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Google Subpoenas Microsoft & Yahoo

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the getting-the-gang-together dept.

164

eldavojohn writes "Mercury News is running a story reporting that Google has filed subpoenas with Microsoft and Yahoo, in relation to their legal battles with publishers and authors. Google faces charges of massive copyright infringement surrounding its online book project. The company claims that Microsoft and Yahoo have taken the exact same steps in acquiring print-related rights. Google therefore wants to show that 'everyone is doing it.'" From the article: "McGraw-Hill Cos. and the Authors Guild, along with other publishers and authors, contend that a Google project to digitize the libraries of four major U.S. universities, as well as portions of the New York Public Library and Oxford University's libraries, ignores the rights of copyright holders in favor of Google's economic self-interest ... Is the library of the future going to be open? Or will it be controlled by a couple of big corporate players?"

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man what a pain (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16338339)

This first posting crap is barely worth it anymore.

Re:man what a pain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16339909)

This first posting crap is barely worth it anymore.

Strike "first" and you have got it right. Or is that more righter?

Re:man what a pain (1)

tritonman (998572) | about 8 years ago | (#16340039)

google only offers full copies of a book if there is no copyright. If you want copyrighted books all you have to do is find a torrent of the pdf.

Que: Your parents. (2, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 8 years ago | (#16338355)

Google therefore wants to show that 'everyone is doing it.'"

Well I guess that makes it OK. If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you?

Re:Que: Your parents. (5, Funny)

filtur (724994) | about 8 years ago | (#16338389)

Well I guess that makes it OK. If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you?
Only if google told me to :)

Re:Que: Your parents. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16338407)

Well I guess that makes it OK. If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you?

As long as it was a lot of fun and I was caught by a bevy of beautiful beach volleybayll players, why not?

Re:Que: Your parents. (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 8 years ago | (#16338451)

Insightful, possibly, from a "what would your mother say" point of view, but not necessarily form a legal standpoint.

Common practice can become a part of law through judicial rulings, and in this case there is arguably a good reason for this database (seeing as how a database suh as this does not exist in the public realm, nor is there any real impetus to create one). Google would like the law to be interpreted for its intent, not necessarily the letter, and the believe they might have some footing.

Really, it's a non-issue, except there's gazillions of dollars of corporations involved, and those gazillions of dollars are usually fighting with one another.

Re:Que: Your parents. (3, Insightful)

LurkerXXX (667952) | about 8 years ago | (#16338529)

So, if they get a pass with 'everyone else is doing it', do I get the same if I want do download some songs or MP3s? Can I just tell the **AA that 'everyone else is doing it', and that everyone is a lot higher number than the folks google is talking about.

Re:Que: Your parents. (3, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 8 years ago | (#16338749)

So, if they get a pass with 'everyone else is doing it', do I get the same if I want do download some songs or MP3s?
"Everyone else is doing it" is a rather simplified version of what Google will argue, which is likely to be something like (with evidence presented supporting each contention): 1) The use they are making of the work is to enable research, and 2) The method of enabling the research that they are using is widespread for that purpose (the part being characterized as "everyone does it"), and 3) The method of enabling research that they are using does not negatively effect, indeed positively effects, the market for and value of the material indexed. IOW, it will be tailored to address the purpose and nature of use considerations relevant to "fair use" under 17 USC 107. Good luck trying to assemble convincing evidence on those points to defend your song trading...

Re:Que: Your parents. (3, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 8 years ago | (#16338767)

So, if they get a pass with 'everyone else is doing it', do I get the same if I want do download some songs or MP3s? Can I just tell the **AA that 'everyone else is doing it', and that everyone is a lot higher number than the folks google is talking about.

Well, there is a lot wrong with your post. First, to my knowledge no one in the US has yet been sued for downloading songs, only uploading. Somehow, however, the MPAA has managed to get the term "downloading" into the public consciousness. I always look at these articles that say "downloading" and every time they then mention uploading in the actual case.

Next, "everyone doing something" speaks to part of one of the four fair use criteria for legal copying and republishing of works without a copyright holder's permission (effect upon the market). If you meet all these criteria (as Google seems to) then by all means you can tell the RIAA to shove it, although you may have to go to court to prove it. For example, if you download a song and burn part of it to CD and hand them out to your students as part of their homework on modern culture, you probably have met all the criteria for fair use. and whether the copyright holder likes it or not, they're going to lose if they take you to court.

Re:Que: Your parents. (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 8 years ago | (#16339409)

Next, "everyone doing something" speaks to part of one of the four fair use criteria for legal copying and republishing of works without a copyright holder's permission (effect upon the market). If you meet all these criteria (as Google seems to) then by all means you can tell the RIAA to shove it, although you may have to go to court to prove it.


Market effect is one of four nature of use factors that 17 USC 701 says are to be considered in determining fair use, but you don't have to "meet" all four. The list is a non-exclusive list of factors the court is to weigh (it can, IOW, weigh additional factors not listed), not a checklist of standards where you have to meet some specified level on all four, and if you do, you are in the clear.

Re:Que: Your parents. (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 8 years ago | (#16339547)

...but you don't have to "meet" all four... ...not a checklist of standards where you have to meet some specified level on all four, and if you do, you are in the clear.

I was trying to simplify a bit, perhaps a bit too much. If you "meet all four" (your use is favorable in regard to them) then you're almost certainly in the clear. But yes, you're certainly right. The court could make up anything and declare a use to be unfair.

Re:Que: Your parents. (1)

ThisNukes4u (752508) | about 8 years ago | (#16339105)

you're not a multi-million dollar corporation

Re:Que: Your parents. (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | about 8 years ago | (#16339473)

It seems to work for the SOA-touting consultancies.

Re:Que: Your parents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16340011)

Okay. The analogy you are making is technically fallible for reasons I won't touch upon.

Cases and rulings like these are very important; they set a precedent.

Google is very popular; what they do commands attention. One might speculate that because of their popularity they are picked on (that is probably how they feel).

My analogy will suck more than yours:

It is sort of like being the hot girl at the office.
"You are late!" Says Boss.
"So is everyone else." Says Hot Chick.
"So? You are more noticeable." Says Boss.
"This isn't quite right," exclaims Hot Chick.

SEE? I know what I'm talking about, here.

Re:Que: Your parents. (4, Insightful)

giblfiz (125533) | about 8 years ago | (#16338565)

Insightful, possibly, from a "what would your mother say" point of view, but not necessarily form a legal standpoint.


Well, actually there is a another legal angle that makes the "everybody else is doing it to" argument useful. If they can show something like selective enforcement (I don't know what the civil equivalent of this is, but I'm pretty sure that their is one) Then the suit would either need to be dropped or expanded to include MS, Yahoo and all the rest.

This would be to google's advantage because of the additional legal and political weight that the other players could bring to bear, and because it would make their opposition's case seem that much more absurd.

Re:Que: Your parents. (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 8 years ago | (#16338909)

If they can show something like selective enforcement [...] Then the suit would either need to be dropped or expanded to include MS, Yahoo and all the rest.

How? You're going to force copyright holders to sue more than one infringing party at once? Surely going after one case to get the precedent is the oldest one in the book?

Re:Que: Your parents. (2, Insightful)

Monchanger (637670) | about 8 years ago | (#16339205)

I think my parent is talking about just the thing I was wondering - that there is a legal issue where if one does not protects one's property, certain rights over said property may be lost.

The example I know of happens in the United States. It goes like this: A man owns a piece of land including a private beach. He does not fence, sign or otherwise make public the fact that it is private. His neighbours use the beach to bathe and launch boats off of regularly for several years. The man one day fences off the lot. The neighbours sue. The case is ruled in their favor because he had not, in all those years, defended his property

IANAL, and have no idea what laws this relates to (I suspect this is related to the fact that only the neighbours seen to have incurred an "actual loss", which seems critical in the U.S. legal system).

The point is well made by my parent- by not suing the others, they are showing an ambivalence towards their property rights. I have a reservation to this argument, since they are in fact engaging in the protection of their property (against Google). It could be suggested that winning against Google provides them with a juicy precedent, with which they could cost-effectively sue the remaining websites (as opposed to suing them all at once). If I were one of our overworked judges, I'd appreciate them holding off.

Re:Que: Your parents. (1)

Erwos (553607) | about 8 years ago | (#16338611)

"Google would like the law to be interpreted for its intent, not necessarily the letter, and the believe they might have some footing."

Unless I'm missing something, I don't understand how Google is somehow following the intent of the law. Copyright is a limited monopoly granted to the work's owner to control distribution (hence "copy" "right"). The idea is that they presumably may want to sell this work, thus making it profitable to produce more such works (which, presumably, is to the benefit of their fellow citizens).

By scanning all these works in, Google is taking away the work's owner's right to control distribution by making unauthorized copies. It seems clear to me, then, that they are not following the intent of the copyright system. I'm sure others will (violently) disagree with me on this point, but they aren't the only party here with a case.

Re:Que: Your parents. (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 8 years ago | (#16338945)

By scanning these works in and offering them only as excepts as part of a search engine, they are indeed advancing the arts and sciences by facilitating research. They are not offering the entire (or even large chunks of the) work, and anyone who finds their reference must then go purchase the said work. They _are_ making a digital copy for the purpose of creating the search database, which I presume is the sticking point. However, if they can show that the common practive for scanned archives is to create the digital copying for search purposes, then they may pursuade the court that such a step is reasonable and necessary for the process. Since the search engine output does not (puportedly) violate the copyright, then the backend database required to run it should not be subject to tighter restrictions.

Re:Que: Your parents. (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 8 years ago | (#16338985)

Common practice can become a part of law through judicial rulings,

This behaviour boils down to three businesses wanting to make more money, ignoring decades or centuries of background to the copyright principle that is even recognised explicitly in the Constitution of the US, in statute law in many other jurisdictions, and under international treaties. I don't think "everyone's doing it" is going to hold a whole lot of weight with any sane court here, no matter how expensive the legal teams.

and in this case there is arguably a good reason for this database (seeing as how a database suh as this does not exist in the public realm, nor is there any real impetus to create one)

Surely if there were no real impetus to create one, then either Google wouldn't be doing it, or public libraries wouldn't exist? However, we (the people of many countries) have explicitly decided through our legislative processes to recognise the concept of copyright, with limited exemptions. Public libraries may qualify as one such exemption. I'm not sure why a private, profit-making company should expect the same treatment, nor that what Google is doing is at all equivalent in its practical effects (particularly if it goes wrong) to what public libraries do with books.

Re:Que: Your parents. (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 8 years ago | (#16339279)

Surely if there were no real impetus to create one, then either Google wouldn't be doing it, or public libraries wouldn't exist? However, we (the people of many countries) have explicitly decided through our legislative processes to recognise the concept of copyright, with limited exemptions. Public libraries may qualify as one such exemption. I'm not sure why a private, profit-making company should expect the same treatment, nor that what Google is doing is at all equivalent in its practical effects (particularly if it goes wrong) to what public libraries do with books.

I guess I wasn't clear. There is no public push to digitize every (most) work of literature in a searchable database freely accessible to the public by a public entity with the funds to make this happen. Google want's to do it, and the result is likely to be free to use. There is no useful/convenient way to extract the full copyrighted text from the database, as they have proposed the search system to work (afaik).

The whole "everyone is doing it" sounds bad. If you change that to "common commercial practice" or "accpeted commercial operating procedure" it sound much better (though we still know what it means). Laws, much as you may not agree, are based on what the general society believes is the current "standard." As such, the voting rights have changed from "white male land owners" to "legal residents". Trademarks can be lost if taken into the common lexicon. Accounting practices change (though there are bounds at any given time). Google is playing within a grey area, and they want to show that "everyone else" believes that this grey area is closer to white than black.

Re:Que: Your parents. (1)

tallguywithglasseson (944783) | about 8 years ago | (#16338519)

If they can show the publishers haven't been enforcing their copyrights, then the publishers can't win an infringement judgement against them. At least that's what I've been lead to believe by IP lawers - if that's correct, the "everyone is doing it" argument, at least in IP law, is valid.

Unrelated to that, since when is Google not one of the "big corporate players?"

Re:Que: Your parents. (1)

m0rph3us0 (549631) | about 8 years ago | (#16338783)

Non-enforcement only applies to trademarks. Not patents, and not copyright.

Re:Que: Your parents. (2, Informative)

thelost (808451) | about 8 years ago | (#16338559)

Google is trying to illustrate legal precedent, i.e. to show that other companies are actively pursuing the same goal as them. The comparison to jumping off a cliff is perhaps not apt or accurate.

Re:Que: Your parents. (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | about 8 years ago | (#16338671)

It would also dilute the damages that the other company is seeking, since damages should be finite.

Re:Que: Your parents. (1)

Ksisanth (915235) | about 8 years ago | (#16339125)

I haven't been able to use that line on my kid ever since the Turkish sheep incident [usatoday.com] . She just replies, "If the bodies are piled high enough to cushion my fall, then sure!"

Microsoft and Yahoo: soft, fluffy bodies?

Re:Que: Your parents. (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 8 years ago | (#16339989)

I haven't been able to use that line on my kid ever since the Turkish sheep incident [usatoday.com] .

I wasn't aware that Turkish sheep had seen the South Park Cow Days [wikipedia.org] episode. Good for them!

Re:Que: Your parents. (1)

jslater25 (1005503) | about 8 years ago | (#16339317)

When my parents asked me the "If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you?" question, I would always answer:

Yes, because if everyone was jumping off a cliff, I would assume there was good reason to do so.

Necessarily (4, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 8 years ago | (#16340029)

If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you?

Of course.

Because if I didn't, "everyone" wouldn't have jumped off the cliff - violating the premise.

10,000 lemmings can't be wrong (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16340047)

That reminds me of a usenet signature as above.

When big money are doing illegal things, there would be changes in the law, right?

Re:Que: Your parents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16340093)

Sure. I don't want to be the last one alive on a lonely planet.

Everyone is doing it. That's a teenage excuse. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16338397)

So what? Everyone at the party was doing it. Why am I being punished? Hey google. Try not commiting copyright infringement instead. And you want to buy Youtube. What the hell is wrong with you, kid?

Think Doomhammer US (H) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16338419)

Seriously, don't be an Alliance noob, re-roll on Doomhammer and help us get rid of the Night Elf Hunters. Aren't you tired of them?

Pointing fingers (1)

theneb (732287) | about 8 years ago | (#16338431)

your doing it, they are doing it, so we are doing it. I guess thats ok. Great way to set an example. Seems like google is becmoing more and more like the old microsoft. Sadly at least microsoft had entered the monopoly phase in the business process when they were the "big evil guys".

I vote for . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16338433)

I vote for Big, Corporate Players. It's the only way I can ever get screwed.

Amazing! (3, Insightful)

Erwos (553607) | about 8 years ago | (#16338437)

I must have missed the bill where the "everyone is doing it" defense was made valid. Pirates of the world, unite!

If my buddy and I violate someone's copyright, and the copyright holder sues me and not him, guess what? That's his or her decision. Their copyright does not somehow become "less valid" because of whom they take legal action against, or do not take such action against.

Now, for _trademarks_, it's a different story. But, clearly, scanning in entire books has far more to do with copyrights than trademarks, at least in this case.

Re:Amazing! (5, Informative)

dontbflat (994444) | about 8 years ago | (#16338615)

This is not about violating Copyrights. Google is saying that yahoo and MSN have legal rights to these books and so should we. It says in the article "According to filings in U.S. District Court in New York, Google wants Yahoo and Microsoft to provide descriptions of their projects,as well as documents that show they have legal rights to the books that are included in the project".
All google wants is a fair chance at being able to scan those books that Yahoo and Microsoft have already gotten permission for. We are not talking about violating Copyrights.
Who knows. This may turn into a new form of discrimination where publishers can say "we dont like you so No you cant use my books....but we like this guy" Personally, I say if you make it open to one....you must make it open to all.

Re:Amazing! (1)

silicone_chemist (975884) | about 8 years ago | (#16339233)

Personally, I say if you make it open to one....you must make it open to all.
I don't know much about copyright law but it seems to me that the books are already available to anyone if they travel to the library. Why shouldn't the same availability be made digitally. Google/MS/Yahoo are providing a service by scanning them into a database and storing them on their servers. I'd be happy to pay a nominal fee for the service to obtain the book digitally rather than pay a nominal fee to operate my vehicle and travel to the library. Do public and University libraries pay a fee for each book they offer? If so, Google/MS/Yahoo should pay the same fee and be entitled to operate a digital library.

Re:Amazing! (1)

planetmn (724378) | about 8 years ago | (#16339635)

The library purchases a book from the publisher, so in effect pays a fee for the book. The book is a physical item and as such, one copy of the book can only be used by one person at a time. So there is a method of licensing or rate-limiting built into the system inherently. But with a digital library, unless DRM is thrown into the mix (and we all know how well that goes over on Slashdot), there is no way to license or rate-limit the viewing of the digital book. The difference being that a library loans a book, and in effect what you want is the ability to buy a digital version of the book (which can be done already in some instances).

-dave

Re:Amazing! (1)

planetmn (724378) | about 8 years ago | (#16339773)

This is not about violating Copyrights. Google is saying that yahoo and MSN have legal rights to these books and so should we.

Just because you have legal rights to property that you have paid/bartered/negotiated for or otherwise obtained, does not mean that I nor anyone else have a legal right to the same property.

This may turn into a new form of discrimination where publishers can say "we dont like you so No you cant use my books....but we like this guy" Personally, I say if you make it open to one....you must make it open to all.

This discrimination happens currently, and at least in some cases, is needed. If you wanted to make it that anything available to somebody, must be made available to anybody (even at equivalent pricing, etc.), you're in for a world of problems.

Companies could not donate software since by making it available to one group for free, they would have to be able to make it available to everybody for free. Companies could not limit resellers/distributors to only those that they feel meet their requirements for customer service or volume or any other metric.

Protected classes exist to protect from discrimation due to certain factors, but they only apply to the protected classes.

-dave

Re:Amazing! (0)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 years ago | (#16338623)

actually, everyone is doing it can be valid. Especially if their goal is to get the judge to look at the intent.

Persoanlly, I find that the recent copyright law ruling does not in anyway reflect how the people want to use it, or expect it. It is woefully outdated for todays world.

Not that it should be abolished, just changed. I find these chalenges to copyright based on intent to be a good thing.

Re:Amazing! (5, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 8 years ago | (#16338629)

I must have missed the bill where the "everyone is doing it" defense was made valid.

For copyright it does make a difference because the laws are based upon the effect of an action. Fair use allows people to copy works without the copyright holder's permission in certain instances. So far, the legal precedent pretty much is all in Google's favor, but because the effect of their action on the market is one of the four things considered for fair use, showing that the market in general is already doing this is an important legal point to shut down any arguments about that provision.

If my buddy and I violate someone's copyright, and the copyright holder sues me and not him, guess what? That's his or her decision.

You've got this all wrong. This is to determine if they are violating the copyright. An analogy is firing a gun. Sometimes it is target practice and legal and sometimes it is murder. Google copied works. Now the law is determining if that copying is illegal.

But, clearly, scanning in entire books has far more to do with copyrights than trademarks, at least in this case.

Yes, this is a copyright case, but not all copying is illegal and some is specifically designated as legal. For example, the courts have ruled that it is perfectly legal to copy every image you can find on the internet, and store those images, for the purpose of providing a thumbnail image of those images for profit. That is because what is being sold is meta-data about where you can find an image, not the images themselves. The courts have also ruled that making low quality copies of porn images and making them available is illegal, because the intent was for people to just look at the images and the effect upon the market was to deprive the copyright holders of business.

What Google is doing in almost every way is similar to the former. They copy an entire work, but only for the purpose of providing an excerpt and "selling" information about what books will be helpful. Now, if they were to image and post certain works, like dictionaries or recipe books, with excerpts that are all a person wants, they might be in trouble, except for the fact that in order to claim damages a copyright holder has to have notified the violator of the infringement, and Google already removes any book at the request of the copyright holder.

Offtopic? (0, Flamebait)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 8 years ago | (#16338989)

Anyone care to explain why this is not mod abuse?

Re:Amazing! (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 8 years ago | (#16339143)

You know I try to avoid pseudo-modding with my comments. But the pp is just about as far opposite of offtopic as you can get. He clearly and insightfully replied to the gpp and explained his perspective on google's motive.

Anyway, you made a compelling argument that made sense to me. Before reading your post I was kind of on the "why the heck would google do something like this" side of the fence myself.

+1 Insightful...

Quotations (0, Offtopic)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | about 8 years ago | (#16338805)

Danish copyright law allows quoting "according to good practice". Very vague. Maybe US law has something similar.

Re:Quotations (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 8 years ago | (#16339479)

Danish copyright law allows quoting "according to good practice". Very vague. Maybe US law has something similar.

US law considers four criteria for fair use of a copyrighted work, without permission. One of them is "the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole." This basically means you can republish quotes so long as they don't comprise a significant portion of the whole work. It is a bit more complex than that, but the upshot is Google is probably in the clear.

Seems to me... (1)

Otter (3800) | about 8 years ago | (#16338439)

I suppose this is welcome news to all the fourth grade lawyers out there, but it seems to me that if Google needs a subpoena to discover that Microsoft and Yahoo also do something that Google issues loud press releases about, that largely justifies singling Google out for lawsuits.

Re:Seems to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16338929)

I'm confused. I have asked you numerous times to shut your fat fucking mouth yet here you are posting on and on.

NO ONE GIVES A FUCK WHAT YOU SAY.

Someone needs to key your Porsche you fucking jerkoff.

Re:Seems to me... (1)

sgtrock (191182) | about 8 years ago | (#16339335)

Actually, it's more that Google needs to demonstrate in court that they are simply providing a fair use service similar in structure to that provided by their competitors. I'd say the odds are very high that Google will win this one hands down because they don't allow for the full download of material. They only allow people to search the material and read a small sample.

Frankly, I still can't figure out why the publishers are so upset. Don't they understand that Google's actually doing them a favor?? This is free publicity for their wares, for heaven's sake!

Nice try, Google. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16338465)

But there is a HUGE difference between acquiring copyrighted material and distributing it.

I actually think Google has backed themselves into a corner. By limiting the number of pages of a book you can view, they are pretty much admitting that it's illegal.

Re:Nice try, Google. (1)

DoorFrame (22108) | about 8 years ago | (#16338579)

Eh, not really. They were sued for copyright infringement for making thumbnail copies of images in google search and they were cleared because they only made thumbnails and were providing a new and useful service. I'm sure they'll make the same argument for books. We're only providing a portion of the book and then telling you how to get the full thing.

Re:Nice try, Google. (2, Informative)

svyyn (530783) | about 8 years ago | (#16338651)

By limiting the number of pages of a book I can view, Google is providing me information under fair use (their assertion). Distributing the entire book (which they do not do), would be illegal. The groups bringing the suit, though, are saying that several highly relevent pages from the book is too much for it to be fair use.

Re:Nice try, Google. (2, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#16338785)

By limiting the number of pages of a book you can view, they are pretty much admitting that it's illegal.

Taking a couple pounds of cheese off the store shelf is illegal. Taking a couple of the sample cubes is not.

KFG

slogan change (3, Funny)

joerdie (816174) | about 8 years ago | (#16338511)

mabey google should change their slogan from "do no evil" to "do less evil and tattle on everyone else when we get in trouble."

Oh good (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 years ago | (#16338543)

Now we can read all the posters wildly misinfomred legal opinions.
Sweet.

Re:Oh good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16339447)

Now we can read all the posters wildly misinfomred legal opinions.

I wouldn't recommend that. We might get sued because of casus belli and be subject to post hoc ergo propter hoc.

Actually. . . (0, Troll)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 8 years ago | (#16338549)

it probably has something to do with Google buying YouTube [slashdot.org] .

Re:Actually. . . (1)

joe 155 (937621) | about 8 years ago | (#16338621)

It's a shame that your story was rejected, although I think that it is a little offtopic to mention it here, I thought you might like another source on it - the BBC has this; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5414432.stm [bbc.co.uk] - I'm not sure that the two things are related, but if this is a start by google to delegitimize all copywrite then I'm all for it!

Re:Actually. . . (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 8 years ago | (#16338729)

The story may come up in a few hours but for a story like this I give the editors a decent amount of time to post it from someone else before I put it in my journal. I figure if I've seen it, then someone else must have also submitted it.

However, since I had been on MarketWatch's page and saw the announcement come across the wire, I can't imagine someone else submitting the story first.

Then again, Zonk is on duty and he rejects a majority of my stories so maybe it's just a grudge thing.

Buy old media to shut it up (4, Insightful)

peter303 (12292) | about 8 years ago | (#16338557)

Google certainly has enough cash.
The optical fiber cos bought the phone cos.
The dot.coms bought the networks.
Rockefeller bought his competitors.

Re:Buy old media to shut it up (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | about 8 years ago | (#16339433)

These publishing companies are freeking dinosours. This might be a bigger contribution than anthing google has done so far.

Culture should be free (5, Insightful)

kike (58542) | about 8 years ago | (#16338589)

... ignores the rights of copyright holders in favor of Google's economic self-interest

No. The public has also the right to digitized, freely accesible publications. And since these books are already freely available in public libraries, why shouldn't they be on the Internet?

Re:Culture should be free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16338679)

What makes you think they are avialable for free in the public library.

First, the library bought the book, thus the author gor reimbursed at least once. Second, you ar enot allowed to 'keep' the library book forever, if you were to do so, the library woudl buy antother copy adn the author woudl be compensated once again.

Google never compensates the author in any fashion.

Re:Culture should be free (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 8 years ago | (#16339995)

What makes you think they are avialable for free in the public library.

Probably te same thing that makes him think they are available for free at Google books. They republish excerpts in response to a search, not entire works.

Re:Culture should be free (3, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | about 8 years ago | (#16338683)

It's not even about "freely accessable publications". This isn't like Google going all project Gutenberg or something. This is only about Google and the given Universities being able to do searches against books: a valid & reasonable fair use of the books in question.

          This kind of thing really isn't even unprecedented. There are similar dead tree references of this sort for other types of dead tree works. The book industry is just trying to be control freak pricks and trying to extract more revenue where they deserve none.

          The federal judges should see this and just say: Piracy? What Piracy? Get the H*LL out of my courtroom and stop wasting my time.

Re:Culture should be free (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 8 years ago | (#16339123)

I'll accept your argument, as long as you get Google to agree that should any digitized copy of a work in their system leak so that more than small excerpts are available on-line, Google will immediately (a) compensate the copyright holder of that work at the same high rate of punitive damages that other copyright violations such as through P2P fall under in the US, and (b) shut down their system, since any argument about being fair use because is does no harm to copyright holders will have been completely annihilated. Fair?

Re:Culture should be free (2, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 8 years ago | (#16339357)

I'll accept your argument, as long as you get Google to agree that should any digitized copy of a work in their system leak so that more than small excerpts are available on-line, Google will immediately

...not Google's problem. The very same argument was proposed when Xerox machines came into use. The maker of a tool is not responsible for misuse of that tool. Sorry, but Google already goes well beyond their required duties in this regard.

On the other hand, should you be able to prove that Google Books is negatively effecting the market for these books because they are leaking, then Google may well lose the right to republish excerpts in this way, under the fair use doctrine.

...shut down their system, since any argument about being fair use because is does no harm to copyright holders will have been completely annihilated.

The law actually addresses this, but only in terms of the market for these works. If you can prove the market is negatively affected by Google's use, it speaks to the validity of their fair use. Of course since none of the copyright holders can demonstrate any such thing they haven't even bothered making this argument in court, as far as I know.

Re:Culture should be free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16340067)

"...not Google's problem. The very same argument was proposed when Xerox machines came into use. The maker of a tool is not responsible for misuse of that tool."

Didn't Napster try that argument and lose?

Re:Culture should be free (1)

cfulmer (3166) | about 8 years ago | (#16339019)

Absolutely not. In the US, at least, the public DOES NOT have the general right to digitize copyrighted works, whether they are freely accessible or not. Remember all those signs you see on library photocopiers? There are some 'fair uses,' but these are limited. For example, you can record a TV show for the purpose of watching it later. But, you can't check a book out of the library, photocopy it and return the original.

Library of Congress (2, Insightful)

maelstrom (638) | about 8 years ago | (#16338661)

"Is the library of the future going to be open? Or will it be controlled by a couple of big corporate players?"

I'd rather see the Library of Congress do something like this instead of having it controlled by the publishers or Google or Yahoo or Microsoft. One would be very foolish to have anyone entity control this, and I'd rather it be free to all and not plastered by Adsense everywhere.

Re:Library of Congress (1)

boyfaceddog (788041) | about 8 years ago | (#16338809)

Why? What is inherently superior obout the LOC? Please don't think that the LOC wouldn't charge a fee, lock out users, censor texts, or anything any other publisher would do. Also, why wouldn't the LOC be susceptable to the same copyright troubles as Google, Microsoft, or Yahoo!?

Just becasue the LOC is part of the government doesn't give it the right to ignore the law. That's the president's job.

Re:Library of Congress (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 8 years ago | (#16339249)

Just becasue the LOC is part of the government doesn't give it the right to ignore the law.

Actually, the law grants exceptions specifically to the Library of Congress. Before the 70's, in fact, they were required by law to be provided with 2 free, perfect copies of all works to be copyrighted. Sadly, that was before the laws were critically mangled by lobbyists.

Which corporations would those be? (5, Insightful)

Hoplite3 (671379) | about 8 years ago | (#16338663)

Is the submitter upset at the amount of knowledge and culture McGraw-Hill controls, or the amount of culture Google will soon control? Both are corporate entities and not private.

On the other hand, this experiment with copyright is getting out of control. It's difficult for modern works to achieve classic status. Just last week I was reading that many anthology creators pick and choose their contents based more and more on what rights they can afford. Some modern authors might make a splash, but they're pricing their work out of range for posterity.

You could say that the market will sort this out -- but it's a tragedy what happens in the mean time. Good works will moulder and die as publishers and author's families try to pimp them for the final dollar. All I can think is, doesn't it make more sense to SHORTEN copyright periods as technology improves rather than to extend them? A book can be published, shipped, promoted, bought, and read the world over in a few years now rather than a decade.

Unintended benefit (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 8 years ago | (#16338861)

>It's difficult for modern works to achieve classic status. Just
>last week I was reading that many anthology creators pick and
>choose their contents based more and more on what rights they can
>afford.

Oh no! We won't be able to replace $TIME_HONORED_CLASSIC with
$MODERN_TRIPE?

I'm ordering some more genuine Mickey Mouse stuff right now, along
with a nice thank you note ;)

Re:Unintended benefit (1)

wirelessbuzzers (552513) | about 8 years ago | (#16339523)

Oh no! We won't be able to replace $TIME_HONORED_CLASSIC with $MODERN_TRIPE?

Are you suggesting that the author of every great work died before 1936?

What about Joyce? CS Lewis? HG Wells? JRR Tolkien? Cather? Adams? Orwell? TS Eliot? Woolf?

Some of their works are already classics, but there are surely dozens of other works, by these and other authors, that won't become classics because it is difficult to distribute them.

Rich get richer (4, Interesting)

pembo13 (770295) | about 8 years ago | (#16338681)

Neglecting the fact that Google is already 'rich'. Copyright, in its current implementation seems to be in place simply for the rich to get richer. Yet most Americans are in the middle class. So I think its fair to assume that most US-Slashdotters are in the middle class. So how is it that laws, continued by rich, enforced by order of the rich, and that benifit mostly the rich get so much support on /. ? Does the money earned from copyright go directly back to the economy? I was of the (possibly incorrect) understanding that it just goes into the bank account of the rich.

Re:Rich get richer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16338973)

If Google didn't exist, perhaps the middle-class would be getting richer. Why? Because then maybe we'd all be paid for writing blogs, recording podcasts, and putting up our photos. AOL wanted it that, and if things went just a little right back in the 1995-1999 span, we just might be there.

But now, everything on the Internet is expected to be free.

Second point: I disagree with the notion that copyright only benefits the rich. The only people copyright benefits are the creators of content. Higher the demand for the content, the higher the pay.

Re:Rich get richer (2, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 8 years ago | (#16339111)

The only people copyright benefits are the creators of content.

You're mistaken. Copyright often benefits the distributors of content more than the creators. This is especially true in industries like the music business where a cartel controls distribution. Most artists lose money on copyrights. They actually have to pay to be distributed, more than their copyright makes, and make up the difference doing live shows and selling trademarked goods. And in general, the creators of copyright are dead long before their copyright expires, which means it sure as hell isn't benefitting them unless there is a way to take it with you.

Re:Rich get richer (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 8 years ago | (#16339149)

So how is it that laws, continued by rich, enforced by order of the rich, and that benifit mostly the rich get so much support on /. ?

Partly I suspect because those promoting the current copyright regimes pay a lot of astroturfers. Also, in general, I think support is the result of propaganda that tricks people into thinking that copyright is a natural right and because the topic is somewhat complex and most people don't care to take the time to understand it, so they believe what they hear.

Re:Rich get richer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16339489)

Does the money earned from copyright go directly back to the economy? I was of the (possibly incorrect) understanding that it just goes into the bank account of the rich.

It does. It never gets spent, or invested, or otherwise utilized to fund more economic activity with the goal of making even more money... it just gets socked away as if it never existed.

Re:Rich get richer (1)

pembo13 (770295) | about 8 years ago | (#16339907)

I guess you don't understand directly vs indirectly.

Tell me one thing... (1)

grumpyman (849537) | about 8 years ago | (#16338735)

If Google uses the digitized books for self economic interest is not ok, I wonder what you guys think about peer-to-peer swapping of digitized books? No more 'economic benefits', is that ok?

Re:Tell me one thing... (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 8 years ago | (#16338959)

If Google uses the digitized books for self economic interest is not ok, I wonder what you guys think about peer-to-peer swapping of digitized books? No more 'economic benefits', is that ok?

You're probably thinking about the fact that non-commercial copyright infringement was legal up until the 70's and many people think it still is. Legally, it is not nearly as simple as you seem to think. It is not whether or not Google is making any money that is under consideration, but whether their way of making money is negatively effecting the market for the works they have copied. Also, that is only one of several criteria under consideration. For example, teacher playing a movie for his students may mean one of those students does not go out and buy it, negatively effecting the market, but that particular aspect is outweighed by the fact that it is being used for educational purposes.

In the case of Google books, Google is not profiting by giving away the content of the books, but by providing a service that lets others find the books they want. The information they are profiting from is actually meta-data about the books. Legal precedent thus far is that you can copy entire works for the purpose of presenting portions of that work that allow others to intelligently find and choose between different works.

Re:Tell me one thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16339227)

Yeah! And then Apple can come out with an iRead.
Might need a bigger screen for that one.

Dawn of the Information Age (4, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | about 8 years ago | (#16338815)

The way people interact with Information needs to be completely re-drawn. I believe what is needed is compulsary licensing of most information. Your Internet bill just had a $25US fee attached to it. And in return you get all the downloads you can suck through the tubes. Seriously. Video, audio, books, and software. Your fee is divided back to the copyright holders. Then through regulation mandate that all browsers need to include some kind of bit-torrent like functions to increase the reliability of information access as it would be distributed (vs the current centralized points of failure). Fixing copyright law to reflect the Information Age would make the symptoms of the industrial to information conversion sickness (such as DRM) disappear. Compulsary licensing is the key - like what the Library of Congress evolves into in Snow Crash. Derivative works could explode in this kind of environment - imagine the increased revenue to copyright holders as portions of their works are remixed later on (such as Anime Music Videos).
If you could, what would you do to fix copyright?

Re:Dawn of the Information Age (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16339151)

Actually, this isn't a bad idea, but would be hugely difficult to distribute equitibly to the copyright holders. It might be a nice compromise to allow individuals low-price access to some of the larger "license" systems already in place. (BMI, ASCAP, major holdings for movies, etc.) Then, set them up like iTunes so everything is tracable and the best content creators get rewarded properly (i.e., get more of your $25 than joe-schmo who wrote the crappiest kid's story ever.)

Re:Dawn of the Information Age (1)

zoftie (195518) | about 8 years ago | (#16339895)

I think the idea there is with licenced copyrights for mixing in, cannot be controlled as effectively as pieces of paper standing on a shelf in a bookstore or a library.
As we reeling into the new age people still trying to hang on to bits of old one, and they stand to loose. Information flow is like a light if you stop it from flowing, it disappears like a light. I suppose there should be a new term, on mutablility of the infomration and how successful the original bit is, in speed and amount of mutation on the original.
2c.

Re:Dawn of the Information Age (1)

east coast (590680) | about 8 years ago | (#16340123)

If you could, what would you do to fix copyright?

At this point? Nothing.

I'm sorry but I disagree with your idea here. Copyright gives an artist a right to determine how (and if) his/her work will be distributed. Calling up a flat fee and telling an artist that they do not have rights to the distribution of their work is nonsense. And ultimately who's to decide who gets what fee for what work?

It seems that one of your problems is that government currently has say in copyright and that eliminating current copyright gets rid of so many issues surrounding it... but who controls the end product? If artists are compensated by some media fee (call it a tax, really) that means that it will be regulated by government forces. This isn't far off of copyright as it is. And what happens when the estate of Hunter S Thompson isn't willing to settle for the government mandated fee and determines that "Screwjack" is worth 500 USD a copy? Not all media can be judged by those "high up" without infringing on the artists rights in some way.

the idea of a flat fee distribution system where the artist has no ability to control their works and gets reimbursed by a mysterious body that they have no say in is, frankly, a shitty deal for the artist.

but hey, if you can get people to follow your lead... BTW: If you get this to go through the "high priests of media" should go under the name "the temple of syrinx" just to make sure no one gets edgy about their real role in who distributes what media and at what cost to the artist. And better yet: what DOESNT get distributed, citing a lack of interest.

Point of view (1)

RingDev (879105) | about 8 years ago | (#16338827)

Is the library of the future going to be open? Or will it be controlled by a couple of big corporate players?

I think the person who said this has missed the boat. The library is already controlled by corporate players, they are called publishers. Hence the reason it costs $250 for a text book on network security, but only $40 for a book on network security.

The question now is WHICH corporate players will control the library? Will print publishers continue to hold sway, or will the digital revolution move the power to Google and other online and on-demand print services?

-Rick

The Future of Libraries IS open (1)

unity100 (970058) | about 8 years ago | (#16338913)

There are just personas and groups that still cant grab the way things going and fight against it.

Everyone is doing it (1)

thorkyl (739500) | about 8 years ago | (#16338915)

So if they can show everyone is doing it, and thus get away with it, then all I have to do is show "everyone" is downloading mp3's and I can get away with it.

Ohh wait, im not a big company, different laws apply to me

Re:Everyone is doing it (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 8 years ago | (#16339033)

So if they can show everyone is doing it, and thus get away with it, then all I have to do is show "everyone" is downloading mp3's and I can get away with it.

No, if you can show you meet the balance of the fair use criteria for UPLOADING mp3's, including that you're not negatively affecting the market, then you can "get away with it." As far as I know, it is still in limbo if downloading copyrighted mp3's is illegal at all and I've yet to see a court case challenging it.

The Corporations, man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16339055)

This is just another example of Bush and his Big Library friends railroading the working class little guys, like Google, into shackles of having to respect property rights. I say throw off your shackles, comrades! We deserve free stuff!

Library's content (1)

nsundeepreddy (624059) | about 8 years ago | (#16339071)

Half of all these libraries will be filled with the the legal documents of these subpoenas and related paper work of this law-suit. I am not sure if this is worth the effort. hmph...

Could the government do it? (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | about 8 years ago | (#16339455)

What if the government took over the project and said they would digitize all books and make an online national library. Would they be able to? I think an online national library would be a great idea. I understand the concerns of publishers and authors, but if I wanted I could go to the library and get their books for free anyways.

Someone could write a program that the user downloads that would allow them to preview a certain page for a limited time. maybe each person would get library credits. Or maybe the database of books could only be accessed at librarys.

Re:Could the government do it? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 8 years ago | (#16340031)

What if the government took over the project and said they would digitize all books and make an online national library. Would they be able to?

Yes, and this just what other countries have been doing.

Or maybe the database of books could only be accessed at librarys.

Technically, I think schools can legally do this right now, if they are so inclined. In the UK I think there are 4 or 5 libraries each of which gets a copy of every copyrighted work. The library of congress got these copies too, until they changed the law in the 70s.

birth of a new **ia??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16339953)

so will the new publishers/ authors interest cartel be called piaa (publishing industry association of america)? or maybe bwaa (book writers association of america? if such a group came to form and used the same tactics that are used by the other **ias it will be the end of librarys everywhere. what? you're loaning the books out for free? preposterous!! i demand that you close down this den of thievery! everyone must go to a store and BUY it if they want to read it!

Argument in Google's favor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16340161)

This site has an interesting argument against the copyright lobby and
in Google's favor: http://questioncopyright.org/node/4 [questioncopyright.org]
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