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Appeals Court Finds Scanning To Be Fair Use

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the only-reading-it-for-the-articles dept.

Books 34

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) writes In Authors Guild v Hathitrust, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has found that scanning whole books and making them searchable for research use is a fair use. In reaching its conclusion, the 3-judge panel reasoned, in its 34-page opinion (PDF), that the creation of a searchable, full text database is a "quintessentially transformative use", that it was "reasonably necessary" to make use of the entire works, that maintaining four copies of the database was reasonably necessary as well, and that the research library did not impair the market for the originals. Needless to say, this ruling augurs well for Google in Authors Guild v. Google, which likewise involves full text scanning of whole books for research.

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Hah! (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 months ago | (#47233973)

I tried to scan the court opinion into my research database but my OCR full-text indexer couldn't even understand the first three lines! Must be DRM'ed or something.

Re:Hah! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47234171)

Fucking moron.

Re:Hah! (2)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 2 months ago | (#47234203)

You must be using one of the overrated Adobe products.
Abbyy Finereader!

Re:Hah! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47234263)

You must be taking it up the ass for your faggot masters.

Re:Hah! (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 2 months ago | (#47238267)

Hi Casper!

Re:Hah! (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 2 months ago | (#47238297)

So your diss suggests you are homophobic. Please next time reveal yourself so your wisdom can be applied to yourself as well.

Key Point Missing (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47234085)

The summary misses a key point. Yes they scan and store the entire book, but they are _NOT_ making the entire book available to everyone. For the most part they are just making it searchable.

Transformative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47234231)

That, indeed, is the key.The transformation of the book is what makes it fair use.

Re:Key Point Missing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47234355)

The summary misses a key point. Yes they scan and store the entire book, but they are _NOT_ making the entire book available to everyone. For the most part they are just making it searchable.

So what is the point of scanning and making the info from the scan available if they don't reveal anything from the text? Is this like you say, search Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and it reveals that, "yes, the words OFF WITH HER HEAD" appear, and appear on page 78, does that really help you?

Actually, now that I think about it, that could be kinda helpful... I sit here with my copy of the book, but can't recall where in the book the queen says that line...

However, the downside of this is going to be that we're going to start seeing books that are printed as Captcha's, so get ready for reading a book to get a lot more annoying. Imagine an entire book of those stupid wavy words and superimposed squiggles. I'd prefer not to imagine it, but expect it will be in our faces before long, as an anti-OCR/piracy effort. On the flip-side, OCR is about to (as a matter of necessity) get a LOT more powerful, and Captcha's are going to become useless.

Thanks, guys! I think, really not sure one way or the other here.

Re:Key Point Missing (3, Insightful)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 2 months ago | (#47234561)

"So what is the point of scanning and making the info from the scan available if they don't reveal anything from the text?"

The same point behind card catalogs at the library, or Google: so that you can find sources that have the kind of information you are looking for instead of trying to buy all of the books everywhere on the off chance that any one might have what you are looking for.

Re: Key Point Missing (3, Insightful)

LocalH (28506) | about 2 months ago | (#47235051)

The other main reason would be to prepare the work for public release before it's eventual copyright lapse. That's assuming that Google is still around in 500 years (at least the way copyright extensions are handled it'll likely be at least that long).

Re:Key Point Missing (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 2 months ago | (#47238321)

I think you lost your point somewhere. So are you upset about all this or not. Me, I am fully in support of OCR getting a LOT more powerful, and Captcha's are going to become useless. I am also in support of scanning and making the info from the scan available like searching Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and it reveals that, "yes, the words OFF WITH HER HEAD" appear, and appear on page 78. However, I seriously doubt we will end up with an entire book of those stupid wavy words and superimposed squiggles because Captcha's are going to become useless. (yes I used your terms in my comment because you had valid points you just rambled too much.

Re:Key Point Missing (2)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | about 2 months ago | (#47234405)

The summary misses a key point. Yes they scan and store the entire book, but they are _NOT_ making the entire book available to everyone. For the most part they are just making it searchable.

Agreed that it's not in the summary, but as you correctly note, it's just a "summary". Anyone who reads the underlying blog post will read this among the facts on which the court based its opinion: "The public was allowed to search by keyword. The search results showed only the page numbers for the search term and the number of times it appeared; none of the text was visible."

So those readers who RTFA will be in the know.

Needless to say (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47234115)

It doesnt bode well for Google as Google are not using scanning for research, they are a publicly listed corporation scanning books to profit from showing the public books and adverts and selling the resulting data to anyone who will pay them with the authors getting 0 compensation.

Re:Needless to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47234143)

Pretty much this. It would require a lot of Google lobbyists in Washington to force the argument that Google is entitled to fair use exceptions "for research purposes". Oh wait...

Re:Needless to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47234185)

It doesnt bode well for Google as Google are not using scanning for research, they are a publicly listed corporation scanning books to profit from showing the public books and adverts and selling the resulting data to anyone who will pay them with the authors getting 0 compensation.

You even THINK about my book and I better be getting paid!

Re:Needless to say (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47234333)

They are not showing the whole book, but a teaser, limited amount of text or pages. kind of like showing you a movie trailer is not like showing you the entire movie. If anything Google is engaged in free advertising to those who are bound to profit from new copy sales. And then again there are those who just get by on the promotional material, without making a full purchase. A lot pf porn picture samples are like that, it says on them they are a sample, and real images have superhigh resolutions. When was it the last time you paid for sex or sex related items? I bought a few ancient copies of Penthouse like two months ago off ebay because of the political messages and free speech abuses they contain on the front page, besides probably some good porn inside too, but I have yet to open and read them, for well over a month now, including other packages too of other kind of stuff. I left good feedback on ehaby.Maybe some day I'll feel like it and fancy opening them... also Naked News seems to be a dencent news program sometimes, and I'd not pay for the sexual part, and it may be difficult to enforce payments of sexual services or goods, because prostitution is illegal in a lot of places.

Re:Needless to say (4, Funny)

plover (150551) | about 2 months ago | (#47234381)

... because prostitution is illegal in a lot of places.

Apparently it's illegal in the same places where carriage returns, line feeds, paragraphs, and coming to a logical conclusion are illegal, too.

Re:Needless to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47234919)

He came to the conclusion that porn. That's always a logical conclusion.

Re:Needless to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235555)

Prostitution is also legal _many_ places in the world, and more following suit.
It's mostly old conservatives and hardcore feminists who don't understand it, who is against it...

Re:Needless to say (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47250517)

I was just thinking about this topic driving home today. How a local discount store used to carry Dorco Pace 4 shavers, and I've used them for like the past 5 years, and they last like 6 months a package of four at least, for something that used to be a lot cheaper than the standard Gillette or Schick or Bic stuff, but now they've switched to Dorco Pace 6, which is more expensive, and it sucks! I mean I used it but it does not go at it strong enough, you have to scrape your face a few times with the Pace 6 compared to the Pace 4 that used to like dig in, and the blades in it would last friggin forever, for months, with shaving 5 mornings a week. I'd go like a whole friggin year on a $3.xx-4.xx pack of 3 or 4, I bought the packs like 8 or 10 times my entire life and they've taken me through the last few years. So I go online, and go to these frugal advice webpages, and they talk about Dollar a Day shaving deals, how you can save a lot of money on it, or you can upgrade to Harry's razors for better quality. A whole friggin dollar a day for shaving? Are they out of their minds? If it comes with a blowjob, then yeah, I'd pay a dollar a day for a shaving deal, but I'd be paying for the shaving and get the blowjob part for free.

So I was thinking how come when sex is bundled I'd be willing to pay more, but I would not be willing to pay directly for sex. See here is the ultimate dilemma, because once you start paying for sex, it degrades sex, it's not two free people interacting out of their free interest and free enjoyment of each other, (and in this case free as in beer translates into free as in freedom), and mutual respect, it's a most private personal thing degraded to an I'm doing this out of necessity not because I'm enjoying it. Like somebody held a gun to my head and told me to get naked, but instead it's like starvation is on the line, etc. So even in porn about the most important thing is that the person doing it be happy. If they look like they feel exploited, ashamed, unhappy in any way it's crappy porn. The best porn is watching somebody have an orgasm, and you have mirror neurons, and you can feel what they feel, so to speak, but when they are faking it, and it's obvious, and they are doing it for the money, that's horrible porn. It takes the authenticity of freedom, happiness, and mirror neuron shit out of it, because you were gonna get off on someone else getting off, but when they fake it that's like being betrayed. So the only porn or even prostitution, worth anything, is one where people like what they are doing and would be willing to do it even for free, or even pay to do it themselves, not because they do it for the money. And then giving them money on top of it, that makes them extra happy, so this is where it all gets really complicated. It's really hard to ask from real life prostitutes to enjoy what they are doing and do it for free or even pay for it themselves, instead of getting paid for it, in most cases real life prostitution is about desperation and needing to make an income or feed a family, and those are very inhumane things, so we erect laws against them, so nobody on welfare could be told, hey, why don't you go work the corner or suck some old fetid guy off and make a living that way, because she can say "it's against the law." It's a very private and personal thing that people shouldn't be forced to do no matter what the circumstances, even life and death circumstances. If someone tells me you either gonna sweep or mop this floor or you'll starve I have absolutely no objections against that, I'll mop the floor, but if they say here's a rich 80 year old man, and he wants to get a blow job for money, so you can buy food on it, and she'll be like no, that's not a viable option to make a living, for her. For her is what matters, because if she likes to do that stuff, she can, just because it's against the law it happens anyway, but she can cite the law to escape it, and have a personal choice. There are a whole lot of 80 year old men with some money saved up from their meager social security checks that would be interested, and they are wrinkly, nasty looking, but breeding age, nevertheless, but you should not be able to confront a young woman, and tell her that look, here is a way to make a living. Like some young silly girl I meet, early 20s, maybe 19, she worked at a country club as a servant, and I'm like there are a lot of old men there, she's like yeah, she's good at getting extra tips from them when she's the one bringing them the drinks, by the way she flirts, and I'm like I bet they are perverts, she's like yeah, like one of them, like 82, told her, girl, if I was only 20 years younger, - and you can tell on the tone of her voice how upset she is - and she says yeah, that would make you what, friggin 60? So she's working this near minimum wage job busting ass midnight shift, same as me, and you can tell she's fuckin tired, and brings home less than 350 a week, and then she'll wander into the lunchroom sometimes, mumbling to herself I have a son I have a son, and you know all she's thinking about is sucking 80 year old dick for what? I'm guessing 500 bux in 10 minutes, twice a week? The draw of prostitution as a way to make a living is intense, and not everyone is hot enough like her for the 80 year old perverts to wish they were 20 years younger. Sometimes I have this idyllic thought that there are all these pornstars with free "sample" images of them all over the web, and they are hoping to make a lot of money on it, but it's like when they get really old, over 60, and they go broke, that's kinda time to really help them out, because a little bit then goes a long way. What a romantic thought about porn. Get real. It's the real world. Who's got money to throw around. Especially on illegal prostitution stuff. To make it legal, you always have to bundle it with something, like even a toothpick or a paperclip, and then you pay a lot of money for the paperclip, as consideration, and get the sexual/prostitution related material for free, which is not illegal to get for free. So my advice to any women involved in prostitution who want to be involved and even maybe enjoy it too, try to bundle it with something. Even escort service, or massage service, anything nonsexual service, like paint your house, mow your lawn, clean your house, wash your dishes, for a lot of money, and then you give the sex for free, and then it's not illegal, the cops can't mess with you. Why he give you $500? I washed his dishes, or swept his kitchen, or dusted the furniture. In french maid outfit.

So how about shaving for a dollar a day, comes with a blowjob? Nah, that's too expensive. Maybe a quarter. Hey that's a lot of money! We respect money. It has always said on it "E Pluribus Unum," and from like the 20th century also "In God We Trust." It's on the quarter and even on the penny. So there is nowhere else to buy Dorco Pace 4 except ebay, and the best deal with S/H included is directly from Korea. And I'm assuming it's South Korea with all its caring Chaebols http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org] cuz they don't make diddly squat in North Korea, because they don't have the klans called chaebols who actually give a diddly squat about what happens, in North Korea they lack the system of private property, and live under the misery of equality called communism. So the South Koreans are like the Uber breed of the planet, they compete so well and do everything right, at a good price, and the quality is good too, and you wish you could buy the stuff you're so used to from someone else. I mean Dorco Pace 4 used to be like $3, then $4, then $5, but it was still a much better deal than the $(I dont even know anymore, like $7 for 4 cartridges) Mach 3 I used to use for a decade before I started using Dorco, and that lasted long but not as long as Dorco, so now here I go blowing $7.xx on it to ship from Korea, when I want to support US businesses, buy american made (even if it's really made in Malaysia or Philippines or Bangladesh, and instead some rich fat american guy exploits them, them over there get paid almost nothing and all the profits go to the yacht club membership, plus some for tax havens, but some to do to taxes), so I have this desire that I wish they made stuff so good here too, and then I think about...

...how I don't trust any chips and it's near friggin impossible to buy a watch that's not quartz and battery operated, so I look into these oldschool high accuracy mechanical watches, chipless, and top of the line is the automatic winding, self winding watch, dont' ever need a battery, plus don't even need to crank it daily, it self winds if you move your arms, and there is one for like $120 by Seiko, with many jewel bearings (usually red ruby), and it's quality as fuck, but if the apocalypse hits and you can't get your hand on batteries to fuel your quartz watches you still got a functional watch, plus it's trustable because it's chipless, until they break it for you cuz da man hates anything chipless he can't fuck with to make you late from work, but I don't have $120 to throw away for it, so I get these made in China huge digit LCD sports watches at walmart for like $12, and it's chipped, accurate, cheap, but it's chipped, you never know when it's remote controlled. And the other option for self winding watches is from Switzerland, about the same price, but it doesn't have the sexy looks. Come on swiss mofos, Switzerland is stuck up in the mountains with no resources, and traditionally they've been best at making high value added items from nothing, like watches, scientific instruments like scales, or even machinery, and I'm wondering now if they could make razors better than Dorco. I'm talking ones that last not only 6 months, but 12 months. Of course the longer they last the less money they can make on it, but it's still more than making nothing. I'm the customer, and suppliers everywhere are supposed to compete for my dollar to give me the economic optimum value, and the game is not supposed to be rigged maffiozo style where some conglomerate tacit collusin between Schick, Gillete, Bic and the rest of them doing this makebelieve competition yet charging high prices for intentionally shitty quality, or let's say less than stellar quality, just to increase their sales from more frequent purchases, well, that kind of free market stinks, even if Made in USA, and I need competitors like Dorco, and please, somebody from Switzerland too, to reign in the free market misbehavior price conspiracy. There are 1.3 billion Chinese and 120 million Japanese (check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... [wikipedia.org] for the massive population decline predicted for Japan) who can buy Korean Dorco, or LG cell phones, and me being of European descent, I'd like to buy Nokia (every friggin time I pulled my Nokia out of my pocket the battery fell out and the sim chip too) or even shavers from Switzerland, or hip looking chipless and batteryless mechanical watches that are not so friggin expensive, but more competitive with the Seiko stuff, but I can't because these Koreans, Japanese and Taiwanese leave everyone else in the world in the dust when it comes to quality and price for that quality, customer satisfaction and value. They take serving the customer seriously, and even if they don't believe in "E Pluribus Unum" or "In God We Trust", they underwrite these statements with a lot of sweat equity and quality work, which are in accordance with the Ways of God.

Re:Needless to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47251139)

This is high-fucking-quality shit. If I had a userid, I'd mod you up.

Re:Needless to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47234585)

Fair use actually says nothing about profit motive or research.

Commercialisation is 2 parts of the 4-part test (2)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 months ago | (#47235065)

Section 107 sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair use:

The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes

The nature of the copyrighted work

The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole

The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

1 and 4 have to do with profit. #1 asks "is the person copying doing so for profit?" #4 asks "how does that effect the profits due the author or their assigns?"

Re:Needless to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47235261)

not entirely true, (the public) institutions which has offered up their books for scanning do get free digital copies out of it as well, ensuring that the works stays available to the public.

Appeals Court Finds Scanning To Be Fair Use (2, Funny)

MindPrison (864299) | about 2 months ago | (#47234183)

Yeah, for a split second there...I read it as:

Court finds port scanning to be fair.

Re:Appeals Court Finds Scanning To Be Fair Use (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47234241)

Yeah, for a split second there...I read it as: Court finds port scanning to be fair.

Yes slashdot has a long tradition of failing to use basic literacy and then feeling an overwhelming urge to share this fact with the group.

Re:Appeals Court Finds Scanning To Be Fair Use (1)

sonamchauhan (587356) | about 2 months ago | (#47235623)

Me too! :D Ignore the cowards.

Knowledge (4, Interesting)

Ultracrepidarian (576183) | about 2 months ago | (#47235179)

"The field of knowledge is the common property of mankind."
--- Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Henry Dearborn, 1807)

What good is a scanned book if you can't get it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47237411)

But what good is a scanned book if it's available but you can't actually access it? Almost everything since 1930 is under copyright, and we're legally denied access to this wealth of information, including works under copyright but orphaned. Scanning books, digitizing them, making them searchable -- and then what? If you can't get the book, what good is it? Almost all books before digital typesetting are available online only in bad-photocopy scanned PDFs, not even full text.

A sane society would strip the copyright from any book that is not currently available digitally, if the copyright holder (supposing the copyright holder can even be found) has no plans to make it available digitally in the next year, and revert it to the public domain. Then Google - and anyone else - could do whatever they wanted with the text.

Re:What good is a scanned book if you can't get it (2, Interesting)

thunderclap (972782) | about 2 months ago | (#47238385)

But what good is a scanned book if it's available but you can't actually access it? Almost everything since 1930 is under copyright, and we're legally denied access to this wealth of information, including works under copyright but orphaned. Scanning books, digitizing them, making them searchable -- and then what? If you can't get the book, what good is it? Almost all books before digital typesetting are available online only in bad-photocopy scanned PDFs, not even full text.

A sane society would strip the copyright from any book that is not currently available digitally, if the copyright holder (supposing the copyright holder can even be found) has no plans to make it available digitally in the next year, and revert it to the public domain. Then Google - and anyone else - could do whatever they wanted with the text.

A sane society would have a 14 yr copyright, a president and congress who actually listen to the masses and only serve 4 or six yrs, a Bruce jenner who never married Kris Kardashian because told him it would be his worst mistake ever, a childless Pattie Mallette, a RIAA that served its artists giving them 80% of the money an album earned and didn't attack the people who shared it, muslims and jews who didn't hate each other, women, gays and want to explode themselves in crowded places, a US that didnt spill foreign blood someone in the world every decade for the last 120 yrs and a Microsoft who actually listens and didnt shove metro into 8 or kill xp because it wants too. But back to the topic. No, stripping the copyright from any book that is not currently available digitally, if the copyright holder (supposing the copyright holder can even be found) has no plans to make it available digitally in the next year, and revert it to the public domain would deprive certain authors (example Harlan Ellison and Ursula K. Le Guin ). You want an actual example of this? http://wellpreparedmind.wordpr... [wordpress.com] its happened in france. Damn those they couldn't find. Me, I am a writer. I want copyright fixed but I don't want my choice taken away either. However, I am in support of this scanning. As for the D&D, well they deserved to be screwed.

This bodes poorly for WotC (1)

jsepeta (412566) | about 2 months ago | (#47237519)

Since there's a ton of scanned, searchable PDF D&D books, that did NOT come from the copyright-holder, I bet WotC is pissed about this result.

Vindicated (1)

alexo (9335) | about 2 months ago | (#47251613)

Scanners do not live in vain!

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