their) copies. It's time to put the hammer down on anyone who thinks they do. End of story.

Re:Intensely idiotic (3, Insightful)

danomac (1032160) | about 2 years ago | (#41551527)

Well, look at this this way. When the publishers hoard their material and choose to not publish, it gets lost forever. At least if it's digitized, it'll survive.

Music is a good example of this. There's a lot of music 20+ years old that's no longer in print, and the labels are no longer around. If someone that had a copy didn't digitize it, it's lost forever.

Re:Intensely idiotic (0, Flamebait)

TheSwift (2714953) | about 2 years ago | (#41551533)

Sorry buddy, "because FUCK the copyright holders!" is not an argument. You may be right in saying that we should have the right to do what we want with what we've purchased, but play the Devil's advocate for a moment...

The year is 2016: Every book that has ever been printed is now considered "public domain" since copyright laws have been abolished and you can find any literature you want just by googling the title and author. Sound great? Well it also turns out that books have annually been published 80% less since the copyright laws were struck down. Why is that, do you think? Perhaps it's because there's no longer any motivation for authors to publish their books since they aren't paid any money once they are published. They are made immediately available for the public's viewing. All the author gets is good feeling that people are reading their work. Reward enough? 80% of authors would say no.

Obviously it's a hypothetical argument, but I can say that as an aspiring novelist, my motivation to finish my book would be lessened if I knew that even if my work went viral, I would have nothing to show for it except for a few book readings at coffee shops.

Re:Intensely idiotic (4, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#41551687)

It sure as fuck is an argument. Copyright is a SOCIAL BARGAIN. We, The People have every right to tell IP holders to shove it up their ass, if we so desire. And I assure you that people will continue to make great art long after copyright bites the dust. To think otherwise completely ignores human nature.

Re:Intensely idiotic (2)

sexconker (1179573) | about 2 years ago | (#41552387)

It sure as fuck is an argument. Copyright is a SOCIAL BARGAIN. We, The People have every right to tell IP holders to shove it up their ass, if we so desire. And I assure you that people will continue to make great art long after copyright bites the dust. To think otherwise completely ignores human nature.

"Social bargain" and "social contract" are phrases used by people who have no logical or legal basis for an argument, and want things their way just because.

Re:Intensely idiotic (3, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#41552725)

In contrast to those that buy law to get what they want... Social Bargain is the apt term to call the exchange of limited time and scope monopolies for future culture enrichment. Copyright is supposed to be a balance of allowing creator enrichment while enriching society in the long run. We are now asking where is the balance to be struck in the age of trivial information exchange. The problem IP has is it flies directly against Liberty and so we must use great caution when setting its limits. Right now caution is abandoned and we are allowing the IP holders to encroach Liberty too far.

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41553911)

In contrast to those that buy law to get what they want

This is so ignorant its not even funny. Copyright has been recognized by the US since its founding (its in the constitution, article 2 I believe).

Right now caution is abandoned and we are allowing the IP holders to encroach Liberty too far.

Then reform the system, dont throw it away entirely. What is commonly encouraged here is ripping out a somewhat flawed system and replacing it with a kind of free-for-all that guarentees absolutely no rights for the content creators. Its ridiculous in the extreme.

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

Pepebuho (167300) | about 2 years ago | (#41554011)

In contrast to those that buy law to get what they want

This is so ignorant its not even funny. Copyright has been recognized by the US since its founding (its in the constitution, article 2 I believe).

If I recall correctly, US did not recognize English copyrights until late in the 20th centurh (ask Mark Twian and Oscar Wilde about it, they complained a lot about it)

Re:Intensely idiotic (2)

TheSwift (2714953) | about 2 years ago | (#41552529)

I assume you're referring to human's nature to create?

What about human nature to be selfish? Hell, what about the human nature to survive by having a profession that is actually lucrative? It's easy for us, the consumers, to demand that all creators do their work for free because we only look at the exorbitantly wealthy publishers who profit from them. Do I like copyright laws? No, I don't, but to jump blindly to the other extreme is just naive. Just my two cents.

Ass shoving is not a human right (2)

istartedi (132515) | about 2 years ago | (#41553059)

Copyright *is* a social bargain, but nobody has a right to "ass shoving". The copyright holders have a right to perform their work without being exploited and/or being forced to seek wealthy patrons as their only source of income. The General Public has a right to receive the productions of the IP holders without being subject to disproportionate penalty for violations, undue terms of restriction, or other features of a system that might skew things too far in favor of the other party.

Neither side has an absolute "ass shoving" right over the others, because as usual there's a HEALTY BALANCE that exists somewhere between absolutism on either side.

Re:Ass shoving is not a human right (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#41554523)

The copyright holders have a right to perform their work without being exploited and/or being forced to seek wealthy patrons as their only source of income.

Only so long as copyright exists. Laws can change.

because as usual there's a HEALTY BALANCE that exists somewhere between absolutism on either side.

Whether or not it's a "healthy balance" is quite subjective.

Re:Intensely idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41553157)

I have had 3 books published, one of which was a 'vanity' project. The first two as per my contract are the concern of the publishing House.

The vanity project is different, I rejected a deal for wider publication, There are only four official copies as it was intended as a gift.if Google somehow manage to scan a copy, then on a personal level I will feel betrayed.

On a social contract level so is property ownership - I guess you wont mind if I come and take your car?

We, the People (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41553525)

At least in the United States, the Constitution specifically prohibits "We the People" (since the US is in theory a government by the people) from depriving individuals of property without due process (which generally involves finding that there's been some wrongdoing to penalize them for, or if not, then some form of recompense). So there are many rights that "We the People" have, but that's one of the few that we specifically DON'T have, just like we don't have the right to tell people what they can or can't say or think or publish, or what god they have to worship.

That's not to say intellectual property should be absolute--don't get me wrong, I'm not in that camp either--but copyright is a "social bargain" in the same sense that protecting your right to post your thoughts is a "social bargain." So, I'm just a bit hesitant on retracting or unilaterally altering those bargains, because of where and how else that principle could be applied. ("I have altered our agreement... Pray I don't alter it further.")

Re:We, the People (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#41554531)

So, I'm just a bit hesitant on retracting or unilaterally altering those bargains, because of where and how else that principle could be applied.

Copyright really doesn't seem like any other right. If it was like other rights, it wouldn't be temporary (technically, it is temporary even now).

5th amendment not copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41555531)

"nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

That right isn't temporary.

Re:Intensely idiotic (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41553883)

Copyright is a SOCIAL BARGAIN

No, its a legal one, enshrined in US law.

We, The People have every right to tell IP holders to shove it up their ass, if we so desire.

Not when our founding "social contract" establishes the protection of IP, we dont. Once things are in law, generally that isnt an option-- laws arent there as a suggestion.

That this got modded insightful is a little depressing; are driving laws also a social bargain that you're free to ignore if you so desire? Which laws are the ones you can ignore?

Re:Intensely idiotic (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41551769)

So, what you're saying is that we return to the era prior to copyright (say, before the 1700's just to have a nice, rounded number), all of the authors will no longer have any motivation to publish just like before that time? No one will bother publishing works like Romeo & Juliet (or any of Shakespeare's books, for that matter), Beowolf (before copy right as a concept even existed) or any other works because of lack of copyright protection?

Re:Intensely idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41552301)

All of those authors are dead and therefore not in a position to profit off their work. Try coming up with an example of a living author who is still willing to put in the hard work of writing books after he/she stands to have his/her income stream gutted.

Re:Intensely idiotic (2)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | about 2 years ago | (#41553247)

Cory Doctrow famously has all of his books in Creative Commons. You can download them for free legally if you don't want to pay. He does alright.

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

MrHanky (141717) | about 2 years ago | (#41552513)

Shakespeare didn't publish Romeo and Juliet. Apart from poor bootleg versions, it was only published after his death. Shakespeare wrote for the stage, not for publication.

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | about 2 years ago | (#41553185)

Of course that didn't stop other people from publishing it. (And anyway, it's not like Shakespeare was a particularly original guy -- He merely wrote a new adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, a story which was already around)

My favorite is the bad version of Hamlet with the hilariously dictated soliloquy. (You can find it in Wikipedia)

Plus, for copyright purposes, we may as well consider performances or displays of fixed works to be publication. Ideally, yes, copies would be sold or given to the public. But if they're basically publicly available in performance or display form (eg aired on tv) then it may as well count.

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

Rogue Haggis Landing (1230830) | about 2 years ago | (#41552875)

So, what you're saying is that we return to the era prior to copyright (say, before the 1700's just to have a nice, rounded number), all of the authors will no longer have any motivation to publish just like before that time? No one will bother publishing works like Romeo & Juliet (or any of Shakespeare's books, for that matter), Beowolf (before copy right as a concept even existed) or any other works because of lack of copyright protection?

Well, there was great literature before copyright protection, but there was vastly more after it. Some of this is due to technology, demographics, economics, and so forth. But some of it isn't. The first copyright provision passed in 1710. The explosion of the novel, which is entirely a printed form, came after that date. Daniel Defoe published Robinson Crusoe in 1719, and Defoe was not only a crusader for copyright protections but also possibly the first person in England to be able to make a living by writing prose. Copyright made the professional writer possible.

Romeo & Juliet is a good example, actually. 16th and 17th century plays were written for the stage and printed as an afterthought, often in pirated (if we can use that term) editions. As a result we've lost a pretty large percentage of Elizabethan and Jacobean plays, because why print them if someone can pirate them and kill your profits? Or, even worse, what if the rival theater company across the street puts on your play without having to pay you a shilling for it? We know of at least two Shakespearean plays (Cardenio and Love's Labour's Won) that are lost because they were never printed. If Shakespeare had had copyright protection, would it have been worth his time to publish them?

I think that the way copyright protection has been so abused by US corporate interests can sometimes blind us to the value of it. Our current system of unending copyright is very clearly bad, but a reasonable form of copyright is very clearly good. It frees writers from the requirements of patronage, it increases cultural output, and it provides a monetary incentive for making that production public.

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | about 2 years ago | (#41553231)

I agree that copyright is basically a good idea, very badly implemented. But I would say that it doesn't eliminate patronage, in that 1) you can still have patrons; and 2) even where mass market published copies and royalties are the basis for an author's livelihood, it really just shifts the patronage to the reading public. If a patron doesn't like a book, the author may lose his job. If the world doesn't like a book, the author is in just the same pickle. Copyright enables a kind of distributed, passive patronage. Kickstarter and similar things are interesting in that they enable distributed semi-active patronage. All we need to round out the set is a Kickstarter where the works are created according to the stated preferences of the audience, much like storytellers of old. (IIRC The Princess Bride reportedly began when the author asked his daughters what bedtime story they wanted him to tell; one said she wanted to hear about a princess, the other said she wanted to hear about a bride.)

Re:Intensely idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41554183)

We know of at least two Shakespearean plays (Cardenio and Love's Labour's Won) that are lost because they were never printed.

Actually, /Love's Labor Won/ was destroyed by Shakespeare - at the urging of the Doctor - to prevent the Carrionites conquering the world. I saw a documentary about it a few years back.

I don't know about /Cardenio/ but I think I heard that two slackers from San Dimas were in the audience...

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

celle (906675) | about 2 years ago | (#41551899)

"Reward enough? 80% of authors would say no. "

    Well, that gets rid of 100% of the fluff and crap currently written.

    "All the author gets is good feeling that people are reading their work."

    How about because you want to write it!! The good feeling comes next. If you're only doing it for the money then you're doing it for the wrong reason.

Re:Intensely idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41552321)

If you're only doing it for the money then you're doing it for the wrong reason.

Yeah, but if the money isn't there, then a lot fewer books get written because people still have to put food on the table. If there's zero money to be made in writing, then it will naturally fall below all of the other priorities that involve making money and paying bills.

Re:Intensely idiotic (3, Insightful)

TheSwift (2714953) | about 2 years ago | (#41552483)

Just a thought... what if your boss reduced your pay by 50% and told you that "if you're only doing it for money, then you're doing it for the wrong reason"?

Of course the only reason I write is because I enjoy it. And submitting any of my work for publishing would have reward in and of itself, but to do so would require that I devote an enormous amount of time that I could otherwise spend earning money and providing for my family, which, right now, I consider the more important task.

Re:Intensely idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41552283)

"Well it also turns out that books have annually been published 80% less since the copyright laws were struck down. Why is that, do you think?"

As before, that 80% of everything is crap and nothing of any worth was lost?

Why should we pay for the great grandchildren of somebody who wrote 50 Vampire/Werewolf books per year half a century ago? To protect our culture?

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

alexgieg (948359) | about 2 years ago | (#41552561)

Obviously it's a hypothetical argument, but I can say that as an aspiring novelist, my motivation to finish my book would be lessened if I knew that even if my work went viral, I would have nothing to show for it except for a few book readings at coffee shops.

I have free, easy, unDRMed access to every single book, music, movie and TV show made in the last few years via torrent, Usenet and other means. Ask me how many of those I've read, listened or watched have been not-paid for. Answer: only those I couldn't purchase because they were locked behind idiotic geographical and similar restrictions, luckily fewer and fewer as time passes.

Your argument is simply false. In regards to a piece of content there are always three types of people: a) those who will always purchase it, b) those who will only purchase it if they don't find a way to get it for free and c) those who will never purchase it even if it's free (and who doesn't matter for this discussion). Catastrophists like you think 'a' is almost 0% while 'b' is almost 100%, and that's simply absurd. Sure, if you lose 'b' your revenue will lessen, but if anything, the last years have shown that 'a' is way, way bigger than your nightmares would like you to believe. Want a suggestion? Ignore 'b'. They aren't worth your time. Concentrate on 'a' and you'll have plenty of enjoyment in your work.

Re:Intensely idiotic (2)

CCarrot (1562079) | about 2 years ago | (#41552727)

Sorry buddy, "because FUCK the copyright holders!" is not an argument. You may be right in saying that we should have the right to do what we want with what we've purchased, but play the Devil's advocate for a moment...

The year is 2016: Every book that has ever been printed is now considered "public domain" since copyright laws have been abolished and you can find any literature you want just by googling the title and author. Sound great? Well it also turns out that books have annually been published 80% less since the copyright laws were struck down. Why is that, do you think? Perhaps it's because there's no longer any motivation for authors to publish their books since they aren't paid any money once they are published. They are made immediately available for the public's viewing. All the author gets is good feeling that people are reading their work. Reward enough? 80% of authors would say no.

Obviously it's a hypothetical argument, but I can say that as an aspiring novelist, my motivation to finish my book would be lessened if I knew that even if my work went viral, I would have nothing to show for it except for a few book readings at coffee shops.

I'd like to add one little wrinkle to your oh-so-pessimistic future.

Authors across the globe join together in a Kickstarter-esque crowd sourcing micropayment service, so if people read their latest book, love it and want to see another, they contribute some $ to the writers 'next book bucket' to support it. That way, the writer knows ahead of time if there is sufficient interest in his/her writing to justify creating a new work. Doners would indicate at the time of contribution whether they prefer to receive the new book in e-format or dead-tree format (shipping to be paid once the book is ready to ship). And, to keep the fraudsters out of it, if the author doesn't produce a new work within a certain timeframe (barring delays from family emergencies, illness, etc.), their bucket gets dumped into a general administration fund for the site, or refunded back to the doners, or donated to charity, etc. etc.

Personally, I would love to be able to support my favourite authors directly, without propping up the stagnant publishing industry (other than TOR and Baen, those guys rock! :) Even better if we could directly support expansion of specific series / characters / universes. I have way too many "really wish they'd written a sequel to that" books on my shelves...

And hey, would this model work for music too? I wonder...

Re:Intensely idiotic (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41551587)

And nobody has any right to tell a gang of rapists what they can and can't do with your mom's vag, right?

Re:Intensely idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41551609)

Because... FUCK the copyright holders! Nobody has any right to tell me (or Google) what I can or cannot do with my (or their) copies. It's time to put the hammer down on anyone who thinks they do. End of story.

In buying the book, you agree to the terms on the copyright page--namely, that you aren't allowed to distribute the book without express permission of the copyright holder. I'm not sure where the logic that, just because you bought a single copy, you are now allowed to go and sell multiple copies on a mass scale, comes from.

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#41551655)

Probably property rights that have to do with real property and not just artificial monopolies given to people because they can't find a good business model. I don't own this game I bought? Perhaps not legally, but I feel that I definitely own it.

Re:Intensely idiotic (5, Informative)

tilante (2547392) | about 2 years ago | (#41551889)

Actually, no - I don't agree to anything. Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, publishers tried exactly what you're talking about - they put a notice in the front of their books stating that you were only licensed this copy of the book, not sold it, and that you were not allowed to resell it. (In some cases, simply that you were not allowed to sell it below a certain price). The Supreme Court held this to be illegal, leading to what's called "The Doctrine of First Sale".

The reason that you're not allowed to copy a book has nothing to do with agreeing with terms - it's because copyright law makes it illegal. It doesn't matter whether the book has a notice saying that you can't copy it, simply has a bare copyright notice, or has no copyright notice at all - it's equally illegal either way.

Now, from a technical point of view, Google is allowing the making copies of copyright material. So that's copyright infringement, right? Well, maybe and maybe not. There are fair use exemptions, and there are precedents in things like libraries having photocopiers so that people can copy portions of books. If Google is making a good effort to set up things in such a way that people can't just copy whole books and make off with them, then there's a good chance that a court might hold that what they're doing is no more illegal than, say, the New York Public Library having lots of book and having photocopiers that people can take them to.

That's what the publishers are afraid of, and that was Google's leverage to negotiate with them.

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about 2 years ago | (#41552521)

But that isn't what Google did. They published short excerpts to give the public an idea of what books are out there thus encouraging them to go get a copy through other means, including by BUYING it.

Re:Intensely idiotic (2)

GoogleShill (2732413) | about 2 years ago | (#41551819)

Absolutely! I'm going to go download the Linux kernel, make my own changes to it and distribute it without providing the source code! Screw Linus and his stupid copyright!

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

rraylion (1406761) | about 2 years ago | (#41552137)

And this is fundamentally different from Apple's OS -- FreeBSD + changes

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 years ago | (#41552241)

Aside from the fact that FreeBSD, being released under BSD, is actually free software?

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

alexgieg (948359) | about 2 years ago | (#41552653)

Absolutely! I'm going to go download the Linux kernel, make my own changes to it and distribute it without providing the source code! Screw Linus and his stupid copyright!

Sure, provided I can also use your binary any way I want, including decompiling your changes and reusing them in whatever project of mine.

GPL is a clever workaround to the lack of the above right. Given that without copyright there's no advantage for a company to keep things binary-blobbed, no one would feel something missing due to lack of something like the GPL.

Re:Intensely idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41553355)

Because... F*** the copyright holders! ...

From one AC to another, I'm calling you out, choose your weapons and venue!!

I'm an author and copyright holder. After about 10 years of work to produce several engineering text books, I want to continue to receive royalties from my publisher. I don't want to see our books scanned by jerks and posted for free, thank-you-very-much. Our publisher charges a reasonable amount for the books (all less than $100) and we have not done any "updated editions" to force anyone to stop using an older copy. We also requested a good binding, and the books don't fall apart. Students that don't want to keep a book can usually sell it for ~75% of the new price.

Just sent a take down notice to ScribeD (again) today to get rid of another damn copy, aka, whack-a-mole.

Re:Intensely idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41551441)

I though the publishers are on the right here. What gives google the right to scan and put up copyrighted work on their website, without the permissions of the copyright holder?

I believe that it clearly states that the copyright holder has the right to remove the book from Google at any time. However, as MickyTheIdiot stated... doing so would be stupid.

Re:Intensely idiotic (2)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 2 years ago | (#41551511)

The copyright holder should have the ability to "opt-in" and not have to "opt-out". Why should corporations assume they can do anything they want until told otherwise?

Re:Intensely idiotic (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41551633)

You can't opt-in if you are dead, in a coma, clinically insane, etc.

Why should the public, who has granted a limited right to control copying, be denied use of your work after that right has expired because you didn't bother to leave us machine-readable version?

Re:Intensely idiotic (2)

Ost99 (101831) | about 2 years ago | (#41551721)

The publishers rights are not unlimited.
Putting a few pages online could / should be considered within fair use.

Not having someone big do something like this would result in a lot of abandoned works being lost. This is a much more serious problem for society than whatever damage putting a few pages online would do to the publishers.

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about 2 years ago | (#41552553)

Because publishing short excerpts is FAIR USE. They shouldn't legally even have to have an opt out. That was just them being nice before a judge ordered it. Also... wasn't this project originally supposed to be for books where the authors are dead, missing, etc... and the current copyright holders unknown so they were 'saving' works that would otherwise be lost to time? I'm not sure when it became about just digitizing every book they could get their hands on but that didn't change the fact that they were operating under Fair Use.

Re:Intensely idiotic (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#41554389)

What I want to know is why the hell doesn't this apply to ALL works where the authors are missing/dead/unknown is beyond me. How many games from the 70s through mid 90s are in this kind of limbo where nobody knows who owns what anymore? And what about all the indie labels that have died out in the past 30 years?

We are allowing too damned much of our history to end up in these "legal limbos" where nobody can do a damned thing with it and that is just wrong. All content that an author can't be easily found should be allowed to be treated as Public Domain unless/until someone who can actually show ownership shows up, otherwise all this great stuff is gonna end up lost.

But of course i've supported a "use it or lose it" clause for patents and copyrights for years, where if you don't offer it at a reasonable price somewhere easily accessible it should revert to PD, just so we don't end up with a ton of work in limbo where some corp doesn't want to do anything with it but doesn't want anyone to have it either. For an example look at something like the cult game Wild Arms, where the developer tried to buy the rights back several times only to have the publisher refuse to sell yet refuse to do anything more with the IP either. in cases where they aren't gonna use it they should lose it, simple as that. At the very least force them to renew the copyright at set intervals with a higher fee for each renewal, that way they'd have incentive to decide whether to actually use the property or give it to the Public. As it is now they can sit on stuff for decades and not do a damned thing with it so by the time anything DOES end up PD frankly there aren't any copies left worth having, its just wrong no matter how you slice it.

Re:Intensely idiotic (4, Interesting)

Lord Bitman (95493) | about 2 years ago | (#41551473)

Is this a trick question? How is "fair use" not applicable?
This is absolutely no different from the "scanning" and "putting up" that google does of every other part of the internet. Why should the fact that it started out in a grossly inefficient medium be any distinction whatsoever?

Re:Intensely idiotic (3, Insightful)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 2 years ago | (#41551611)

Is this a trick question? How is "fair use" not applicable?

Depends on how much of the book is being digitally published without the express consent of the copyright holder. A portion of the cover art, the table of contents, and very small number of sample paragraphs seem like a reasonable amount for "fair use". Entire chapters or a large portion of most chapters of a book seems like an unreasonable amount for "fair use".

This is absolutely no different from the "scanning" and "putting up" that google does of every other part of the internet.

Actually the websites that are being scanned are freely available on the internet and Google only provides enough of the website to give the user information on wether or not to visit that website. Also the website can attempt to opt-out preemptively by placing a file in their URL space that informs the web crawler of the author not wanting any of the pages scanned.

Why should the fact that it started out in a grossly inefficient medium be any distinction whatsoever?

You are correct. The copyright holder should have his rights respected regardless of the medium being used.

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | about 2 years ago | (#41554779)

1) To the best of my knowledge, the results that Google intended to display consisted of a few lines from any particular book. They had to have an entire copy scanned in because the lines that matched one search would of course be different from the lines that match another. But the users wouldn't see the whole thing in one go. Also, fair use can encompass the entirety of a work. Whether a use is fair will depend on the circumstances involved; there are no bright line rules in fair use.

2) It's irrelevant that web pages are already on the Internet. Scanning in books and providing an opt out is just the same as indexing the web and providing an opt out.

3) Perhaps we should respect the rights of copyright holders, but those rights have limits beyond which no respect is owed. The authors are going too far in this case.

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | about 2 years ago | (#41551669)

Google "scans" and "puts up" pages that are publicly viewable. They don't put up pages that are behind a pay wall (unless, of course, the web server is poorly configured, or the dev makes it possible for Googlebot to view the pages--such as experts-exchange). Scanning non-free books and making them searchable is akin to putting up pages behind a paywall when they haven't actually been given permission to do so.

Re:Intensely idiotic (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41551679)

> Is this a trick question? How is "fair use" not applicable?

It is not fair use.

Quotes were not used for the basis of reviews.
They were not portions used for education.
They were huge sections of books copied and displayed publicly.

Re:Intensely idiotic (3, Interesting)

tilante (2547392) | about 2 years ago | (#41551989)

If the publishers were sure that what Google was doing wouldn't come under fair use, they could have taken Google to court. They chose not to, which means that they aren't sure that it wouldn't be considered fair use by a court.

To give the physical analogy that Google would undoubtedly use, it's common practice for libraries to buy books and allow anyone to browse them in order to determine whether the book is one they're interested in. It's also common practice for libraries to have photocopiers available at a nominal charge, so that people can make copies of portions of the available books. Both of these things are perfectly legal under US copyright law. Indeed, Section 108 of the Copyright Act states that public libraries and public archives may allow patrons to freely copy materials, and cannot be held liable for such copying so long as they display a specific notice on each piece of copying equipment. The end user can be held liable, but the library or archive cannot.

Thus, there's ample precedent that what Google is allowing through their online archive is, in fact, perfectly legal. This is why the publishers chose to settle rather than go to court - they were afraid that a court might allow Google even greater leeway.

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41551483)

Cultures? society? Human instinct to share?

Copyright is an anathema to human behavior. One that would be worth having it copyright was returned to a sane amount of time.
Copyright holders want to lock up culture, and that's going to far.

Re:Intensely idiotic (1, Flamebait)

s0nicfreak (615390) | about 2 years ago | (#41551559)

What gives copyright holders the right to hoard knowledge? If I borrow a book from the library and read it to my children, when they themselves did not borrow the book, is that not doing the same thing Google is doing?

Re:Intensely idiotic (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#41551665)

What gives copyright holders the right to hoard knowledge?

Draconian laws and bribery.

If I borrow a book from the library and read it to my children, when they themselves did not borrow the book, is that not doing the same thing Google is doing?

It's on an entirely different scale.

Re:Intensely idiotic (4, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41551667)

I though the publishers are on the right here. What gives google the right to scan and put up copyrighted work on their website, without the permissions of the copyright holder?

You have to sort of pay attention to what was really happening all along....

Previously, you could only get a fair use sample of a book, a few pages at best, in response to a search. You couldn't get the whole book. You got less than what a public library would allow you to photocopy in house.

At no time was google providing entire books still in copyright from known publishers and authors.

Now you get up to 20% on line. (The publishers finally figured out that if you read 20%, you are more likely to buy the book to get the rest).

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 2 years ago | (#41552437)

I though the publishers are on the right here. What gives google the right to scan and put up copyrighted work on their website, without the permissions of the copyright holder?

You have to sort of pay attention to what was really happening all along....

Previously, you could only get a fair use sample of a book, a few pages at best, in response to a search. You couldn't get the whole book. You got less than what a public library would allow you to photocopy in house.

At no time was google providing entire books still in copyright from known publishers and authors.

Now you get up to 20% on line. (The publishers finally figured out that if you read 20%, you are more likely to buy the book to get the rest).

It doesn't matter is google was making them available online in whole, in part, or not at all.
They violated copyright when they copied them in the first place. And they copied books they didn't even own! They waltzed into public librarians, took over a room, some tables, and a library employee for a couple of weeks, and photographed every book they could find. "It's ok, we're allowed to do this because we're Google!"

Re:Intensely idiotic (3, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41552593)

It doesn't matter is google was making them available online in whole, in part, or not at all.
They violated copyright when they copied them in the first place. And they copied books they didn't even own! They waltzed into public librarians, took over a room, some tables, and a library employee for a couple of weeks, and photographed every book they could find. "It's ok, we're allowed to do this because we're Google!"

No they didn't.

Copyright allows you to copy your own copy of a book, AND It allows you to give Fair Use Excerpts to your friends for free.

In most cases for current production books, they just bought them off the shelf.

They didn't waltz in to libraries, they asked, and they paid big grant money, and had the consent of the librarians who were all
on board with the project.

Don't confuse the ancient out of print book effort with the scanning of current books in your haste to post the hate.

Re:Intensely idiotic (4, Informative)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 2 years ago | (#41551705)

Well, for one thing Google isn't putting the works up on their website. They're making a copy of the work to store in their database to be searched, but what appears on the search results page is an excerpt from the book (the same sort you see in Google's search results for web pages) and a link to where the book's available (eg. Amazon). So my question is, why should Google need permission from the copyright holder to index things for search? I classify the objections here the same way I classify objections to freely watching DVDs I've purchased copies of because technically watching it involves making an additional copy into the player's memory.

And as far as I can tell, in the cases where Google's making the work itself available it's in cases where the work isn't in print (ie. you can't buy it anywhere else) and the copyright holder can't be contacted or isn't known (ie. you can't contact them to get permission). In those cases I can't find anything wrong with Google's actions, the publisher obviously doesn't care about profiting from the work or it wouldn't be out of print and the copyright holder isn't profiting because the work isn't being sold and nobody has any way of getting the money to them if it were.

Re:Intensely idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41552447)

I classify the objections here the same way I classify objections to freely watching DVDs I've purchased copies of because technically watching it involves making an additional copy into the player's memory.

The difference is that the copy in your DVD player's memory isn't freely accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.

BTW, if the work is out of print, the copyright typically devolves back to the author. You have to contact them (or their estate) for permission, not the original publisher. That's what so many people are getting wrong in this discussion. Publishers don't hold copyrights. Authors hold copyrights. Publishers are just given exclusive right to publish a copyrighted work in exchange for a large cut of the profit. So it's not just the publishers who lose money when copyrights are infringed; authors get shafted, arguably more than the publishers. If publishers lose money off one book because of copyright infringement, they can always find more authors. But the author who got infringed may have no other recourse than to write another book and hope it sells well and doesn't get infringed like the first one. If infringement hurts authors persistently and financially enough, pretty soon there will be far fewer books getting written.

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 2 years ago | (#41553289)

The difference is that the copy in your DVD player's memory isn't freely accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.

The copy of the book isn't either. If what's presented is copyright infringement, then every single library card catalog, every single snippet in a review, every single cover image would be copyright infringement. And canonically they're not.

And no, rights don't typically revert to the author just because the book's out-of-print. I've seen several authors having major fights with their publishers because the books are out-of-print with that publisher, the publisher has no intention of reprinting them, and the publisher won't give the rights back to the author so they can have the book reprinted elsewhere or distribute it themselves. The rights don't revert back until the contract ends or conditions in the contract allowing for reversion are met. This is actually a big problem for authors, a lot of their books sell well enough to be profitable but not well enough to make it worthwhile for the publisher to spend printing capacity on them instead of the latest new title and so the author ends up being completely unable to profit from their own work without a protracted legal fight.

Re:Intensely idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41554559)

...The rights don't revert back until the contract ends or conditions in the contract allowing for reversion are met. This is actually a big problem for authors, ...

Reference for this please? I've heard of a few cases, but don't think it's widespread.

Our publisher isn't any kind of saint, but the sample contract they gave us included a sunset clause. It was something along the lines of, "If Publisher allows the Work to go out of print for six months, the Author may end this Contract" (and then either find another publisher or self publish). There were lots of other slippery clauses in the the sample contract and, since we have some business experience, we were able to negotiate many of them to our advantage as authors.

We didn't get them all--prospective authors should think about translation rights and co-publishing rights (two areas where we feel screwed by our publisher).

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | about 2 years ago | (#41554871)

Clauses like that are fairly common in book publishing in my experience, but they are not obligatory and a shady publisher could surely slip one by an unsuspecting author (likely one without good representation).

Meanwhile, check out all the 203 and 304 terminations showing up or about to; plenty of them are the result of a lack of a termination or reversion clause in the license or assignment.

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 2 years ago | (#41552363)

I though the publishers are on the right here. What gives google the right to scan and put up copyrighted work on their website, without the permissions of the copyright holder?

Absolutely nothing. If any individual had done the same thing, or even just scanned books to index them for personal use, they'd be a rotting corpse by now.

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

alexgieg (948359) | about 2 years ago | (#41552415)

What gives google the right to scan and put up copyrighted work on their website, without the permissions of the copyright holder?

The common good.

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about 2 years ago | (#41552495)

When they are only publishing a few pages of a large book/document... Fair Use gives them the right.

It's not like they were putting whole books online or anything like that. It was just a little bit, usually the table of contents plus a few pages. All that ever would have done is make people aware of the book who might then want to buy it!

The publishers, who ultimately end up benefiting from this exposure made a big fuss about it. How is that not 'Intensely Idiotic'?

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

toastking (2743165) | about 2 years ago | (#41553627)

I don't think google makes any advertising money off the scanned books, and they are also within fair use laws. I think what Google did was legal but angered publishers because they thought they were missing out on royalty money.

Re:Intensely idiotic (4, Insightful)

preaction (1526109) | about 2 years ago | (#41551387)

I'm more concerned about orphaned works and the length of copyright causing a work to be completely destroyed before it can be preserved. I understand the desire to keep copyright, and I understand the idea that Google is infringing by creating these digital copies and then providing excerpts for users, but the wealth of knowledge that gets lost because of copyrights that last essentially forever is a real problem that needs a real solution.

Perhaps it's stupid to entrust that burden to a corporation, and it should be the job of a public or non-profit institution, but this knowledge must be preserved.

Re:Intensely idiotic (4, Insightful)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 2 years ago | (#41551469)

Perhaps it's stupid to entrust that burden to a corporation, and it should be the job of a public or non-profit institution, but this knowledge must be preserved.

If only the Library of Congress in the US, national library of China, library of Russian academy of science, National library and Archives Canada, and the German National Library existed.

Re:Intensely idiotic (3, Insightful)

s0nicfreak (615390) | about 2 years ago | (#41551567)

If only there weren't many books that all of those refuse to archive.

Re:Intensely idiotic (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 2 years ago | (#41552421)

The library of Congress specializes in certain things.In many areas, they're no better than a college library

Instructional Support level: A collection that in a university is adequate to support undergraduate and most graduate instruction, or sustained independent study; that is, adequate to maintain knowledge of a subject required for limited or generalized purposes, of less than research intensity

In some areas, they are truly awesome:

Comprehensive Level: A collection which, so far as is reasonably possible, includes all significant works of recorded knowledge (publications, manuscripts, and other forms), in all applicable languages, for a necessarily defined and limited field. This level of collecting intensity is one that maintains a " special collection." The aim, if not achievement, is exhaustiveness.

Their areas of interests are defined here [loc.gov]

Re:Intensely idiotic (2)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | about 2 years ago | (#41553381)

And then there is their hard on for microfilm.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Fold [wikipedia.org]

In ancient times all people who came into the city of Alexandria were searched for books. Any books that were brought into the city which were of interest were copied in order to add to the collection of the great and famous Library of Alexandria, the biggest and best archive in the classical world.

But only a few works of antiquity which would've been found there have survived to the present day. Most were lost to decay, fire, deliberate destruction, etc. Some books survive only as notes written by a student. Some we only know the titles of. Many, not even that.

Archives are good, but what ultimately preserves knowledge is copying and distribution. The works that survived were works with lots of copies around the world, frequently being recopied and further disseminated. We'll soon have the ability to all carry around a full copy of the entire Library of Congress in drives we can fit in our pockets or on a keychain. It would be better if we used them productively, rather than suffering the embarrassment of copyrights used in such a way as to impede the use, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge -- and for nothing more than money.

Re:Intensely idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41552927)

Have you ever tried actually accessing a bopk held in one of those "archives"?

Hint: it's not possible for us "normals". But somehow undergraduates are given free reign of the place. Apparently they are the only group permitted to learn.

Re:Intensely idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41552987)

If only a fee for registering copyright existed, which would ensure that your material could be archived and be read in the future.

Idiot.

Re:Intensely idiotic (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41551543)

I'm more concerned about orphaned works and the length of copyright causing a work to be completely destroyed before it can be preserved

Actually, (according to the first link) the Orphaned Works issue is still pending, with the Author's Guild still fighting on the behalf of dead or unknown authors and asserting that they, (the author's guild) have standing to represent these dead or unknown authors, and force Google to remove their works.

a google shit in he own mouth (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41551573)

a shameful google

...and in the rest of the world? (5, Interesting)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 2 years ago | (#41551419)

so U.S. publishers can choose...

What about the rest of the world? If the US publisher of a particular book says 'no' and the British publisher says 'yes' does the book get scanned or not? Does it get scanned but censored in the US? What about books with no US publisher?

Re:...and in the rest of the world? (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#41551725)

What about the rest of the world?

Hey, that's what the legal system and copyright law get you. 196 different settlements required.

Oh, another bulllet point for the "IP is damaging" list.

Re:...and in the rest of the world? (2)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | about 2 years ago | (#41553107)

The last thing we want is a uniform global copyright law; it would inevitably be terrible for most of the countries involved.

Better to have each country write their own copyright laws (or not) from scratch, with the one core principle being that it should best serve the people of that country -- not authors, not publishers, not people elsewhere in the world. The only things I'd want to see done globally are 1) national treatment so that anyone who seeks a copyright in a given jurisdiction isn't discriminated agains on the basis of their nationality, citizenship, language, etc. Whatever the locals can get, foreigners can get too. 2) That copyright laws not be mutually exclusive in such a way that an author would have to decide between getting a copyright in one jurisdiction or another. Getting rights one place shouldn't shut you out of another.

Author's Guild lawsuit still alive (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#41551487)

Remember what happened here. Google tried to rewrite copyright law through litigation so that Google would have the exclusive right to digitize and resell works in copyright, subject to paying fees through some clearinghouse. The judge didn't go for that. The agreement now just affects material controlled by members of the Association of American Publishers.

Re:Author's Guild lawsuit still alive (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41551599)

The problem with your post is the word exclusive.
Google just wanted the same rights for their online library that brick-and-mortar libraries and archives have.

Re:Author's Guild lawsuit still alive (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41551929)

They never wanted an exclusive license. They just wanted a license. People painting it as "exclusive" just weren't willing to go through all the trouble to scan the stuff on their own.

Re:Author's Guild lawsuit still alive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41553461)

Incorrect... my university is one of the ones involved. The digitized stuff goes into an escrow type holding "partnership" for lack of better words.

Also Google switched the list a while ago and is only requesting creative commons licensed works (or those out of copyright) but no doubt the lawsuit had something to do with that

Re:Author's Guild lawsuit still alive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41553485)

To add to this, universities and others have been digitizing books for years (1990ish) but their speeds in doing so aren't so hot even though they thought they were. Then Google came along and said "we can do X thousand books every week (I forget the exact number) which was a massive increase over what the universities could do, so the universities said "okay sounds good"

Took 7 years for common sense approach? (3, Interesting)

realsilly (186931) | about 2 years ago | (#41551621)

That's ashamed it took 7 years to agree to something that summed up sounds so reasonably easy to agree to.

*sigh* sounds like the lawyers milked both sides for all they were both worth.

The media industry wins again (2)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 years ago | (#41551697)

And the citizens lose, as free access to knowledge takes another step backwards.

I hope Google does the right thing (5, Interesting)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 years ago | (#41551707)

Don't be evil.

I hope Google does the right thing and publishes a list of all publishers who opt out of Google's book scanning project. The list should be public and searchable.

That makes it clear to authors which publishers are clueless. if an author publishes his book with one of these publishers, the author just made sure his book is not searchable by the best search tool on the planet.

As a consumer, not only will I not happen to find any books from these clueless publishers, I would like such a list so that I can actively avoid buying from such clueless publishers.

Let evolution take its course. Dinosaur publishers who don't want Google searching their books. Etc.

Re:I hope Google does the right thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41552909)

I'll bet you're the kind of precious customer who buys a book, then returns it a week later after having read half of it.

They won't miss your business.

Re:I hope Google does the right thing (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 2 years ago | (#41553601)

Um, no.

When I buy a book I am quite sure I want it permanently on my bookshelf. Clueful publishers are helpful in this process. Sometimes they put one chapter of the book online for free. Other times, I can preview bits of it on Amazon. Etc. Just like back in the previous millennium I could turn the pages of the actual book and look at it before taking it to the checkout counter.

If you're so against google scanning your book, then you must not want your book to be found. And furthermore, I don't want to read it. Yes, I know that I don't want to read it before I even know what the title is. If the publisher, and the author are that clueless, let them stay stuck in the previous millennium.

As an individual author I did not grant permission (0)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 2 years ago | (#41551881)

The publisher can't grant permission for my works in the Library of Congress, because I had them printed myself.

Therefore, this "deal" still violates my COPYRIGHT.

Period.

I'm not dead yet.

Re:As an individual author I did not grant permiss (1)

localhost8080 (819098) | about 2 years ago | (#41552051)

this means that you are the publisher, and you could revoke your permission. http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3163743&cid=41551725 [slashdot.org]

Re:As an individual author I did not grant permiss (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 2 years ago | (#41552257)

Costs me money.

More poll taxes on us.

Re:As an individual author I did not grant permiss (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 2 years ago | (#41553335)

Usually if you have a publisher, it's no longer YOUR works. It's theirs.
It's kind of a crock.

Remind me again... "publishers"? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#41552615)

Were they the ones who made buggy whips?

Correct Attribution (1)

Electrawn (321224) | about 2 years ago | (#41553199)

Great job on the correct link attributions in summary. Gold star.

Orphaned works?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41554693)

The BIG issue was not so much the books that are under copyright with a known rights holder, it was actually the orphaned works for which a current rights holder can not be readily identified.

The Books-AA's of this world tried to claim it as theirs, and Google didn't want to go for that. If the rights holder cannot be found, it is not some Guild or Association that "thus" represents the rights holder and entitled to monies (with the money reverting to them at the latest after the copyright expires but more likely pocketed right away).

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?