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Russian EBookseller LitRes Gets Competing EBook Apps Booted From Google Play

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the google-hates-sharing dept.

Piracy 145

Nate the greatest writes "The developer of the popular Android app Moon+ Reader was surprised to discover this weekend that he is a filthy stinking pirate. Google informed him via an automated email that Moon+ Reader had been removed from Google Play because the app had switched to using pirate sites as the main sources of ebooks. Or at least, that's what LitRes claims, but when they complained to Google LitRes didn't tell the whole truth. What was really happening is that users of the app are enabling piracy, not the app itself. Thanks to the way Moon+ Reader is designed to let users share links to ebook sources some of the sources are indeed pirate sites (less than your average Google Search). In reality the app was no more a source of pirated content than your average web browser. What do you say when an ebook distributor's anti-piracy plan involves going after app developers rather than pirate sites? Something printable, IMO."

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145 comments

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Ahh, the razors edge... (-1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792355)

I get what they were doing, and understand it's not direct piracy. However, I disagreed with Napster for the same reason I disagree with these guys. They intentionally facilitate piracy. It's one thing to have the ability to back up and copy your own data between devices. It's another thing all together when you allow sharing of data without better control.

A reasonable analogy (and relevant). Guys used to make lots of money customizing the old Pirate ships. Adding more guns, adding more speed, adding better sails, etc... Were they wrong? Unfortunately they were "legally" wrong since what they did was help facilitate crime. They willing did so, and knowingly did so. Their sense of greater good was a bit different than say England's greater good (though to be historically correct, big government mostly paid pirates to screw up the other guys: not much different than today :O).

When two greater goods collide, the ones with the "law" on their side tend to win a whole lot. It takes society to recognize and demand changes to the laws to change those scales.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (5, Insightful)

Manfre (631065) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792439)

As the summary states, your argument applies equally to any web browser and google search, since those make it easy to find and download pirated material.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42792611)

You're an idiot.

There's a huge difference between "exists solely to facilitate piracy" and "can be used to facilitate piracy".

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (4, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792673)

No. You're the idiot.

That distinction is entirely imaginary and is dependent entirely upon the intent of the end user.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792919)

There's a huge difference between "exists solely to facilitate piracy" and "can be used to facilitate piracy".

That distinction is entirely imaginary and is dependent entirely upon the intent of the end user.

You're both idiots. Let me explain by example: A nuclear bomb's purpose is to cause destruction. That doesn't mean it cannot facilitate peace. In the same way, even a tool designed solely to facilitate piracy could be used to reduce or prevent it. For example, if movies and other things now available on pirated websites were made available through an "official" site where you could get the same materials, and same quality, but it came with a time bomb that would cause it to cease being usable after a period of time. The problem with DRM is they put it on things you buy, but if they made it available for free, as a "try before you buy" product with the option to upgrade. It's been proven in case study after case study pirates buy more material outright than those who don't pirate. In other words: Your best customers are pirates.

As far as the line in the sand being dependent on intent, much of copyright law (not all!) falls under the umbrella of strict liability, which means intent doesn't have to be proven. The mens rea, or the "state of mind" of the criminal, plays no part. It is strictly the act itself which is considered. Either you did it, or you didn't. Intent is irrelevant. For example, if murder was a crime of strict liability, even if you shot a gunman who was about to mow down a bus full of children (a heroic act by most people's standards!) you'd be more of a criminal than the gunman -- he only threatened to shoot. You actually did.

This is why strict liability is so damned evil... it was created for situations where intent was unlikely to ever be proved (for example, improper toxic waste disposal... how can you prove any member of the corporation knew it was in violation? It may be impossible due to shared responsibility to identify the perpetuator of the criminal act as opposed to those who sincerely thought it was on the up and up), but expanded to include everything under the sun. It was also supposed to be a relatively lighter sentence, because there was no mens rea considered. That's also gone by the wayside.

So yeah, in short -- you're both wrong. But you both had the right idea.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (3, Insightful)

mcneely.mike (927221) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792977)

Yes, it's the same as the photocopier in the library... it can be used to facilitate breaking copyright laws... should the librarian be jailed or the photocopier maker be shut down for this ability?

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (2)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793007)

Yes, it's the same as the photocopier in the library... it can be used to facilitate breaking copyright laws... should the librarian be jailed or the photocopier maker be shut down for this ability?

No, but in a library where there is hard evidence of 99% of people using the photocopier to make illegal copies of books it might be smart to remove the photocopier from public access.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

b1scuit (795301) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793025)

Or you could just kick people who do it out of the library.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (2)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793111)

Either choice is acceptable. The owner (google) of the library (play store) is perfectly free to choose whichever option they want. I've read the terms of service (https://play.google.com/about/developer-content-policy.html) and they allow for removing apps that "encourage or induce infringement of intellectual property rights", not just because of outright infringement. What exactly constitutes "encouragement" isn't spelled out, but leaves a lot of leeway for interpretation on Google's part.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793159)

With copyrights under the DCMA there are no strict liability issues. A site must honor a take down notice under the law, at least in the USA. Most other countries comply with US law or have similar laws of their own (Often coerced by the US.). This means that a one time sharer is not punished unless they ignore the notices. The multiple strike policy similarly effects people that repeatedly share copyrighted materials, not one time offenders.

Trust me, I don't mean to imply the system we have is perfect, or even good. I also don't mean to imply that the RIAA, MPAA,and politicians don't want strict liability. I'm just pointing out that there is no strict liability with data sharing presently.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792819)

At a very technical level I see the point, however I notice two main differences. The first is that a browser is not built to circumvent copyrights. Browsers can share pirated goods inadvertently, where some software is built to share intentionally and avoid the copyrights. The second difference is that Google is, and all other web sites are, required to honor take down notices. Just to make sure that the previous statement is qualified, "required" should not imply "honored". The same does not always to apply to software designed for content sharing.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793085)

My understanding is this thing isn't built to circumvent copyrights. Ebooks do not have to be listed at certain sites in order for the copyright to remain valid. You could have an Ebook which is little more then an organized collection of man pages and howto hosted by a software site. It is built to use regularly distributed content as well as irregularly distributed content at the users discretion.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42792455)

Can you please, please, please have someone with a brain edit this? Your misuse of the English language hurts my poor head. You have misplaced commas, incomplete sentences, and incorrect word usage (it's 'altogether', dammit). Please look into how a colon works and use it when appropriate. Please find a basic grammar book about how to form sentences and do that. Learn what an ellipse is and how to use it. You're inability to differentiate between a pirate and a privater would make you look like an unschooled oaf, except that you then worsen the situation with an emoticon. Please also learn what quotes are and how they work. While typos and the occasional lapses are easily tolerated, your post is filled with so many errors, I can only conclude you are either an ESL person or an idiot.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (-1, Redundant)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792575)

We get it. You're a perfect person for understanding English completely, the rest of us are "idiots". Feel superior enough now? That was the the point of your post, wasn't it? To be able to act like a superior bully? We all bow to your superior a**-hole-ishness!

Secure that noise, would'ja please?

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42792647)

No actually he's not perfect, but he's entirely correct. What's the point of your post? To support the abuse of a beautiful language? Shut your trap.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42792787)

To support the abuse of a beautiful language?

It's a god damn inconsistent mess. I was born in an English-speaking country, and English is quite widespread, so I can't simply abandon it, but even I can see that English is a slut in the world of languages.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42793197)

ITT some languages are inherently evil

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42794633)

No actually he's not perfect, but he's entirely correct. What's the point of your post? To support the abuse of a beautiful language? Shut your trap.

English? Beautiful? When did that mongrel collection of snippets from French, Dutch, Latin, German, various Scandinavian languages, Gaelic and god knows what else become the queen of all languages? And whey did it's native speakers get a license to abuse anybody who makes the slightest punctuation error? I say ve all ztart making Lots more of Gramatical, zpeling and, puctuation; errorz thann we normaly do juszt top Pizz off the englis-languagge nazis.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42792683)

Can you please, please, please have someone with a brain edit this? Your misuse of the English language hurts my poor head. You have misplaced commas, incomplete sentences, and incorrect word usage (it's 'altogether', dammit). Please look into how a colon works and use it when appropriate. Please find a basic grammar book about how to form sentences and do that. Learn what an ellipse is and how to use it. You're inability to differentiate between a pirate and a privater would make you look like an unschooled oaf, except that you then worsen the situation with an emoticon. Please also learn what quotes are and how they work. While typos and the occasional lapses are easily tolerated, your post is filled with so many errors, I can only conclude you are either an ESL person or an idiot.

<pedantic>

1. ... (it's 'altogether', dammit.) - Punctuation should be inside parenthetical

2. "Your" is possessive, as opposed to a contraction of "You are" makes no sense when describing "inability."

3. privateer is spelled incorrectly

</pedantic>

Not seeing much difference between your post and the OP from an editing perspective. Something about glass houses and rocks.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1, Funny)

Stormwatch (703920) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793153)

Punctuation should be inside parenthetical

Stopped reading there.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42794089)

1 is not a rule, it's a stylistic decision, and not universally agreed upon.

For some reason, everyone looked past "ellipse" instead of (I presume) "ellipsis".

And in defense of the complaint:
1) This guy is not paid to post comments. The editors are paid to post stories (or so I believe - perhaps they are paid in bananas or karma or something).
2) Writing is about communication. Trying to decipher the meaning behind some errors causes a 'mental gear change', hampering the reader as they try to puzzle out what was meant. Writing clearly is partly an indication of respect for the reader. What was posted here was, frankly, treating the reader like toilet paper.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

zenlessyank (748553) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792693)

I believe it is "damn it" not "dammit". You nitpicky, not knowing English, Pole smoking, Ass pimple. Find another bridge to fall on you. Troll ;)

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792743)

My statements regarding pirates being paid is historically accurate, there is only a differentiation based on an alliance. For example, early in his career Francis Drake was called a privateer by England while Spain called him a Pirate. He even flew the Jolly Rodger as his flag. Perhaps you were implying that privateers were not pirates? My English may not always perfect but my history is usually accurate.

Nitpicking language on a forum is sometimes laughable, and in your case that's exactly what I did. I'm not writing a thesis, I'm posting on /. With that said, I do try to write well. Quotes are often used for emphasis on words. Try reading a bit about the use of quotes here [wikipedia.org] , and perhaps you can learn something. In particular notice this quote. "Quotation marks can also be used to indicate a different meaning of a word or phrase than the one typically associated with it and are often used to express irony.:. It should be obvious to anyone with a basic level of philosophical education that my use of quotes is correct. This is especially true with words like "Law" and "Legal" as we question their relevance to data sharing.

I will never claim to be perfect and can always find ways to improve. You should take that as a hint. I'm not surprised you post anonymously however.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

Nostromo21 (1947840) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792797)

> I'm not surprised you post anonymously however.

But we all are that you don't. No really.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42793221)

+1. My gods why do you keep asserting things you don't know?

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42793033)

Can you please, please, please learn to spell correctly or have someone with a brain edit your post before you post: it is privateer, not privater.

k, thanks.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793207)

An ellipse [reference.com] is "a plane curve such that the sums of the distances of each point in its periphery from two fixed points, the foci, are equal." Quite how that is useful in this discourse escapes me. Perhaps you meant ellipsis [reference.com] . Anonymous Cowards in glass houses...

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792605)

I'm confused. You think people that upgraded ships were in the wrong? They may have been legally in the wrong, The majority of their business may have been in aiding criminals. However, there are plenty of legitimate uses for such upgrades, including better defense against pirates and privateers, so outright condemnation is innapropriate. Also, I seem to recall reading that pirates were usually ordinary people who got upset with the fact that they were forced into slave labor on a ship after being kidnapped. So, even literal pirates were usually the good guys, if anything.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792863)

The legal definition falls to mans rea in my opinion. If I upgraded a pirate ship to make them faster than the King's ships, my intent was aiding. Similar to piracy today, many people justify it morally. Yes, I can get paid to upgrade ships. If I can upgrade a pirate's ship and make them more effective, well from one serf to another guess which I choose? My intent is clear however, I'm not doing it to just be a great engineer and make shipping better.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793003)

Correction: The term in the first sentence should be "mens rea". Gah...

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42794369)

So a mechanic who works on a criminals getaway car is a criminal? What about a murderers physician? People like you make this country a shitty place to live.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792613)

They intentionally facilitate piracy. It's one thing to have the ability to back up and copy your own data between devices. It's another thing all together when you allow sharing of data without better control.

Google is intentionally facilitating piracy. Both their Chrome browser (as a software), their search engine and their messaging services (gmail, Instant messaging and and Google Voice) allow users to share pirate data and Google knows this and allows it with little (if any) control.

(Stop blaming the tools and the providers of the tools for how their tools are used!!!)

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793375)

its like the people who blame guns when someone uses one to cause murder. pathetic. Dont blame the tools used, blame the tools using them.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792835)

They intentionally facilitate piracy.

A long long time ago, in a galaxy far away, Veronica and Archie and WAIS and FTP and gopher and a bunch of other obscure Internet programs "facilitated piracy" by allowing people to download material that others had put up on the Internet.

But everyone jumped down Napster's throat for "facilitating piracy" as if Napster was doing something that nobody had ever done before. People were shocked, I say, absolutely shocked, to find out that you could use Napster on the Internet to download INFORMATION!

Save the moral outrage about Napster, please.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792921)

People jumped down Napster's throat because it didn't have substantial non-infringing uses. FTP, web browsers, Google, and other such technologies you and other commenters mention, have substantial non-infringing use. However Napster had basically one purpose. That was to distribute MP3 files around the internet, and in 99.99% of cases these files were being distributed without the consent of the copyright holder.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (3, Insightful)

Obfuscant (592200) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793019)

People jumped down Napster's throat because it didn't have substantial non-infringing uses. FTP, web browsers, Google, and other such technologies you and other commenters mention, have substantial non-infringing use.

So does Napster.

Napster had basically one purpose. That was to distribute MP3 files around the internet,

Actually, the one purpose Napster had was to index things that other people were making available.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793469)

I believe the more relevant piece of Napster versus the rest of the Internet is that there was no way to control anything on Napster where the DCMA allowed for some level of control on the Internet.

If you host a Warez site and receive a take down notice, you can ignore it and be prosecuted or remove the material. Yeah yeah, they have to hunt you down and all that.. but it happen(s/ed). Napster's biggest problem was that it was not possible to control what got shared.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793595)

Napster's biggest problem was that it was not possible to control what got shared.

Of course it was. Find the offending site and issue a takedown. You can't copy over the net what isn't there, even if a convenient indexing service tells you that it is. Just like you can't ftp a file that has been taken down. It was not uncommon to find Veronica data that wasn't there, either. Or google links that are dead.

If Napster is bad, then Google is worse because they do it on a more massive scale. And FTP did it originally.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793547)

I know ... and damnit, that's what Youtube is for.
I have most of my songs from Youtube.

I don't know what those Napster guys were thinking!

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (2)

sesshomaru (173381) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792945)

I heard from a friend of a friend of an enemy that someone once used the Nook reader application to read a pirated book.

But I wouldn't trust a person like me, if I were you.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

Lukano (50323) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792987)

Well, despite the crazy old english pirate tangent s.pertry took on this.... he's kind of right. Occums Razor and all, the simplest answer is that someone made a tool that made piracy easier. It doesn't mean the maker was out to make piracy easier, just that the tool he created (unknowingly?) did so.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793097)

What you point out is not the same thing I was mentioning. The Occam's razor I was pointing out is that the legality and law related to data sharing is often questioned by the public. Many people don't see the laws as justified and/or moral laws, therefor the laws are often loudly ignored.

What you point out is possibly a second blade on the razor. Multiple edges are common when discussing parsimony. I don't claim to know the authors intent with the software. I understand plausible deniability enough to question public statements if they are given.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42793127)

Are you really defending that it's the software - and not the person who owns the software - who should decide what the person's machine should and should not run? Nobody wants their computer deciding what is and what is not an illegal operation. If you want that I hope you know you're an asshole.

Punishing Moon+ Reader from working with "pirated" content is unethical. How is the software supposed to know what is and what is not legal in the country it's being run? Next thing you know they'll sue Ford because someone found out their cars can be used to commit crimes. I kid, I kid, Ford is too big to be punished.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793395)

A couple of questions since I have never used the software. Do they honor DCMA requests and remove copyrighted materials when the owner makes the request? Do they have a mechanism for bypassing or removing copyright protection?

The first question is how the Internet generally works. If there is no way of honoring a copyright owners request, the dilemma should be obvious.

The second question requires a look at how e-books are distributed and some logic. The common platforms of Kindle and Nook, and software like Google and Apple's book software, have built in mechanisms for protecting owners materials. The fact that these can be broken does not imply that it should be broken or is intended to not function. If this software author used the same specifications agreed too by copyright owners, then there are no issues. People are breaking the copyrights on their own.

If the software ignores the copyright headers, there is a different and obvious legal issue.

I'm not against you breaking in to your device and making back up copies for your use. I am however against you breaking in to your device and giving away someone's work. The first thing mentioned is the most common argument against protection on media. I would agree to the statement that "what we currently have does not facilitate common sense when dealing with the people that purchase products". The second thing mentioned is not even close to the same thing as the first.

As an example, I recently purchased a book for my iPhone which I have in hard copy in my library. The book is good enough to have in both locations, so in my opinion the author deserves the income. If it was a crap book, I'd probably not want both copies. I believe that many people look at all copyrighted materials as the .99c songs. What we should consider more is the larger money items like books, and how that impacts an author's livelihood.

Re:Ahh, the razors edge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42794565)

Watching this get modded into "-1 disagree" is really making me lose hope for this site.

Way to go Google (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42792375)

Any app that supports sharing pirate links should be banned from Android. That Twitter app is a prime example of an app that lets users share links to pirate web sites! BAN TWITTER! And what about that nasty "Chrome" app? It goes well beyond sharing links to pirate web sites, actually TAKING THE USER RIGHT THERE, to the pirate website itself. BAN CHROME! Clearly not Android app material.

There are books that I can't buy (4, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792395)

First of all, not everybody on earth can legally buy every book that he or she wants.

Depending on which country that you live in, there are restrictions imposed, prohibiting people from buying the "banned" books.

And in some countries, the "banning" has reached the cyberspace ... that is, not only you can't buy the dead-tree version of the book, you can't legally buy the ebook version, either.

Some of the government even installed bots watching over people who are on the Net.

For example, there are some books - if I want them - I can't get, from the place that I am staying right now.

They are not on display in brick and mortar bookstores. I can't place an order for them either.

And if I go online and try to pay and buy an ebook version (using my credit card) the bot may spot what I do and I may be invited for a cup of tea with some religious / political officials.

People in such position have two options:

1. Move out from that goddamn country

2. Download the pirated version

Option #1 seems obvious, but in some instances, not very practical. For family, business, or for whatever reason, people may not be so easily move from one country to the other.

Option #2, it's illegal, it's immoral, but then, government bots do not often watching over connections to the pirated sites.

Re:There are books that I can't buy (3, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792445)

I wouldn't call Option #2 immoral. Any law banning a book is immoral in itself and should not be followed if you can help it.

As for the piracy aspect, if you CAN'T buy it legally, the writer/publisher isn't losing any income when you pirate it. So morally you are in the clear; if the book is later legalized, though, you should definitely pay for it to show your support.

Re:There are books that I can't buy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42792639)

"Any law banning a book is immoral in itself and should not be followed"..... sorry, disagree entry here
What about graphic pedophilia ?
What about graphic torture/snuff ?

There is some material in printed/digital form that is illegal and morally reprehensible and should be banned, if you disagree just ask yourself
would your like a book published by some sadist showing how they tortured and killed one of your family be made available for everyone to see ?

There is damn good reasons for some forms of censorship, and you will ALWAYS find some section of the community who disagrees for what ever reason.

Re:There are books that I can't buy (4, Insightful)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792909)

> There is some material in printed/digital form that is illegal and morally reprehensible and should be banned

That's a fallacy for a number of reasons:

What's illegal in one country may not be in another.

Who decides what is "morally reprehensible" ? You?? Moral's are not absolutes -- they are decided upon by each meta-layer of the community. If a community wishes to decide for itself that it won't sell or read certain books that is their choice -- but they don't have the right to shove their man-made dogma down the throats of its inhabitants.

Governments need to get off their moral high horse and stop (trying) to dictate to others what its citizens can and can't read. Only a person who lives in fear tries to dictate morality to other people. That is never successful in the long run, anybody who says otherwise needs to pay attention to history. i.e.
* http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/censorship/bannedbooksthatshapedamerica [bannedbooksweek.org]
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_books_banned_by_governments [wikipedia.org]

> There is damn good reasons for some forms of censorship
Only cowards use censorship.

There is obviously content I have absolutely no interest in reading / watching / listening to. I also realize _my_ morals do NOT over-ride another person's as long as nobody is getting hurt.

If people are offended at a book's content then they need to grow the fuck up. They have a choice -- don't read it !! They also do NOT have the right to tell others what they can or can not read. We're all adults here. It's time to start treating others with respect even if you disagree with them.

--
Fashion: fabricated fad.

Re:There are books that I can't buy (3, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792915)

What about graphic pedophilia ?
What about graphic torture/snuff ?

Correct. It applies in this situations too. Or were you expecting someone to answer differently? You know, mentioning an extreme example is a good way to see whether or not someone really cares about free speech.

would your like a book published

I don't believe you should be able to restrict others' rights simply because you're offended by what they say.

and you will ALWAYS find some section of the community who disagrees for what ever reason.

Exactly. When you're on the chopping block, that won't be so fun, now will it?

Re:There are books that I can't buy (-1, Flamebait)

Obfuscant (592200) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792809)

People in such position have two options:

Option 3: not have the book.

Which God died and said that you have a moral right to take whatever you want if someone doesn't want to sell it to you?

Re:There are books that I can't buy (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792943)

That is a legitimate option, but...

Which God died and said that you have a moral right to take whatever you want if someone doesn't want to sell it to you?

Good thing you don't need to take anything.

Re:There are books that I can't buy (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793051)

Other than taking a copy of the information you expect should be available to you no matter what the author says about it.

Re:There are books that I can't buy (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793381)

Or rather, having a copy sent to you by a willing party. If we're talking about downloading it, that is. It kind of defeats the purpose of copyright (putting aside any disagreements with that for a moment) if the product isn't even made available. It's about as silly as allowing someone to both have copyright and DRM.

Re:There are books that I can't buy (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793463)

Or rather, having a copy sent to you by a willing party.

So, a "willing party" is sufficient to override any express wishes of the copyright holder regarding distribution of his intellectual property for any period of time, even a reasonable seven years like copyright used to be? That's one opinion. No copyright at all, then. If someone doesn't want to sell you the book he's written (or won't license his publisher to sell it where you live, or the publisher acting on behalf of the copyright holder won't distribute it), you are free to have someone who does have a copy just send you one for free.

Can the "willing party" sell you the copy? After all, if he can give it to you and you are causing no harm to the copyright holder, certainly paying the willing party won't harm the copyright holder either. Why don't we all just contact the "willing party" who can provide us all free copies, if you can do it?

So, then, if I find a copy in the library, I can just carry it over to the Xerox (or Wang, or Toshiba) and copy it myself, because I can't get a copy from the original author? Even if he doesn't want to distribute it anymore?

It's about as silly as allowing someone to both have copyright and DRM.

Copyright means that the author has the right to determine the distribution of his work, which includes the right to say it will contain DRM when he does. He is the one who gets to define the license for his work. You don't get to say "I don't like your license, I'm going to ignore it". By doing that, you're defeating the entire concept of copyright. And then you claim that the author is defeating the idea of copyright because he's exercising his rights. But he's doing it in a way you don't like, so he doesn't get to have the copyright anymore.

This is all a wonderful academic discussion, but the fact remains, there are at least three options, not two. If you can't get it legally, then you can "move", "steal it", or "simply do without". Ignoring the third option makes it look like you think you have a basic right to have whatever it is you want even if the author doesn't want to distribute it the way you want it.

Re:There are books that I can't buy (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year and a half ago | (#42794085)

So, a "willing party" is sufficient to override any express wishes of the copyright holder regarding distribution of his intellectual property for any period of time, even a reasonable seven years like copyright used to be?

I think so, yes.

That's one opinion.

Indeed it is.

Can the "willing party" sell you the copy?

I don't see why not. I've seen a fair number of people who say that 'normal' copyright infringement causes no harm, but then say that selling someone else's copyrighted material does cause harm. That confuses me somewhat.

Even if he doesn't want to distribute it anymore?

Yes?

Copyright means that the author has the right to determine the distribution of his work, which includes the right to say it will contain DRM when he does.

As much as I disagree with copyright, I don't think it's all about the authors anyway. I think it's more about encouraging innovation. In exchange for copyright, the work must go into the public domain someday. Kind of hard for it to go into the public domain if the DRM causes future copies to stop functioning, and it's not exactly good for customers to begin with. So again, it's not all about the author, and copyright is in some ways more of a privilege than a right (or else it wouldn't expire), I think. I don't see anything wrong with simply saying, "DRM or copyright. Take your pick." In that case, all you're doing is saying that they don't get a monopoly over the distribution of an idea. I don't see the problem here.

But he's doing it in a way you don't like, so he doesn't get to have the copyright anymore.

You can disagree with any law you like, but generally, if the majority decide that they don't like a certain behavior, it will be regulated in some way. If most people decide that forcing people to choose between DRM and copyright is a good thing, then there's a chance it could happen. I for one don't view copyright as a fundamental right in the first place.

Ignoring the third option makes it look like you think you have a basic right to have whatever it is you want even if the author doesn't want to distribute it the way you want it.

Were you referring to me or the one you originally replied to? Whatever the case, there are indeed more than two options.

Re:There are books that I can't buy (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793031)

I think His name was Jehovah, but the pronunciation always confuses me.

Re:There are books that I can't buy (3)

Stormwatch (703920) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793211)

It's pronounced "mee-toh-lo-gee".

Re:There are books that I can't buy (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793113)

It's not that no-one wants to sell it to him, it's that they're not allowed to sell it to him even if they wanted to.

Re:There are books that I can't buy (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793209)

What an apt turn of phrase. I have a natural right to any and all knowledge i can accumulate, 'God' set it up that way. We use artificial means to stop that from occurring and you are chastising US on morality?

Re:There are books that I can't buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42793251)

The one I fucking killed and took the right from, DUH!

Re:There are books that I can't buy (5, Insightful)

Skapare (16644) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793321)

I am taking NOTHING from you if I download, from a pirate site or other sharing mechanism, some media you are publishing, IF you have made it so I cannot download it legitimately. Likewise if you have made it so that I cannot use it when downloaded legitimately, I am taking NOTHING from you if I crack it.

I have NOT deprived you of any property by making a COPY. I have NOT deprived you of any revenue if you already made it so I cannot pay you for a working copy.

There are markets. If you do not want to sell a working copy to some particular segments of the market, then you are clearly not expecting any revenue from that segment of the market. If I am in that segment, then do not whine about what I do. If you want my revenue, make sure I can get it legally and that it works for me on MY computer. If you find it cost prohibitive to support some tiny segment of the market, then that is your decision to exclude them and let them figure it out.

Re:There are books that I can't buy (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793245)

I would include abusive DRM in this, and for all media. For example, if the DRM breaks the ability for me to read the book, play the music, view the movie, or run the software, on MY computer, but a pirated version exists, then I have no other choice. And I think this is justified because whoever intentionally added that DRM that blocks me out is already NOT expecting any revenue from ME. That may not justify the pirate making it available to everyone, but it does justify me downloading the pirated version. Publishers making their media or software available so that it worked EVERYWHERE and for EVERYONE at a reasonable price are the only ones that have justification to complain about people downloading a pirated copy. FYI, my computer runs Linux.

Re:There are books that I can't buy (1)

Kirth (183) | about a year and a half ago | (#42794371)

Option 2 is NOT illegal, you victim of propaganda!

It's illegal to _publish_ books (upload) whose copyright (or license to publish) you don't have, but it's NOT illegal to download books, movies or music.

Fuck that (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42792423)

In soviet Russia, dumb mods upvote your moms ass.

As an author... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42792461)

I've published two books in both print and eBook versions. Not surprisingly, the eBook versions have better sales. My digital editions are DRM-free, and I never thought twice about resisting the pirates. Most of these are likely to be in countries for which it would be a hardship to pay the book price. People in developed countries would rather have the convenience of a quick download from their usual, trusted site (Amazon, B&N), rather than what amounts to a fraction of a Starbucks coffee. Unlike someone stealing a print edition, I'm not losing anything, and that includes any thoughts about a potential lost sale.

Re:As an author... (1)

compro01 (777531) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793279)

And there's also Eric Flint's thoughts on the matter

The second category are young people. Teenagers, basically, whose income is so low than even $4 or $5 is an obstacle for them. My attitude here is that giving such kids free copies will only benefit me in the long run, in the same way that libraries have traditionally been the way that authors develop a following among young readers. (That's how I became a fan of such writers as Heinlein, for instance.) And, again, they wouldn't have bought a copy ANYWAY – so where's the harm?

Re:As an author... (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793571)

As an author, you don't see what you are losing, so you write it off as nonexistent. You talk about people in "developed countries" like they're always going to pay full price instead of taking what they can get for free when they can, and that's rather naive, I think. I, for one, don't always "would rather have the quick download from Amazon" (Kindle DRM/format is more limiting than I will accept for something I've paid for, so by asking me to pay for such limits Amazon is actually costing you -- and other authors -- sales.) Fraction of a starbucks? Free is free. I don't pay a fraction of a fraction for starbucks, either.

The fact that it is hard to calculate what you are losing in sales doesn't mean you aren't losing, and yes, you are losing potential sales when someone decides he likes your work by downloading a pirated version and then downloads the rest of your works in pirated versions. Of course, you give away those potential sales so you aren't actually losing them, but either way the money is not with the creator of the content, it's going to starbucks. Unlike you, starbucks doesn't think that they aren't losing anything if they simply give their product away.

Re:As an author... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42794199)

Your logic is terrible.

If you think of every pirated copy as free advertising, and remember that people understand if something makes no money it stops getting produced, things might start making more sense to you.

Re:As an author... (1)

seebs (15766) | about a year and a half ago | (#42794413)

You're forgetting that the thing the author cares about is something that can be easily measured: Sales they actually do get.

If one course of action results in 100 sales and 100 downloads which aren't sales, and one results in 1,000 sales and 10,000 downloads which aren't sales, the effect on the author is that the second course of action resulted in 10 times as many sales. The alleged "losses" don't matter; all that matters is whether total sales are higher or lower. Sales up? Author has won.

And what authors, musicians, and everyone else have consistently found is: People downloading stuff without paying for it increase sales.

The app is payware, who cares (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42792553)

It is proprietary software for the simplest of operations on a computer. Who really cares. Let the business people have their pissing match.

http://fbreader.org/FBReaderJ free and on github.

Re:The app is payware, who cares (1)

eagee (1308589) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793191)

Umm, I care. I'm happy to pay the dev the price because it's a nice product and it reads my e-books to me, and I haven't found an ereader that isn't too chicken to do this.

Sensational Submission Title is Sensational (-1, Flamebait)

ikaruga (2725453) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792615)

Google didn't remove a competing service, they removed a law breaking service. Kindle, Nook, SonyReader along side tens of publishers from all over the world still have their legal ebook selling apps available at Google Play. Regardless what is your opinion on the ethics of pirating, it's still a crime. Google having an app designed for buying pirated material would make it nothing a culprit in the crime. Removing such apps are decisions that any sane appstore businesses make.

Retarded Reply is Retarded (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42792715)

this just in: OP failed to read TFA; earth continues to spin

Re:Sensational Submission Title is Sensational (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792807)

Is something wrong with you? You may as well suggest that Google facilitates piracy through Chrome as Chrome allows people to set it where you can download pirated material just by visiting piracy websites.

If you want to act like the contrary "voice of reason" in hopes that the mods will upvote you, you should probably read the article and understand the situation before you let your greasy cheeto fingers type away at that disgusting keyboard of yours.

Re:Sensational Submission Title is Sensational (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793423)

If we go that far (not that i dont agree with you because I do) we need to blame windows, for running illegal software, as well as apple and linux. hell if we didnt have access to the hardware for a general purpose computer, we wouldnt be able to steall all these files right!!?? Lets ban computers!!!!

Re:Sensational Submission Title is Sensational (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42792839)

Nice flamebait. Your post is factually inaccurate. Civil infractions (such as copyright infringement) are not crimes. That is the least of what is wrong with your post, however, as you have completely failed to grasp what the app was actually doing (which was allowing users to share links, something those other readers can do as well, albeit in a more roundabout way in some cases).

Re:Sensational Submission Title is Sensational (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792871)

And which law exactly did this app infringe, Mr Smart?

Re:Sensational Submission Title is Sensational (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793357)

What law does this and web browsers and FTP clients and your computer's TCP/IP stack break?

Re:Sensational Submission Title is Sensational (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793367)

Oh, and lets get precise. They did NOT remove a "service". They removed a software offering.

Re:Sensational Submission Title is Sensational (1)

Per Wigren (5315) | about a year and a half ago | (#42794315)

This app didn't have anything to do with pirated ebooks. The whole fuzz is about a feature that let users add custom ebook sources instead of restricting it to one or a few pre-approved sources. Then someone found out that some users added pirate sites as sources so they could download pirated ebooks inside the reader app instead of just using the web browser. Then they blame the ebook reader app...

Competing eBook apps? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792637)

Competing with what/which/who?

Response (3, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792671)

What do you say when an ebook distributor's anti-piracy plan involves going after app developers rather than pirate sites?

"If I were human, I believe my response would be, 'go to hell'. If I were human." -- Spock

Re:Response (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793733)

What do you say when an ebook distributor's anti-piracy plan involves going after app developers rather than pirate sites?

"If I were human, I believe my response would be, 'go to hell'. If I were human." -- Spock

I think in a case like this, the Spockism would be even more strongly worded, such as...

"If I were Human, I believe my response would be, 'Eat a box of dicks'... If, I were Human..."

The System Works! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42792677)

But not well.

Re:The System Works! (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793383)

... except where it doesn't.

Unjust enrichment? (3, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42792765)

Sounds to me like the Moon+ Reader author should sue LitRes for Unjust Enrichment [wikipedia.org] .

Also, seriously: Google taking action on an illegal app without judicial oversight?

This should be handled in exactly the same way as law enforcement requests: show the warrant first. (Or in this case, the judgement against.)

Society is quickly descending into a feudal corporate arms race. These sorts of shenanigans should be stomped on with both feet. If you can't compete fairly, then you shouldn't be in business.

Re:Unjust enrichment? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793163)

Why does Google needs to see a warrant to remove an app from their shop?

It's their shop, what they want to sell in their shop is their free choice. No-one has the right to be listed in that shop, being listed is a privilege. Google decides they don't like the app, so they remove it. That's all there is to it.

Applying your ideas to the physical world: it is just as much a privilege to have your products on sale in a supermarket. The supermarket decides what they accept in their store, and if they don't like your product - or want to remove your product - they don't need anything like a warrant, or do they?

Re:Unjust enrichment? (1)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793517)

Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about Mastercard and Visa refusing to process donations to Wikileaks?

Cutting Wikileaks off from public support is effectively punishing them, but they have not been even accused [officially] of a crime.

Applying your ideas to the physical world: it is just as much a privilege to have your products on sale in a supermarket. The supermarket decides what they accept in their store, and if they don't like your product - or want to remove your product - they don't need anything like a warrant, or do they?

It's not that companies shouldn't be allowed to choose their vendors, it's that companies shouldn't be allowed to impose arbitrary rules, shouldn't be able to impose unjust prejudice, and shouldn't be able to engage in cronyism.

If I were a produce vendor, and if I could satisfy the supermarket's requirements for amount and quality, and if the supermarket had space and a need to display wares, then yes they should be required to display my produce. They should not be able to refuse my custom for any reason that they can't apply to all vendors.

It's a little different with Google, because Google has no space limitations and no product limitations, but the principle is the same.

They are not refusing a vendor because of a generic rule applied fairly and blindly to everyone.

By your logic, clubs should be able to prohibit women members, landlords don't have to rent to gay couples, and bars don't have to serve blacks.

That's the difference.

Re:Unjust enrichment? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793825)

Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about Mastercard and Visa refusing to process donations to Wikileaks?

Cutting Wikileaks off from public support is effectively punishing them, but they have not been even accused [officially] of a crime.

I really don't like them for doing it, on the other hand it is of course their business. The trouble is that Visa and Master have a de-facto monopoly on credit card processing, and there is no reasonable alternative for such services.

As it stands, they simply have the right do refuse to do business with people they think are involved in criminal activity. They may even have a legal obligation there, considering how some non-US banks got punished in the US for suspected money laundering recently. It makes business sense to stop doing business with people you think may be involved in some kind of crime, to prevent becoming an accomplice in that crime.

They are not refusing a vendor because of a generic rule applied fairly and blindly to everyone.

By your logic, clubs should be able to prohibit women members, landlords don't have to rent to gay couples, and bars don't have to serve blacks.

That's the difference.

The difference is that there are laws that ban discrimination on things like race, gender, or sexual orientation.

But at least in the US you have those sex-offender registries, and isn't it so that landlords may look at those lists and refuse to rent out their premises to someone who is a registered sex offender?

Re:Unjust enrichment? (2)

steelfood (895457) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793791)

Society is quickly descending into a feudal corporate arms race.

Where have you been the past 100 years? It's been this way since the industrial revolution. It's just worse now because the resources needed to make progress are greater than even, yet at the same time, the rate of (expected) progress is more rapid than ever.

Fair has no meaning in business. All's fair in love and war. Business is war. People study war texts like the Art of War to gain an edge while doing business. There's even a book or two on the very matter. Problems arise when a business wages war against the people and its government, instead of other businesses. Problems also arise when people and government become collateral damage to the war businesses wage against each other. But those are not relevant from a business standpoint, only from a social standpoint. And unfortunately, businesses have done both over the past 100 years, and with the government weakened and corrupt, the people are beginning to suffer for it.

But things are not all bleak. We are still able to recognize the corporate excess and greed, and discuss this topic openly and freely (for the most part). Things aren't better than they were 50 years ago, but at the very least, we can see this and respond to it as best as we can. That, when taken away, will be the beginning of the end, when you know corporations have fully taken over. Until then, I think there is still hope.

In the case of Android, I think Google's been more than fair. They haven't restricted third party stores from their devices (like Apple). Their policies are not arbitrary (though total enforcement is always difficult), nor are they anti-competitive (again like Apple).

If you want to open your own app store for Android, go right ahead. You can even have it exclusively host "piracy-enabling" apps. You can create a TOS for your own app store that you feel is just. That, I feel, is more than fair.

Now, should there be an appeals process? Certainly. There are always misleading or false reports. But I don't think Google, full of brilliant (and some not-so-brilliant) employees, would not have already thought of this. So either the ban is in appeal, or the app really did violate a TOS.

The question is, if this was a frivolous complaint, what measures will Google put in place to discourage people from trying to ban the competition. It isn't a matter of whether they have to do so, but if they don't make the playing field appear even, then people eventually will move to other app stores with a more lenient TOS.

Why I disagree with this removal (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42793363)

I paid good money for what I consider one of the best ereaders on the google store. Now i have no access to it through Play if I ever need to reinstall it on any of my devices. I couldn't give a rip if some people were using it to pirate cause i wasn't. My license for the app is through Play so I have to pay again to get if from another source. So everybody that used the reader is now screwed. I most certainly won't be using Google's reader cause it sucks.... way behind moon reader in features and customization. But I guess that's okay since it supports DRM. Crap move Google... go after the sharers and not the users.

Re:Why I disagree with this removal (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793403)

So you chose to buy a tethered app?

I can pirate with any software at all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42793537)

I can fucking use word to do it.

You know when bill gate brought the first code of his to the computer group.
everyone bar none copied it.

This should have never changed and anyone who wants to compute should just lived with it not
bend and change the rules until your fining and imprisoning people for what had been just the way we did things.
All you johnny come lately's really suck cock you put people in prison just to make money your way instead of
just being human.

The computer seen today is really shit I think it is time to out law selling any fucking thing what so ever on the net.

Re:I can pirate with any software at all. (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793669)

Selling computer software is perfectly legit. Charging people who refuse to pay for it with theft is perfectly legit, as long as the legal sale and use works. But if they refuse to sell it to you at all (because, for example, they sell it only through an app you cannot run), or make it not work for you (because you run a different OS or computer architecture they won't support), then you should have the right to use a free version in the former case, or a cracked version in the latter case (though arguably you should pay them the price if you can, and just use the cracked version).

Re:I can pirate with any software at all. (1)

drkstr1 (2072368) | about a year and a half ago | (#42794225)

Selling computer software is perfectly legit. Charging people who refuse to pay for it with theft is perfectly legit, as long as the legal sale and use works. But if they refuse to sell it to you at all (because, for example, they sell it only through an app you cannot run), or make it not work for you (because you run a different OS or computer architecture they won't support), then you should have the right to use a free version in the former case, or a cracked version in the latter case (though arguably you should pay them the price if you can, and just use the cracked version).

I disagree with your premise. The immorality of "unauthorized use of knowledge or culture," is not inherent. This is a learned behavior, causing the moral dilemma to be that of one breaking the letter of the law. In your contention, the letter of the law is still being violated, and so fails to solve the moral dilemma.

I absolutely recognize an individuals right to sell their creative works, and even DRM the hell out of it, if that's what they think is best for their own interest. I will however, in no way shape or form, recognize Imaginary Property. Your justifications only serve to increase the legitimacy of IP.

The beauty of sideloading (2)

rafial (4671) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793557)

Well, I'd been meaning to check out Moon Reader, ever since Aldiko blocked the third party plugin that was providing Dropbox sync. This will likely push me over the edge.

Do I think it's bogus that Google pulled the app with seemingly no warning or no review? Yes. But, thanks to the fact that Android allows users to sideload (unless further blocked by horrible carriers like AT&T) this developer at least has recourse to continue providing his app by direct channels, and users can continue using it. Had this happened to a developer on the iOS app store (as it does all the time) that developer would have no recourse at all.

I hope that this gets resolved quickly, and I hope that this developer winds up getting more attention from this publicity in the end.

Re:The beauty of sideloading (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year and a half ago | (#42793649)

And this is why to use Android instead iPhone or others. Apps just wanna be free (as in speech).

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