Beta
×

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

Thank you!

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

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

Microsoft Attacks Google on Copyright

Hemos posted more than 7 years ago | from the how-is-blistering-is-blistering dept.

The Courts 188

The Microsoft Corporation has prepared a blistering attack on rival Google, arguing that the Web search leader takes a cavalier approach to copyright protection. The attack, such as it were, came from Microsoft's Associate General Counsel who was giving a speech to the Association of American Publishers...who have a copyright lawsuit against Google for the last sixteen months. So, an audience ready to hear about how Bad Google is.

cancel ×

188 comments

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

Oh boy. (4, Funny)

Sneakernets (1026296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18249936)

Let the chairs fly!

Re:Oh boy. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18249992)

So, an audience ready to hear about how Bad Google is.
I think the grammar nazi's will be throwing the chairs this time.

Oh boy. (2, Interesting)

Uknowwhoibe (1066486) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250066)

I am so excited that someone is finally taking MS on and not just competing with them, but afaik, coming up with a better product. I will be switching to Google's apps when they are live.

Re:Oh boy. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18250538)

Yeah because Google branded evil is so much better than Microsoft branded evil.

Re:Oh boy. (2, Insightful)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251306)

It is better because it doesn't have the same monopolistic bulk that MS branded evil does. Google may have a monopoly of sorts in the search engine business but it isn't nearly of a scale of domination that MS has for operating systems.

Re:Oh boy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18252956)

Evil is Evil. Just because you feel they arent evil sometimes (in a field totally unrelated to the article) makes no difference.

Re:Oh boy. (1)

cmacb (547347) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251372)

They are "live" now. Still a bit rough around the edges, but getting there.

Re:Oh boy. (1)

Uknowwhoibe (1066486) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251816)

Yes, I know they are live, but they aren't quite in "full swing" yet. I hope to fully replace MS cOughice with Google.

Re:Oh boy. (2, Insightful)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250268)

Yes, divert the attention on to someone else while your own search engine is just as guilty. The FUD is really flying today.

Re:Oh boy. (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252844)

Huh? Show me where Live search is fully indexing print books and offering them up as search results? You know, the whole point of the damn lawsuit referred to in TFS, let alone TFA?

Re:Oh boy. (1)

asleep79 (1002660) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251378)

Microsoft is just scared and looking for something to detract attention from the pitiful excuse for an operating system it just released. Microsoft hasn't done anything more than copy what everyone else is doing for a decade or more and they're scared that Google (who is actually innovative) will take over their market. I for one wish Google would come out with an Operating System so I could ditch Microsoft forever. The only other option is a Mac and with such a hefty pricetag I can't justify the switch regardless of how much I would really like to. C'mon Google ... you can beat MS!

Microsoft's half finished sentence. (5, Funny)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 7 years ago | (#18249962)

From TFA:

Microsoft, he said, asks the copyrights owner for permission first...
They should have added:

...unless it's software.

no doubt; kettle meet pot. (4, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250102)

amazing that MS says these things when they are well known in and out of the industry for their large amounts of theft and patent/copyright abuse, let alone their total abuse of their monopoly.

Re:no doubt; kettle meet pot. (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251904)

What are some examples of these "large amounts of theft"?

Re:no doubt; kettle meet pot. (5, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252130)

  1. Apple Quick Time; Lead to a major 150 million settlement.
  2. The code and idea for the embedding in MSIE. Still in the settlement as I recall.
  3. How about MSIE itself. they cut a deal to pay the mozaic group spin-off a .01 / each one sold and then embedded it (i.e. the company got SQUAT).
  4. Or how about the theft of the stacker's work in dos 6.2. IIRC, they had to pay something like 75 million (not chump change back in the 80's).
And that is just off the top of the head.
Man, you MS types have incredibly short memories on MS's actions, let alone how to use google.

Mod parent up (1)

icedcool (446975) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252684)

Mod parent insightful. Good stuff.

Re:no doubt; kettle meet pot. (3, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252888)

How about MSIE itself. they cut a deal to pay the mozaic group spin-off a .01 / each one sold and then embedded it (i.e. the company got SQUAT).

While definitely not fair, and not really moral either, MOSAIC got their ass handed to them on a platter. Nowhere in the deeds of contract for the agreement did they ever specify minimum sales prices, minimum volumes, etc., hell they didn't even have a clause that required the product to be sold at all.

If MOSAIC is to be pissed at anyone, they should be going after their law firm, for letting such a gaping, gaping hole slip through the contract - it wasn't even a minor loophole that MS used, it was the entire point of the freaking contract!

FYI (1)

Brad Eleven (165911) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252892)

The past tense of "lead" is "led". When "lead" is pronounced with a short 'e', it's an element.

Re:Microsoft's half finished sentence. (2, Funny)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250118)

Microsoft asks the copyright owner for a business arrangement in which both parties can get rich at the expense of the consumer. That is somehow less evil because I used the "business" word.

More fun from TFA (5, Insightful)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250138)

"In essence, Google is saying to you and to other copyright owners: 'Trust us -- you're protected. We'll keep the digital copies secure, we'll only show snippets, we won't harm you, we'll promote you,' "

Bad news, Rubin: Google is exactly right to say that. Fair Use Rule #4 evaluates "the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work." And I don't think it's hard to show that prominence on a Google property affects this potential market *extremely positively.

Re:More fun from TFA (5, Insightful)

tha_mink (518151) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250304)

Bad news, Rubin: Google is exactly right to say that. Fair Use Rule #4 evaluates "the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work." And I don't think it's hard to show that prominence on a Google property affects this potential market *extremely positively.
I'd love to see how many "copyright holders" would actually make the choice of being delisted from any and all google enterprises rather than expose the copyrighted work. I'd love it if Google said something like..."All right , no soup for you" and then just delisted everything that had anything to do with them. I doubt they'd care much about infringement then.

It's all bullshit. They don't care about their copyrights until they think they can squeeze money from someone. When YouTube was just YouTube, there was just as much copyrighted stuff there ans there is now. "Google has deep pockets now. They must be infringing something of ours. Let's get em." It's bullshit, plus Google hasn't even started to realize the profit from YouTube advertising. If you were producing a sitcom, wouldn't you want clips of your crap to go viral on YouTube? It's got much better chance happening there than it does on mystupidsitcom.abc.disney.com that's for sure.

Re:More fun from TFA (4, Funny)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252100)

I'd love it if Google said something like..."All right , no soup for you" and then just delisted everything that had anything to do with them.

That comes dangerously close to Google abusing its search monopoly.

on mystupidsitcom.abc.disney.com

You mean mystupidsitcom.abc.disney.go.com. They paid a lot of money for the "go.com" TLD, and damn it they're gonna use it!

Re:More fun from TFA (3, Insightful)

Veilrap (875588) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252244)

No it is no where near an abuse of monopoly not to list someone on your search service. Google is a private company and is fully allowed to customize its survice as it sees fit. If google feels that having a company listed will detract from google's customers' overall satisfaction they are perfectly allowed to do as they please. Don't give me anymore of this monopoly bs.

Re:More fun from TFA (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252830)

Google is a private company and is fully allowed to customize its survice as it sees fit.

Well yeah, and Microsoft bundles WMP and makes Internet Explorer unremovable, and various state, federal and foreign governments enjoin and penalize it for that. It's a no-no to use your monopoly power to give yourself an uncompetitive advantage in another business. This can be seen as Google becoming a victim of its own success. If it's ubiquitous and a one-stop-search shop, it becomes a kind of gatekeeper to the deep Internet.

Re:More fun from TFA (4, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250416)

"In essence, Google is saying to you and to other copyright owners: 'Trust us -- you're protected. We'll keep the digital copies secure, we'll only show snippets, we won't harm you, we'll promote you,' "
It's also an interesting criticism coming from Microsoft, since with just a few wording tweaks that's exactly what Microsoft tells consumers when it comes to things like Trusted Computing.

Re:Microsoft's half finished sentence. (3, Funny)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250172)

asks the copyrights owner for permission

They ask permission like the mafia asks permission.

Kafka (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250192)

Kafka said, "You become what you hate". The collorary is you hate what you wish you could be. The thing is I don't know which direction to apply these lemmas.

Re:Microsoft's half finished sentence. (1)

Grinin (1050028) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251044)

I was about to say the exact same thing... luckily I knew it wouldn't be original, so I decided to just agree with you on this one... followed by lots and lots of laughter.

HAHAHhahahAHAHahaAHAHahhaHAHA!!!

"Microsoft, he said, asks the copyright's owner for permission first.." -- That cracks me up

Re:Microsoft's half finished sentence. (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252528)

Microsoft, he said, asks the copyrights owner for permission first...

On a more serious note, I thing Microsoft is upset because Google got all that content making it useless to Microsoft who wants to buy exclusive distribution right to it. How can you sell a monopoly product when the competition gives it away for free?

Re:Microsoft's half finished sentence. (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252562)

...unless it's software.

Or an industry standard.

mmm... (4, Insightful)

rbochan (827946) | more than 7 years ago | (#18249990)

mmm... glass houses...

If ya can't beat 'em, smear 'em... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18250514)

Why not? It works in politics.

Who's more evil? (4, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250004)

And Microsoft takes a "cavalier approach" to their users, to privacy [msversus.org] , to the free market... so who's more evil?

If Google really didn't care they could do far far worse to abuse copyright than anything they've done so far. Microsoft is just placating an audience.

Re:Who's more evil? (1)

iceperson (582205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250994)

So what you're saying is "As long as you can point to something/someone that's "more" evil then you're alright by me."

Re:Who's more evil? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251102)

Nope, I'm saying the pot is calling the kettle black. Microsoft lives in a glass house. Or some such saying.

Re:Who's more evil? (1)

ady1 (873490) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252154)

Harming other corporations != Evil. Harming end user == evil. Seriously this is lame (not for Microsoft though). Shows how desperate they are getting to hurt Google in any way they can.

um, not to defend MS but (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251088)

"Wed, 17 May 95 13:44:40 EDT"

The bad news, of course, is that I haven't seen a tangible sign of change in the intervening 12 years.

Yeah... (5, Funny)

Moggyboy (949119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250010)

Microsoft guy: "And... and... stop creating tools that people actually find USEFUL and giving them out for FREE, goddamnit! And... and... ummm... Google is a stupid name... and... ummm..."

Re:Yeah... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250516)

"And Google smells bad. And is on my side of the seat. And won't stop bothering me."

English? (3, Insightful)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250036)

Is this submission even English? "The Microsoft Corporation", "The attack, such as it were", "who have a copyright lawsuit against Google for the last sixteen months"--none of these are right. And to top it off, it ends in a sentence fragment.

Re:English? (1)

GiovanniZero (1006365) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250572)

we try so hard edit the submissions but is not have time always to finish! as it were!1@!!@

Re:English? (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252398)

It's called Engrish... I hear they will start certifying teachers in it throughout the San Fransisco Bay area...

Re:English? (1)

Palshife (60519) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252872)

And to top it all off.

such as it what? (0, Troll)

kahei (466208) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250042)

'such as it were'?

I hate to join the chorus of people complaining about the 'editors', but... unfortunately, it is getting pretty silly, isn't it? Would it be that hard to just get some reasonably literate person with a bit of spare time and have them edit stuff?

Don't embarass yourself (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250254)

Far from displaying your superior intellect, You embarass yourself. "such as it were" is a traditional phrase in english literature and writing. Try to read more than "learning perl" and the "python cookbook", you might find it eye opening, such as it were.

Re:Don't embarass yourself (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250660)

Tangential topic but....
"As it were" is more of a colloquialism at this point is it not?
I work in a diverse company and one of my (now former sadly) supervisors was from Lebanon. He dropped by my office to see how I was doing and I beat him to the punch and asked: "How goes it?"
This, apparently, broke the English parser in his brain as he disassembled the sentence fragment and tried to make sense of it.
"how goes it?"
"... how it goes?"
"!"
"man, that just doesn't make any sense!"
"What's this means, how goes it?"

At which point my other "plain 'ol white" co-worker couldn't take it anymore and she popped a gasket laughing like mad.

In international business relationships you have to learn to remove all colloquialisms and cultural/sports references (collectively slang) from your working language. Bonus points for studying the "other guys" slang enough to not get lost in a conversation and even the ability to fit in at the pub, thus I have a moderate repertoire of brit/scott slang, Japanese formality (good god the ceremony of handing off a business card is @!%# insane!), and Indian (generic, sorry) mixed signaling (shaking head up and down is no, left-right is yes, of sorts, and it still hurts my head).
-nB

Re:Don't embarass yourself (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250750)

I'd say your answer "begs the question". :-)

But I found it funnier than a fart in a phonebox.

Re:Don't embarass yourself (1)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251150)

No you don't. You should learn to be aware of them, as should the other party,
but that's not a sufficiently compelling reason to expunge them from your noggin;
because some might not grok your froodiness. How mind-numbingly bland, man.

Re:Don't embarass yourself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18252230)

apropos signature

Re:Don't embarass yourself (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18250860)

"I say not this, for that I think the action such as it were disadvantage to be
thought the projector of it ; but I say, and say truly, that my lord admiral ..."
-Francis Bacon, 1859

"I had heard such, as it were, sing before Jordan was half forded. I had seen
faces where, pallid as they were, I beheld more celestial triumph than I had ..."
-William Fishbough, 1874

"... the covetous cruelty of the common sort, by their eager biting at gold, being
such as it were enough to eclipse the brightness of a Prince's bounty."
-Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas, 1847

The quotes come from the first several listings in Google Books from a search of "Such as it were" in quotes [google.com] . Perhaps you should read something in English and not in Olde English? The only works Google finds with the phrase "such as it were" are two hundred years old. Anyone using the phrase "such as it were" is being pretentious, trying to impress someone with their superior intellect and failing miserably.

"Gay" not only no longer means "happy and carefree" it doesn't even mean "homosexual" any more. In the 1930s "straight" meant "honest", in the 1970s "straight" meant "not stoned" (sober), now it means heterosexual. Language changes. But "such as it were" was bad English two hundred years ago, despite the fact that Francis Bacon used the phrase (prolly like we use "well DUH" or "prolly" or "PuhLEEEESE" and God but I hate that last one...)

"It" is a singular noun. "Were" is a plural verb. They don't go together, such as it was (or such as they were).

That said, I'll cut Hemos some slack. My oldest daughter is mentally challenged, too, but I love her just the same.

Fancis Bacon Salutes you! (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252502)

try googling "as it were" [wordwebonline.com] instead and you will discover it's what is know in the trade as an adverbial clause. It's closest translation is another adverbila clause "so to speak". It's used in every day english.

I'm glad you feel that you can correct francis bacon's english, but your response is unknowingly funny. You see Francis Bacon was noted for his discourses on the use of syllogism [wikipedia.org] in argument. Your insult to Bacon is a pure example of syllogism. 1) I think the english phrase is bad 2) francis bacon used the phrase. 3) ergo francis bacon spoke bad english. Nice, bacon would be proud of such an elegantly bad example. I doff my quilled chapeau to you!

Re:Don't embarass yourself (1)

kahei (466208) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252488)


Verbs and their subjects have to agree in number in this language. If you left 'such' out of your last sentence, it would be correct because 'were' would be the subjunctive mood. But you didn't, and it isn't, and you don't come across as sounding nearly as grown-up as you hoped.

You don't know what I mean by 'agree in number' and 'subjunctive mood'? I think it's time for some *quiet study time* on the subject of grammar -- to prevent future embarrassment.

Re:Don't embarass yourself (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252552)

true, but it would not have been as funny. Time to reflect on humor.

Such as it were, indeed (5, Interesting)

P0ldy (848358) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251410)

Perhaps this comment is superfluous since the only person backing you up is an Anonymous Coward, and maybe that's you attempting to vindicate yourself. However, no reply attacking your intelligence, right though they were, gave the reason why the phrase is correct. "Such as it were" is an example of the subjunctive. It's a mood. Pick up a grammar book if you want further explanation. The selfsame mood is the reason for the phrase "Were I to go out...". What?? Were I? You don't say I were. You say I was! Yes, it's the subjunctive, and it's a part of so many languages and would still be important even if it were as little used as it is in English.

Re:Such as it were, indeed (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251992)

Interesting. I'm not quite sure I understand "mood" as language case, or the tense of "were" that you are describing as subjunctive. Care to elaborate?

Yesterday, today, tomorrow (5, Interesting)

vivaoporto (1064484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250044)

Yesterday: Microsoft watches with disdain while $company break through unknown waters
Today: Microsoft attacks $company initiative as being illegal, immoral and bad for business in general
Tomorrow: Microsoft try to embrace the very same business model of $company, only with a layer of DRM on top of it, and try to leverage it using the profits of the OS and Office division.

Nothing different from all other endeavors from our good old Microsoft. Who didn't have it coming?

Content is not the holy grail it's made out to be (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250060)

What people like this fail to understand is that content is just one part of the puzzle. Content is cheap; just look at the number of books that are rejected for publication every year. If every author who got rejected said "fuck it!" and published their content online, Google would be swamped with free books. Having published content is also not even a sign of quality per se, as it is a sign that there is a possible market for it.

Google does create value, which is what the real issue here. Value is what matters in economic terms. They are increasing the value of the content that they index by making it more readily available to the public. If they are making money off of this without violating the exclusive right of copyright holders to control publication of their content (aside from fair use and mandatory licensing), then no one is being hurt, and no one is a leech. Being a leech implies that they are siphoning off value, a la file sharing, rather than clearly adding value by making the books more available and useful.

I'm not much of a Google defender, but the reality is that they are not mooching here. Mooching implies parasitism, which clearly they are not guilty of.

Re:Content is not the holy grail it's made out to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18250242)

Content is cheap; just look at the number of books that are rejected for publication every year.

That's nothing, it's probably only a third of what the /. editors reject in a day.

Bad Google (2, Funny)

ack154 (591432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250090)

Just how is "Bad Google" these days? I haven't seen him in ages!

What is with the capital B?!

Re:Bad Google (1)

imroy (755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250388)

The last time I saw him he had a pretty mean goatee.

As an author (5, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250098)

of two books that have sold upwards of 2000 copies (yipee I suck!) I have to say, STFU Microsoft. The day my books came out they were on the torrent websites (thanks to my publisher releasing the book in ebook format the same day). Google archiving the book would have ZERO effect on my sales (which are low because nobody knows who I am, and I suck at teh English) and in effect may actually help them if key passages are searchable.

If publishers want to stop piracy of texts, STOP RELEASING EBOOKS THE SAME DAY FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

Tom

Re:As an author (2, Interesting)

novus ordo (843883) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250480)

Just out of curiosity, have any of those that downloaded the torrent bought either of your books? If somebody found some value in your work they would surely encourage($$) you to produce more. Especially if you're small-time when it's much harder. Maybe the bagel man [uchicago.edu] analogy doesn't work on the Internet?

Re:As an author (2, Interesting)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250834)

Most people who would pirate my books are college bound students getting into cryptography (and mathematics). They're the people the books are aimed at since they're not very advanced texts (more pratical than theoretical).

I don't know if people who torrented the books later bought copies. For me, I wasn't really that motivated by getting rich (or making more than a couple grand). I was more into getting the ideas out there. The first book, is actually available [legally] for free from the LibTomMath archive. Though the copy there is older than the printed copy. That being said, it would be validating that if all the people who read my books actually bought a copy I could then measure and say "cool, people read my book." Not that I expected to make a lot of sales. To be honest I thought both books would sell ~3K a piece then die out. As it stands right now I'm nowhere near that mark and it's been nearly a year for my first book and one quarter for the second.

I think a combination of piracy and first time unknown authorism have contributed to the shitastic sales (more the latter than the former).

To bring this back on point though, I don't think "leaking" a passage here or there would have a measurable impact on sales [see this [google.com] for an idea]. I probably did lose a few hundred sales to torrents though, keeping in mind I only sold 46 math texts last quarter...

Anyways, parting words, write to be read, not to make sales. You'll be more satisfied in the end.

Tom

Re:As an author (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252042)

Books are the one format I will carry on buying regardless. I enjoy reading in places where a laptop or whatever just isnt practical. I have a PDA but I can't imagine reading an ebook on it.

If I ever found something I could only get in ebook format I might print it out to read at my leisure but I would rather buy a neatly bound copy.

This especially applies to text books. I know they are usually more expensive but I like the ease of use a good old fashioned paper book provides. I also like the neatness that having someone else do a good job of binding it provides.

Re:As an author (1)

novus ordo (843883) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252176)

And you don't need to change the batteries.

Re:As an author (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250878)

You are free to do with your intellectual property as you see fit. Others get to make these same choices for themselves with their intellectual property. It is not for the mob to decide how one is allowed to exercise their rights. When will slashbots get this through their puny little brains? You are free to create and release to the public he fruits of our artistic labors. The RIAA cannot stop you from releasing your own albums unless you are contractually obligated through one of their members but then that's your fault for wanting to suckle at the teat of the industry. If you want to release your books to the public for free you are welcome to do so. No publisher's association can stop you unless, again, you're contractually obligated to a publisher. What others do with their work is up to them.

Re:As an author (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251014)

I never said what Google was doing was *right*, I said it probably doesn't hurt sales. Just like me picking your lock and sitting in your house doesn't "hurt" you but it isn't right. If anything, sales are hurt by over zealous publishers who push content the wrong way, especially such as in ebook form at the same time.

I'm positive that, at least in my case, my sales suck due to me being a first time author, relatively unknown outside my circle, and not advertising the books. However, on the very same day my book was in stores on sale, you could torrent it from a dozen websites around the world. That certainly can't be helping sales. If they held off on ebook sales for at least a year or two, I'd probably have a few hundred more sales to my name. Which in the grand scheme of things isn't a lot, but multiply it by the hundreds of small time authors out there and it adds up.

And unlike audio, you don't suffer compression artifacts. At least in the audio/video biz, people will pay for quality [medium wise not content]. So while there is a lot of media piracy, there is way more sales because people are tired of getting 56kbps rips of avril lavigne hits from kazaa or whatever.

With a book, the pirates trade in PDF formats, which are lossless. So there is very little inherit gain in buying a legit copy other than "feeling good." which sadly is not enough for most anyone to actually cough up the dough.

Tom

Re:As an author (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251844)

I would say there is more added value in books than in music... Printed books are technologically superior in that they don't require a reading device to use them. Electronic books have not replaced printed books to the same extent that downloadable music has replaced CDs because it isn't as easy to sit in an armchair and read a book on a computer.

I have no idea what you've written about, but I have lots of books that I own and want to read but haven't yet. Math text books are much more likely to sell if a professor picks it up to use as a text.

Re:As an author (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252066)

Depends on the book. Most comp.sci books are just fine on the screen (e.g. PDF) as opposed to in your hands in print. Sure it's nice to have a printed copy but it's not always better. I was hoping to have my first book be picked up by some crypto oriented comp.sci group. As far as I know that hasn't happened. Oh well, i'm just happy that some people have read it and that the related OSS projects are being found useful.

The thing that drives legit audio downloads is the quality control. For less than a buck you can have your 4 mins of blissful pop music [or whatever] at a technological quality level that is ideal [or should be] as compared to the random download from P2P services which offer random qualities.

To put it differently, suppose bandwidth wasn't a problem and people traded FLAC's. There would be a lot less drive for legit downloads, as aside from having a higher moral standing the process is inherently no better. And we know that most people, capable of getting away with a seemingly guilt-free crime will try so.

I SAW YOU JAYWALKER!!!

hehehe

Tom

Re:As an author (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251468)

Except WE DO GET THAT RIGHT. It's called fair use.

Google is doing NOTHING wrong legally, morally or pragmatically.

The publishers are just going on a control freak rampage because they are (much like you are) trying to perpetuate the misguided and incorrect notion of copyright as something comparable to real property rights.

Google is doing nothing different than any other dead tree published index that you might have been forcibly exposed to as a child.

Re:As an author (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252362)

Fair use means you can include non-substantial portions of a copyrighted work for the purposes of education or parody. Google is archiving random portions of copyrighted text for the purposes of making sales. That isn't fair use.

You may argue that's not harmful to the rights owners, but that's not the point. They're not exercising fair use when they take snippets out of my book, and then link to amazon to say "you can buy it here." As odd as that sounds...

Tom

Re:As an author (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250904)

If publishers want to stop piracy of texts, STOP RELEASING EBOOKS THE SAME DAY FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.
Right. It'll take a week or so for the paper versions to be pirated.

teacup calling the teapot fat (4, Insightful)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250154)

Companies that create no content of their own, and make money solely on the backs of other people's content, are raking in billions through advertising revenue and I.P.O.s," said Mr. Rubin, who oversees copyright and trade-secret law.

Is either buying out your competitors or putting them out of business "creating content"?

Re:teacup calling the teapot fat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18250972)

Wtf is up with your subject? Is this soupposed to be some "clever" bastardization of
"the pot calling the kettle black?" Or just generally mixed up? It doesn't to be a
pre-existing turn of phrase.

Of course... (4, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250178)

Aren't the processes of indexing servers, and the exclusive right to make copies of information inherently in conflict? Same thing with a system that by default allows anyone to share any information publicly, like the phone system, open public speech, or, in this case, the Internet. I don't think the 'copy right' was originally intended to apply beyond books and blueprints anyway, but the way it has grown, I don't know how one would get a representative view of our world without breaking copy rights along the way in at least many small ways.

That's why there have classically been exceptions allowed for sampling information, why one case of illegal copying haven't been used to call every tangential person involved in the copy from being punished, and that the original intent of copyrights, to 'promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts", has classically been the focus, rather than just blindly punishing people, who naturally tend to share information.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Of course... (1)

novus ordo (843883) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251280)

There are 2 arguments here and Rubin is spreading FUD hoping nobody will notice. One is the private caches of copyrighted data--Google Books and Youtube now. The other--"Google takes the position that everything may be freely copied unless the copyright owner notifies Google and tells it to stop" that he's piggybacking on top of the prior one. However that is the law according to DMCA, not according to Google's wishes.

Another comment "Companies that create no content of their own, and make money solely on the backs of other people's content, are raking in billions through advertising revenue and I.P.O.s" is laughable. Does indexing all that data come for free? Does it have no value? Same could be said of RIAA MPAA but they do provide 'services' although they might be overpaid for what they offer. Actually now that I think of it, ALL services offer no content of their own but make something of that content. And often the content itself is the outgrowth of somebody else's work and trying to draw lines in the sand where there aren't any is a burdensome affair. See the mix tape busts, the parody takedowns etc. Copyright needs an overhaul. In a world where copying is free how can you charge a price?

Can I be the first to say.... (1)

hairykrishna (740240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250258)

"...arguing that the Web search leader takes a cavalier approach to copyright protection."

Good.

Re:Can I be the first to say.... (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251718)

+1 Agreed

blistering? (2, Funny)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250260)

Whining and throwing tantrums is not a "blistering attack".

Re:blistering? (1)

Sneakernets (1026296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252654)

Yeah. I'd go for the word "splintering".

Is this April 1st? (5, Funny)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250262)

This sounds like an April Fools article.

Next Article:
    RIAA concerned about musicians being ripped off by lopsided contracts

After that:
    Auto Makers insist Congress must tighten emissions and fuel economy standards.

strange relationships (4, Interesting)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250266)

The really weird thing about the google lawsuits is that the publishers suing google are also google's business partners. It's basically a dispute between business allies that's being handled partly in the courts. There's speculation that the outcome will end up being harmful to fair use. Google has tons of cash, and can afford to pay the publishers a certain amount of money to end the suit, even if they really have a good fair use defense that might eventually have held up in court. If that happens, then everybody else's fair use rights could be diminished, because it will be seen as normal that you have to pay for what really should be fair use. Google could end up with a de facto monopoly on indexing books, because competitors wouldn't have enough money to pay the publishers what google paid. (This is mostly paraphrased from a long article in the New Yorker, IIRC.)

we'r special (1)

jb.cancer (905806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250290)

FTFA:

"Google takes the position that everything may be freely copied unless the copyright owner notifies Google and tells it to stop," Mr.Rubin said. Microsoft, he said, asks the copyright's owner for permission first..
Of course microsoft can patent everything from 0s & 1s unless someone shows them reason!

Anyone Else Seeing a Pattern Here? (5, Interesting)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250534)

GNU/Linux

  1. Microsoft attempt to compete with GNU/Linux via conventional methods: reducing cost (releasing free [microsoft.com] --as in beer--versions of products), advertising that TCO is higher for Linux than Windows [microsoft.com] (it's a lie, but what else should we expect them to say?)
  2. Conventional methods fail so Microsoft falls-back to good old fashioned dirty tricks: making spurious allegations [slashdot.org] about 'intellectual property'.
  3. ...
  4. Profit!

Google

  1. Microsoft attempts to compete with Google via conventional methods: producing a competing [live.com] services [microsoft.com] with similar capabilities. Then advertise the services as usual, and throw in a bit of IE7 integration in the name of 'choice'.
  2. Conventional methods fail so Microsoft falls-back to good old fashioned dirty tricks: making spurious allegations [nytimes.com] about 'intellectual property'.
  3. Throw chair across room
  4. ...
  5. Profit!

Personally am getting a feeling of: 'same bilge, different day' from Microsoft.

Microsoft is attacking Apple indirectly. (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250544)

This speech is an indirect attack by Microsoft upon Apple's success in the digital media world. This article [reuters.com] details the tightening of Google/Apple ties as they reach further into technology's future. Microsoft is clearly being left behind, so Microsoft needs to start stirring up the legal battles.

Wasn't it always Microsoft that accused competitors of fighting in the courtroom because they were not able to win in the marketplace?

This translates to "Google is BAD" (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250574)

- "They are earning cash we were craving, but are too uncompetitive to get".

MSN search cache? (4, Interesting)

mph (7675) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250680)

"Google takes the position that everything may be freely copied unless the copyright owner notifies Google and tells it to stop," Mr. Rubin said. Microsoft, he said, asks the copyright's owner for permission first.
I just checked search.msn.com [msn.com] and it has a cached copy of my webpages. I don't remember Microsoft asking me for permission. (Not that I mind, but it's at odds with Rubin's statement.)

Copy this..! (2, Insightful)

Co Starring (1022765) | more than 7 years ago | (#18250998)

What's next?

Parents getting sued because they are telling a story from a children's book?
Me talking about a movie explaining how great the storyline is?
Am I still allowed to sing my favorite songs under the shower?

Re:Copy this..! (1)

SirWhoopass (108232) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251516)

Me talking about a movie explaining how great the storyline is?

"Fair use of a copyrighted work... for purposes such as criticism, comment... is not an infringement of copyright." Title 17, US Code.


Am I still allowed to sing my favorite songs under the shower?

Yes, unless you are showing in public and charging admission or trying to gain some commercial advantage. See Section 110.

Not even pot kettle black (1)

gamer4Life (803857) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251298)

The difference is that they're not the same. Microsoft is evil, Google isn't. Microsoft's approach to copyright and DRM is despicable, while Google's practices are to be admired.

We should all boycott Microsoft's products (if we can), like the Zune, Vista, the XBox 360, Office, etc...

It is so sad (0, Troll)

kahrytan (913147) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251420)


Microsoft can't beat Google with better products and services so they try to beat them with the law. It is pathetic. If Microsoft would spend all the cash they give to lawyers on R&D, they might actually produce decent product. Instead, they pump out crap after crap after crap.

The reason Microsoft does is to shake corporate faith in Google. I hope the corporations don't fall for it.

Re:It is so sad (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252122)

If Microsoft would spend all the cash they give to lawyers on R&D, they might actually produce decent product. Instead, they pump out crap after crap after crap.

MS spent $1+ billion in R&D last quarter so it's not for lack of funding. It's not that they don't have brilliant people. It's that MS as a corporation has conflicting and competing goals. Their different divisions could come out with great products but on the whole, their products must not undermine the whole corporation. Namely they must do everything to ensure Windows is the only operating system, Window Media the only media format, SQL server the only SQL database, etc. The Office division could do a port to Linux. There is some money to be made, but that would undermine Windows. Zune could have been tied to more open formats but that would hurt Windows and the Media division. And the list goes on.

Sony has the same problem. Their MP3 players could have been great and taken the market from Apple but they had to protect their content division. Thus the first versions used proprietary formats that all but crippled them.

Oh noes! (0, Troll)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251560)

Oh noes! My whole world has been turned upside down! Google is evil?

*cries while googling Microsoft's Associate General Counsel, Association of American Publishers, and copyright laws*

Library (1)

Polyphemux (1072444) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251752)

So... I can sue the library just a few miles away from here as well?

proof of loss (1)

fuliginous (1059354) | more than 7 years ago | (#18251884)

Perhaps a key factor in the minds of Google is the practical necessity in showing the level of consequential loss (at least under some richer legal systems). And as the small scale proofs of concept relating to books shows sales increasing it might be tough to achieve.

And also that the infringing act has to involve all or a substantial part of the work. Which from the brief play with google book search I've had you really don't see. I suppose the copying of it into the system to be able to search is the crunch point.

Microsoft miffed (1)

fuliginous (1059354) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252098)

In fact the more I've just read (UK) copyright law and also thought about what the Google search offers I just think M$ are upset they didn't think of doing it first.

Attack from the MS legal dept (5, Insightful)

shadowspar (59136) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252662)

The fact that threats against Google are being launched by Microsoft's legal team instead of their engineering department tells you all you need to know.

mod 0P (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18252696)

baalots. You could

Ms on the ropes? (1)

AlbionTourgee (918996) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252754)

Most interesting thing about this feeble attack is to show how weak Microsoft is as a technology company. Flagship product Vista opens to very bad reviews. Cash cow Office's latest version isn't setting the market on fire, and faces very functional, free competition. Microsoft can't come up with a search offering that really competes with Google in the market. So, desperate, the former technology company turns to -- a legalistic attack on the competition. And, not a particularly profound or well-thought out attack, either, as the postings in this thread demonstrate. Anyone who doubted Microsoft is on the downward curve should take note. The markets, of course, appear to have known this for quite some time -- if you invested in Microsoft in 2000, or even 2004, you passed up the real opportunities.

Our legal system, of course, is capable of very serious blunders, such as, refusing to break Microsoft up despite its anticompetitive and monopolistic practices. Investors in Microsoft stock would be much happier today if the courts had applied the law with full force. But, the law is, well, imperfect. So, maybe Microsoft and the publishers version of the RIAA will win the case, and not only help preserve the software monopoly, but also limit the ability of readers to find and read books. Yes if this happens the law would be an ass. Need I say more?

The real deal (2, Funny)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 7 years ago | (#18252762)

Microsoft might be preparing the ground to a software patents law suit against google. They patented evil after all...
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>