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Delay, Renegotiation Sought For Google Books Settlement 83

Posted by Soulskill
from the back-to-the-drawing-board dept.
Miracle Jones writes "The Google Books settlement has been removed from consideration by Google and the Authors Guild after the DoJ made it crystal clear that the settlement would not be ratified 'as is' due to foreign rights, privacy, and antitrust reasons. The October 7th 'fairness hearing' has been canceled, and the next step is a November 6th 'status hearing' where the plaintiffs will reveal changes to the new settlement, such as how they plan to make it more fair, legal, and inclusive, and whether or not they will need to notify all the members of the class action lawsuit (7 million writers or so) yet again as a result of the changes. Some people are very happy about this."
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Delay, Renegotiation Sought For Google Books Settlement

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  • Google tried a fast one, the global publishing equivalent of tightly packaging a web browser with an OS, and got caught. The only "negotiations" up to this point had been akin to the conversation the kid has with the candy jar. Now, perhaps, a genuine dialogue can begin.

  • by bzzfzz (1542813) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:22AM (#29515905)
    Hopefully whatever comes of this will help out groups like IMSLP [imslp.org] that are working on books and other media outside the text-centric Google mold. Orphaned copyright, and excessive copyright terms in general, are too large a problem to let an almost "good enough" solution like Google Books carry the day.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by R2.0 (532027)

      Yeah, because half a solution is worse than none at all. Especially when someone isn't getting their place at the trough.

  • Historical analogy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TorKlingberg (599697) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:26AM (#29515967)

    This is like when airplanes were invented. Before that if you owned land, you owned it all the way up to the sky. Imagine if every airline and hobby pilot had to get permission from each individual owner of the land they would fly over. Well, it was decided that property rights would have to yield to progress. There are of course limitations, such as how low you can fly, noise and other things that actually affect the land owner.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_rights [wikipedia.org]

    • Indeed but IMO a class action settlement is not really going to solve much. this settlement could easilly end up giving google a monopoly or nesr monopoly (particulally if there is another similar lawsuit that goes to the end and rules against the clone of google books)

      Personally I don't think class actions should be allowed to be settled at all but if they are going to be the implications of those settlements need to be carefully considered (as it seems this one is being) before approval.

      What this really n

    • That is from Lawrence Lessig's Creative Commons. The book is available at bookstores, the public library, and for free from his web site. It's a good read, and I recommend it to anyone interested in this debate.

  • "The Justice Department told U.S. District Judge Denny Chin in a brief filed last week that the agreement threatens to give Google the power to increase book prices and discourage competition,"

    Wait, how is offering out-of-print books discouraging competition? I thought part of being an out-of-print book is that there is no competition because there is nobody printing the book anymore...
    • Re:FTFA (Score:4, Informative)

      by zoward (188110) <email.me.at.zoward.at.gmail.com> on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:46AM (#29516331) Homepage

      Wait, how is offering out-of-print books discouraging competition? I thought part of being an out-of-print book is that there is no competition because there is nobody printing the book anymore...

      I think book publishers are afraid that you won't buy their latest offerings, preferring instead to download some out-of-print book you can get for free from Google. It seems unlikely, especially since you can currently download many of the classics (ie, the best-of-breed out of print books) for free from sites like Project Gutenberg [gutenberg.org].

      • by ajs (35943)

        And if the publisher lobby could have its way, copyright would be re-applied to those older works because every download of a public domain book is, in a certain light, a reduction in publisher profit.

        I know that that's absurd, but that's exactly why they want to stop Google from offering OOP books.

        What makes me sad is that most of the Slashdot crowd is convinced that when they want to share music, that's fine, but when Google wants to put libraries online, there's something in it that will cause their milk

        • What makes me sad is that most of the Slashdot crowd is convinced that when they want to share music, that's fine, but when Google wants to put libraries online, there's something in it that will cause their milk to sour and their cat to die. Sad, really.

          You're missing something. The problem is that Google, and only Google, puts libraries online. Other parties have tried to get in on the deal, and have been told to get lost.

          If the deal was open to anybody interested, most of us would be all in favor o

          • by ajs (35943)

            The problem is that Google, and only Google, puts libraries online. Other parties have tried to get in on the deal, and have been told to get lost.

            If there are such other parties (and I haven't heard any specifics yet about there being any such cases), then they have every right to bring an anti-trust suit against the publishers. Google doesn't really have any way to force the publishers to change their stance on this, nor are they responsible for such.

    • Re:FTFA (Score:4, Interesting)

      by cdrguru (88047) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:55AM (#29516473) Homepage

      I guess you haven't heard, but it is possible to actually keep a book rather than throwing it away after it has been read. There are stores which specifically cater to the idea of buying old books, most of them being out of print. These books are not "popular" in the current sense and therefore have obviously failed, but some places still offer them for sale.

      The concept of a book is an interesting one, but if Google gets their way a "book" will be a quaint collector's item that some funny old people have whereas everyone else gets their books from Google. Together with some ads. The idea of a "used book" will become about as popular as a "used kleenex" primarily because of the actions of a single corporation. Isn't this something that we, as a society, might want to think about a little bit before doing it?

      • Re:FTFA (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:10PM (#29516777) Homepage Journal

        I see your point. Why don't we start a movement to bring back scrolls made of papyrus or parchment? I mean, those guys have been suffering for hundreds of years now. Paperback and hardback books were unfair competition to an ages old profession.

        Seriously, I love books. I'm also fearful of moving into a world where physical books don't exist. If the electricity goes out, and the batteries go dead, you CAN'T READ ebooks. But, all the same, I see no rational reason for preventing electronic libraries. At this point in time, I see no objection to Google's plans, but whether it's Google or any other company, let's get the out of print books online.

        Dead tree publishers will just have to adapt somehow. Think of it as a carbon credit. Every book that you download and read saves a few pounds of cellulose, somewhere.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by eleuthero (812560)
          perhaps I'm wrong about this, but using dead trees isn't really a problem in terms of carbon consumption. It may have other environmental factors (the types of trees grown on tree farms for use in paper mills do tend to grow quickly, sap the ground until it is effectively dead, and replace native species. The issue with paper made from trees is one of resource management related to other fields than carbon trapping. When we turn it into a book, the carbon in the tree is still trapped, not released into the
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ajs (35943)

            perhaps I'm wrong about this, but using dead trees isn't really a problem in terms of carbon consumption.

            Planting, harvesting, grinding, processing, shipping and printing on that tree, however....

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            (the types of trees grown on tree farms for use in paper mills do tend to grow quickly

            Which would seem to sequester more carbon faster than a slow growing tree, although I'm not sure about that.

            • by eleuthero (812560)
              Yes on sequestering carbon faster... problematically, they also sap everything useful out of the ground (which then either requires chemical fertilizers--nasty on the environment) or crop rotation / resting. Also problematically, one of the most commonly used trees, the eucalyptus, grows like a weed almost anywhere you find a paper mill and chokes out whatever was already there... that and it's inedible to many native animal species (apart from its original home) and the problem is compounded. It's a toss u
      • > primarily because of the actions of a single corporation.

        "Single"? How exactly does your post jive with the reality of the Kindle's DRM? Or am I missing something?

        And with regard to the main point of your post, I hate to tell you, but in most of the better futures we could have, dead-tree books are eventually going to be "quaint collector's items", no matter what your personal opinion about is. And yes, this may take a generation, or two....

        • by ajs (35943)

          dead-tree books are eventually going to be "quaint collector's items"

          I don't buy that. Why would this change? Sure, consumption may drop as things like physical reference books may die out a bit. But, I just don't see myself going with an electronic version of most of my books. I could today. I have the Kindle app on my iPhone and I have several computers. I can read PDFs or browse the web. But, sometimes I want a BOOK. I want something that's I can spill coffee on and lose exactly one book. I want something that I can take to bed and not worry about breaking it.

          The only thi

          • > The technology is no where near that.

            But eventually it will get there (barring global disasters, etc., which is why I qualified it as only perhaps in the better futures). We, however, might not live long enough to see it, so I don't think you should really worry about it on a personal level.

        • by Omestes (471991)

          And with regard to the main point of your post, I hate to tell you, but in most of the better futures we could have, dead-tree books are eventually going to be "quaint collector's items", no matter what your personal opinion about is. And yes, this may take a generation, or two....

          How is this going to happen? How will these futures be "better"? Better at what? Better for whom? No offense, but so far you haven't said anything. Are these "better futures" like the "better futures" of the past with ubiquit

          • 2 examples....

            1) I went to visit my grad student mother 5 years ago in New Hampshire. On a whim, I went to the U library and looked at the computers. I looked up a relatively obscure 18th century figure I'm interested on the library catalog. There, on the catalog system were digitized copies of small run monographs that were only really available in a few british libraries. At the time I was floored.

            2) In the context of something totally different, I became fascinated by the role of Mark Twain as blurring w

          • by Mathinker (909784)

            > How will these futures be "better"?

            "Better" in that technology continues to progress rather than be stopped by various possible global disasters. That is all

            > books ... writing

            As another poster has pointed out to you, I didn't say that books would die out, I said that eventually dead-tree books would die out. Of course books, in whatever different form they will take in the future, will remain with us (although, I could see it being possible that text-only books might also become relics or at least

            • by Omestes (471991)

              I could see it being possible that text-only books might also become relics or at least be looked upon as an unusual retro art form).

              Sadly they already are by a large segment of the population. Whatever happens to books probably won't matter to a huge swash of the population, so I doubt that there will be much innovation in the long run.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ajs (35943)

        if Google gets their way a "book" will be a quaint collector's item

        I'm sorry, I'm just not seeing it. You'll have to explain it to me. Why will I no longer want my books?

        everyone else gets their books from Google.

        Or whoever else makes a deal with the publishers. Remember that the publishers don't have their hands tied. They can make licensing deals with anyone they want.

        The idea of a "used book" will become about as popular as a "used kleenex" primarily because of the actions of a single corporation. Isn't this something that we, as a society, might want to think about a little bit before doing it?

        Why would used books go away? I buy used books. I would continue to buy used books. What changes?

        • Why will I no longer want my books?

          Storage, mobility and ease of reference.

          Why haul 500 pounds of books from place to place (plus associated bookcases, etc) when you can have all of that and more in a single tiny ebook reader that you can scan, "thumb-through" and search with ease?

          I have hundreds of ebooks ranging from fiction to Perl programming, and everything in between. With the exception of what's in the bookcase right beside my computer desk, most of my "real" books have now

          • by ajs (35943)

            Why haul 500 pounds of books from place to place (plus associated bookcases, etc) when you can have all of that and more in a single tiny ebook reader that you can scan, "thumb-through" and search with ease?

            1. ... from my cold, dead hands.
            2. Because my books are part of my home
            3. Because I like to browse books passively without picking up a device. I'm often reminded of something simply by walking into a room that has a bookshelf.
            4. Because no UI has ever matched the utility of flipping through a book.
            5. Because there's value in simply being reminded of the books you're started but not finished whenever you walk into your home.
            6. Because I don't need to worry about power or upgrades or versions.

            Don't get me wr

  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pavon (30274) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:38AM (#29516199)

    Class action lawsuits shouldn't be allowed to absolve future infringement against an entire class just because a few people agreed to the terms. This settlement should have dealt solely with liability for past infringement, and terms of further distribution should be handled in an opt-in manner, or by changing the law (which does need to be changed to better handle abandoned works).

    • Perhaps (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Mathinker (909784)

      Personally, I understand your position, but I lean more to preferring a half-bad workaround to the current bad law, as opposed to waiting for it to be changed for the better, when the direction of recent changes are all in the opposite direction.

      Frankly, I'd have been OK for the DoJ to have come out with a few recommended changes which remove Google from a monopoly position, while maintaining the orphaned works workaround.

      • The best way for it ("it" being the state of copyright law) to become genuinely better may be for it to become tremendously bad.
         
        Therefore, a half-bad workaround is arguably worse than none at all.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Opt-in is fine for works still for sale, but it doesn't work at all for out of print or orphan works. Copyright is supposed to be so works are created and available, not for the authors to be able to keep them hidden.

      The problems are copyright length and automatic copyright without registration. If you had to log on to the Library of Congress and register your work (for free), and your copyright only lasted 14 years with ability to extend it another 14 years, the "orphan works" and "out of print" problems w

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I clicked on the last link of the summary, which brought me to a page that has several pictures of stock car drivers in victory poses.

    Are we to suppose this website got the rights from NASCAR and other related property holders to use these images?

    Just a thought, since they seem to be a group championing "digital rights".

    • > Are we to suppose this website got the rights from NASCAR and other related property holders to use these images?

      Are we to suppose guilt without proof now, just because it has to do with crimes which are easy to commit, even unintentionally?

      Just a thought, that maybe we all should be trying to champion "constitutional rights"? (Instead of jumping down each other's throats for no good reason whatsoever? You're going to tell me that you've never forwarded an email you got from someone else to a third par

  • by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:52AM (#29516429)

    I don't understand what Google is doing wrong. Can somebody please explain it what it is that so many people and corporations object to? I've read a bunch of articles but none have explained what the actual underlying problem is.

    The closest thing I've heard that makes sense is that a book (unlike a web page) was never written with the understanding that it would be read and indexed by a machine. But really, I have a hard time seeing how this would hurt authors or publishers or anybody. The benefits seem great.

    -ec

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by pavon (30274)

      This is nothing like indexing. The terms of the settlement (which are actually broader than what google was doing before it was sued) are more like google going through the WSJ subscription only archives and posting preview copies of the works on it's own site. Then google will sell you the full copy, and pay the WSJ what they decide to pay, whether the WSJ agreed to any of this or not. It's not hard to see why the WSJ would take issue with this.

      • by Zerth (26112)

        What, like a compulsory license [wikipedia.org], where somebody can distribute an audio/visual copyrighted work for a fee decide by judges, regardless of how the owner feels about it?

        I wonder why copyrighted texts aren't treated the same.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by houghi (78078)

      Imagine I wrote a book. That book was made in 1.000 copies and is not on the market anymore. I am the copyright holder and want to keep it that way for whatever reason. That is what copyright is about.

      Now Google comes and suddenly has the right to re-produce it.

      Now obviously you can start disagreeing about the copyright (and especially the duration). The fact is that I now have a copyright and Google takes away those rights.

      • Oh. I didn't understand that they were going to republish anything more than just excerpts (which I believe would be fair use).

        • by eleuthero (812560)
          There are already companies set up and re-printing books, paying a fee to google for the use of their archive of out of print material. I think there was an article on it recently here but don't remember the name of machine used.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by gnu-user (162334)

        Can you provide any actual cases even remotely resembling this? I do not believe you can, and thus i believe your argument carries almost no weight.

        The settlement specifically applies to works where the intent of the copyright owner is not discoverable. Your example seems to have no application here.

        Authors wishes raise some interesting questions. Some that seem worth mentioning.

        1) Kafka explicitly did requested his work not be published. Should we honor his wishes? This is not an uncommon situation.

        2) At w

      • by Shagg (99693)

        That is what copyright is about

        No. That is not what copyright is about, that's the problem. Copyright has never been about guaranteeing control.

      • by Zerth (26112)

        The public gives an author copyright to induce him to create for the benefit of the public.

        If the author ceases to share to the detriment of the public, he is no longer fulfilling his end of the agreement and the public may take back what they have given him.

        If you don't want to share, don't register your copyright and only sell/give your texts under an NDA.

      • by HunterD (13063)

        This is patently false. Under the settlement, any book for whom the rights holder can be established, said rights holder has the right to pull the book from the google book search for whatever retarded reason they have justified this to themselves. The only 'special' right google has is to redistribute works for which the rights holder cannot be found.

        This is in practice a very small percentage of the works, as the rights holders are actively being sought out by the author's guild.

        The idea that works that

      • by slaingod (1076625)

        Except of course you could ask Google to withdraw your book at any time according to the settlement.

        If you wanted to keep your book PRIVATE then you shouldn't have made it PUBLIC by PUBLIshing it.

        Copyright is not intended prevent works from being published, it is intended to PROMOTE works being published.

    • Really?
      You don't see the problem with Google going around to libraries, scanning millions of books, indexing them, then providing access?

      Google is not the copyright holder for these books, yet they are essentially printing infinite (digital, you know) copies. Then giving them away for free. Or for pay. Sometimes with money going back to the copyright holder.

      It's illegal for you to make copies of a book with a scanner. Why is it not illegal for Google to do the same on a scale of millions, while also pro

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        One. Out of print means you are not getting a dime anyway for you book 'sales' they are used book sales. Two, if more people read your book they may want more which could lead to A) it being published again or B) an offer for another book. Yeah real bad for you the author. The thing I think is missing is what if a book is to be republished? How do remove those electronic copies? Probably you don't so do book on demand printing and have people pay for a printed copy with the usual royalty rates or mayb

    • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:17PM (#29516873) Homepage Journal

      Rough translation of the current state of affairs:

      Google has been eyeballing this huge mass of abandoned property, as have a few other companies. Google has finally moved toward putting this property to some use. Understand, the use is not an "exclusive" thing - they are just going to use it, since no one else is. Little kids can still romp and play on the property, people can do anything they like.

      But, other corporations see Google preparing to use the property, and fear that Google might make money from it in some way. Of course, if there is any financial gain to be had, then "MY COMPANY" should be entitled to some of it.

      In effect, the new negotiations are meant to ensure that other people and companies CAN make money. There really isn't much more to it than that.

      Odd, that Project Gutenberg has been quietly doing the same thing for some years now, and no one has jumped on them. No one else has volunteered to step forward, and get their hands dirty. Much ado about nothing, IMHO

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        I thought Project Gutenberg was doing this only with public domain works. That would be the big difference, no?

        • I summarized my view. IMO, "abandoned works", "out of print", "public domain", "creative commons", and a variety of other terms are very nearly interchangeable. Bottom line is, no one is using them, no one is making any effort to protect their "IP" rights, no one is doing anything.

          Please don't be pedantic by showing me links to legal terms - I will insist that they are effectively the same.

          "Use it, or lose it"

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            I mostly agree with you with the exception of certain out of print books. Somebody in another part of the thread mentioned than an author may deliberately choose to have only a small print run. I hadn't thought of that before. The work may then be valuable because it is scarce or out of print.

            • I missed that post. And, I certainly never though of "limited editions" of an author's works. Now that you mention it, I'm asking myself, "Is that ethical?"

              Ethical or not, it's food for thought.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Idiomatick (976696)
              Limited edition runs would still be valuable since google's print is not an original. Ontop of that authors defending their copyright can opt out.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by AliasMarlowe (1042386)
              There are some other issues relating to copyright material distributed under GFDL and some CC licenses. Redistribution is allowed, but certain nonfinancial conditions are attached, applying to the distributor and/or to the recipient. A financial settlement, which is meaningless in the context of GFDL or CC material, cannot absolve the distributor from the nonfinancial duties associated with distribution.
              General GFDL conditions for distribution can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GFDL#Conditions [wikipedia.org]. A
          • by Atlantis-Rising (857278) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:39PM (#29518325) Homepage

            Your insistence does not make it fact, however. Each of those options have different names because they are different things, with different rights, responsibilities, and qualities.

            You say that "no-one is using them, no one is making any effort to protect their IP rights, no one is doing anything". Categorically, that only applies to public domain works.

            Creators of ''abandoned works" and "out of print" material will often act to protect their IP rights, despite not republishing them. This is very common with computer software. There may be a good reason not to reprint the material. They may be attempting to create artificial scarcity. They may be holding out for a better publishing deal. They may decide that the cost of publishing will outweigh any returns, but wish to prevent the work from being republished by others in order to generate revenues on other works (for example, Microsoft does not sell Word 2000- but presumably they would act immediately and stringently to block infringement of their rights on that work because the limitation on accessibility to Word 2000 sells more copies of Word 2007).

            Creative commons material is a different beast entirely. People who publish their work under the creative commons license will often act strongly to protect their works and those same works are probably still being published under said license.

            The only work to which your argument applies is the works in the public domain, which have passed out of copyright, which never had copyright on them, or which copyright has been renounced. These, of course, anyone is free to do anything with and nobody is saying otherwise.

            Your argument is remarkably short-sighted in that it presumes that work that is not being currently put to use has been abandoned to the public domain. This is simply wrong, and it is not an assumption you, nor Google, has a right to make. There are procedures in place to allow work to be placed in the public domain. If a creator wishes to do that, they have that option. Why should you have the right to act as if they intended to do something, when in fact, had they intended to do that, they could easily have done so but have not?

            • "Your argument is remarkably short-sighted in that it presumes that work that is not being currently put to use has been abandoned to the public domain. This is simply wrong, and it is not an assumption you, nor Google, has a right to make."

              I am a presumptuous bastard. If you leave your car parked on my property for several months, I will presume it to be abandoned, and use the car as I see fit. Likewise, leaving a published work unattended for a number of years indicates that you have no intention of usi

              • Likewise, leaving a published work unattended for a number of years indicates that you have no intention of using it, and that it SHOULD go into the public domain. We might argue over how many years is sufficient to indicate that the work has been abandoned, but at some point, I will win the argument. Copyright law backs me up.

                I do not agree, and you will not win. Your argument is based on an entirely mistaken interpretation of copyright law, and the law in general, that conflates a whole bunch of totally s

            • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Your argument is remarkably short-sighted in that it presumes that work that is not being currently put to use has been abandoned to the public domain. This is simply wrong, and it is not an assumption you, nor Google, has a right to make.

              With other copyrighted works, if a work isn't available and you can't find the creator, you're allowed to go to the government and say "hey, I can't find this guy to negotiate, decide a fee for him and I'll pay it".

              Some works, you don't even have to try to find the creator

            • Microsoft does not sell Word 2000
              They don't sell it directly but IIRC they do sell volume licenses with downgrade rights to it.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Odd, that Project Gutenberg has been quietly doing the same thing for some years now

        They've been trying to get orphan works and out of print works but have been unsuccessful. They hired Lawrence Lessig to shoot down the rediculously long "limited times" but Lessig failed; SCOTUS ruled that "limited" means whatever Congress says it means.

    • What Google are doing wrong depends largely on your viewpoint.

      • If you are a pedant for copyright, it could offend you that this agreement might affect someone's ability to profit from their copyright, even if it was highly unlikely, and you might even believe it would make it less interesting for people to write books.
      • If you are for "freedom of information", it may offend you that Google ends up with a monopoly on use and maintenance of the orphaned works, since they might abuse this position of power and i
      • I don't understand the monopoly argument. As far as I know, Google has a monopoly only because they are the only ones trying to do this. Is there anything that prevents others from doing the same thing?

        • Yes. It is called copyright law. I don't understand why people keep repeating this strange talking point. Copyright prevent companies from digitalizing books, Google will be the sole company exempt from this through a class action lawsuit. Of course theoretically other companies could try to get a similar agreement with the writers guild but what incentive does the writers guild have to renegotiate the same agreement with other companies? None I say. In fact it would go against their interest so it's a cl
    • by HunterD (13063)

      What they did wrong was try to make books more available to individuals, and easy to search. The people crying over this are upset because they feel that their product being more available, easier to find and easier to buy clearly represents a copyright infringement.

      Scanning the world's libraries and making the material available is clearly quite possibly one of the most individually empowering acts in history, as it will put far more *good* information into the hands of everyone. This is unacceptable becau

    • Many legal experts have said Google had a strong case that what they were doing originally was not illegal at all. Witness the recent appeals court decision on remote DVR: even though the company technically made a copy, it was ruled to be fair use. Sure, Google scanned all these books without permission. But the factors of fair use weighed heavily in their favor. They were not selling any of the books at all, only offering snippets (clearly fair use) and the lawsuit was about whether the scanning itsel
  • Win? (Score:2, Informative)

    by miffo.swe (547642)

    The win situation would be that everyone would have got easy access to orphaned books. Having the ability to search them would be very beneficial for any researcher in the world. Especially if work was put to scanning old books held in small amounts by collectors and institutions.

    The only win i can see is lobbyism from a few parties that felt left out and couldnt tag along on googles settlement money. I hope Google just drop this and let someone else foot the bill and then make the same demand for equal acc

    • Re:Win? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eleuthero (812560) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:21PM (#29518027)
      Part of the original settlement has unfortunately made much of the google book search feature worthless for people in my field--too many books are restricted to "snippet" view by the publisher. I have purchased two books as a result of successful searches on Google because I wanted to have a physical copy for when the search still worked but the viewing of pages went past the limit. I have purchased none of the books I couldn't search through because I couldn't find the content. The library has been helpful but having a physical copy and an unlimited search to go alongside it has been vital to my studies.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Idiomatick (976696)
      Google spent tons of money and work scanning several million books. And they are willing to share all of this with their competitors to open this market up they are so confident they'll blow away MS and whoever anyways. Seems more than fair.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        They did not have permission to make [electronic] copies.

        That is a blatant violation of existing copyright law.

    • You don't get it Microsoft wants to be able to scan their own books too. They don't want to use books scanned by google. Letting someone else foot the bill is not the issue here.

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