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Google Accused of Violating Copyright In China 247

angry tapir writes "The Chinese Authors Society has demanded that Google present a resolution plan by the end of the year and quickly handle compensation for Chinese authors whose books the US company has scanned without permission as part of its Book Search program. A local copyright protection group, co-founded by the authors group, has said it found at least 17,000 Chinese works included in Google's scanning plan."
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Google Accused of Violating Copyright In China

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  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @09:31PM (#30167104)

    under the acta google will be down in less then 1 hour

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      I say block all of china and china sites from google access or listing. Screw em. Honestly China's e-commerce will crumble overnight if Google shut them off. with a " Google will not give results to sites that are in untrustable and hostile countries like china.

      China's Economy RELIES on the United states, a large company that is used by 60% of all internet users to find information can cripple an entire countries economy instantly by blocking them.

      Show china who is boss. Delist them all.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sabernet ( 751826 )
        "Hello, my name is China and I wish to liquidate all my US Treasury Bonds."
        • by NatasRevol ( 731260 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:36PM (#30167770) Journal
          Exactly. Someone who finally gets it.

          China has something like $1 trillion of our debt. If they dumped it - and they're not against this tactic - we'd all long for last year's economic downturn.

          They fucking own us. Literally and figuratively.
          • by slifox ( 605302 ) * on Friday November 20, 2009 @12:10AM (#30167960)
            Not quite... They own $1 trillion of our virtual currency

            In exchange we got a lot of their material goods

            If they abruptly ended the relationship one day and called in our debt, we would just default and they'd be left with nothing.
            What option would they be left with? Go to war? Fat chance -- wars nowadays are fought with technology, not numbers of soldiers... and we spend almost as much as the rest of the world *combined* on defense (we spend $600 billion a year on military, whereas China is the 2nd highest with under $90 billion a year)

            In the meantime, we would still have their manufactured items, and we'd just take our IP (read: engineering designs) to Malaysia or some other place (e.g. Mexico) for our manufacturing needs.

            They don't "own us" -- it's a mutually beneficial relationship that requires both parties to take part.
            Every country that plays the "globalization" game gets the benefits from and the dependency on every other player. As it stands now, they depend on us just like we depend on them. That could change, but it'd likely be a gradual change, or else a painful change for *both* sides.
            • You forget that they could give every able-bodied Chinese citizen a pointy stick and dump them on our shores. We'd be so hopelessly overrun our tech wouldn't matter.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by anarche ( 1525323 )
                How exactly do they get them to the US shores?
              • You forget that they could give every able-bodied Chinese citizen a pointy stick and dump them on our shores. We'd be so hopelessly overrun our tech wouldn't matter.

                it would be sort of like a Protoss vs Zerg battle, you guys just gotta survive the 1st rush, and victory is assured in the long run.

                Just to be safe, I'd build those additional pylons now.

            • We would "just default"?

              What America have you been watching for the last 50+ years. There's no way we'd politically do that.
              • If you can't pay, you can't pay. America does not have the cash on hand to repay the debt to China. Therefore, America would default.
            • If they abruptly ended the relationship one day and called in our debt, we would just default and they'd be left with nothing.

              No, they'd be left with a large manufacturing base and lots of large markets like the EU and India willing to buy their products. You, on the other hand, would be left with a worthless currency and be unable to import any foreign goods. Next time you go shopping, see how much you buy is made in the USA and decide whether you think that's a good idea.

              • by slifox ( 605302 ) *
                It's much easier to replicate manufacturing base than it is to replicate the bleeding edge research and development for microprocessors, new materials, etc...

                There are many countries with cheap labor and resources that would love the ability to get a huge influx in technology -- because obviously any technology that is manufactured there is essentially transferred there (at very least, there's easy access for local reverse engineers; at very most, they directly gain the formula for implementing a particu
          • by Fred IV ( 587429 ) on Friday November 20, 2009 @12:17AM (#30168004)

            They fucking own us. Literally and figuratively.

            If you owe the bank $100,000 they own you, but if you owe the bank $1,000,000,000,000 you own them.

            China's fate is just as wrapped up in the value of that debt as our own is.

            • And it is not just China and the US - the whole world is in this together, not just when it comes to the economy. They have been talking about globalisation for years, but it has been happening all around while people have been staring blindly at the many failed efforts at cooperation on government-level.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

              If you owe the bank $100,000 they own you, but if you owe the bank $1,000,000,000,000 you own them.

              In Walt Disney's biography there's a story about him giving a head of state of state of some country a tour of the brand new Disneyland when it first opened in the fifties. The man looked at the giant, clean, futuristic theme park and said "you must be a very rich man."

              Disney replied "Yes, I must be, I'm in debt for millions of dollars!"

          • Except for the fact without the US, China would make hardly any money
          • If you owe someone $10,000, they own you.

            If you owe someone $1,000,000 you own them.

            If you owe someone $1,000,000,000,000... there is not much they can do.

            China's economy is a fraction of the size of the U.S.

            Hurt us? sure. slit their own throat doing it-- damn straight.

            • China's economy is a fraction of the size of the U.S.

              And yet they export more goods than we do []. A LOT has changed since 2000, mostly China ramping up production capacity as rapidly as possible. They've been building out manufacturing and power plants at an unprecedented rate. Let's not forget our massive trade imbalance, either.

          • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

            They fucking own us

            Then why are all the convinience stores run by Arabs and Indians? I don't see any Asians running these places. I'd say India and the Saudies own us.

        • "Hi, China, I'm the U.S.
          Sorry but I don't want you to do that and I make the rules.

          P.S. Our airforce is bored and if we don't use our nukes soon they're going to hit their use-by date. Just sayin'"
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by JonJ ( 907502 )
            Yeah, that's your brilliant response to everything. Owe money? Shoot the people you owe money to. Need oil? Occupy and destroy the countries that have. And you wonder why we think you're all batshit insane over there.
            • ...what on earth makes you think I'm from the U.S.? I believe we're making the same comment on their foreign policy in different ways. Although I must be fair and say that we haven't seen much of that kind of action since Gee Dubya stepped down.
            • Really it is just recognizing reality.

              Law and society grows out of the barrel of a gun.

              At any time, a person is willing to use violence and is stronger than you, then your legal agreements may become null and void.

              When the rich get all the food and property (as they do every few centuries), then the poor rise up and kill them and restart the cycle.

              Violence is the exit clause when the other side has set the rules up so you are screwed and have no other way out except to starve or become slaves.

              Legal rights o

  • In other news (Score:5, Interesting)

    by debile ( 812761 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @09:44PM (#30167182)

    In other news, Baidu implement a website to download MP3s []

    • I don't know about you, but I do not read or speak Cantonese or Mandarin (if that is what that was) and thus found it difficult to figure out what is what on that site.

      Regardless, I didn't see Britney Spears or anyone even remotely non-asian on that website (the lil' pictures) so I have to assume it is all Chinese music.

      So what is your point?

      I assume you are implying that the MP3s on that site are all illegal downloads (given the context of the thread) yet I cannot seem to locate anything on that site that

      • Re:In other news (Score:4, Informative)

        by VocationalZero ( 1306233 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:16PM (#30167684) Journal

        I don't know about you, but I do not read or speak Cantonese or Mandarin (if that is what that was) and thus found it difficult to figure out what is what on that site.

        You also seem to not know how to use an internet translator...

        Regardless, I didn't see Britney Spears or anyone even remotely non-asian on that website (the lil' pictures) so I have to assume it is all Chinese music.

        Oh really? What about the section titled " [Japan and South Korea Pop]" or another titled " [Europe and the United States Songs]"? Also, turns out Britney Spears is listed as #5 under "[Europe and the United States singers]", you just didn't bother to mouse over the tabs. China only cares about copyright violation only when they're the ones on the losing end, but this is nothing new.

        On a side note, I wonder how much the US national debt is compared to the total amount of software, music and movies China has pirated over the years. Both would astronomical, but are we talking Pluto, or Alpha Centauri?

        P.S. mod grandparent [debile] up, blatant hypocrisy is blatant.

        • by Tim C ( 15259 )

          China only cares about copyright violation only when they're the ones on the losing end

          And that is different from any other country or company how, exactly?

      • I don't know about you, but I do not read or speak Cantonese or Mandarin (if that is what that was) and thus found it difficult to figure out what is what on that site.

        Hey, that's no problem. Just use Google to translate that page and...

        Oh, wait.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fulldecent ( 598482 )

      in other news, so does google: []

      only accessible from certain countries' IPs

  • by Random5 ( 826815 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @09:53PM (#30167234)
    For all the rampant piracy the chinese government ignores, google can't just ignore their IP rights - china will end up blocking them and they'll all start using yahoo or bing. Would be nice if they could stick it to them and say that the copyright doesn't apply in the US or something but really, you just can't with these people.
  • Copywrong. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by headkase ( 533448 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @10:08PM (#30167330)
    I'll tell you what I think and it is in the public domain for anyone to use. If your nation is too backwards to allow a public domain then I grant you an unlimited license to use in any manner you see fit with or without attribution.

    I'm a privateer. I decided to become one recently. What sparked this decision is the fact that content industries are stealing from me. When copyright was first introduced it was for a period of fourteen years which allowed the creator time to make a profit off of their work even with primitive dissemination systems of the time. After that period it expired and entered the public domain where it would join other works in a rich mosaic for future works to draw from. This is dead. Over the years copyright terms have been extended to the point where there effectively is no public domain anymore. The content industry plays lip-service to the issue, they insist that there is a public domain but when every work is at least life of author plus seventy-five years or so there is in reality no public domain from my life's point of view. I will never see Alien (1979) enter the public domain. I will never see a new original movie based off that setting and characters. I will never see the iron grip of control loosened and in fact I'm sure content is planning more extensions to the terms. Government is complicit in this, politicians have accepted bribes, er.. campaign donations, in exchange for listening to these idiotic and greedy lobbies and passing the appropriate legislation right on cue like their training taught them. Even if magically there are no more extensions to copyright by the time current terms expire the works in question will be irrelevant. No one will be interested in them any more as their times have passed. This gutting of the copyright agreement between publishers and citizens has resulted in copyright not being copyright anymore: it is now a form of property and you will pay for every single last use. In response to this wholesale theft from me I have decided to liberate what I see fit. Go to hell content. I will take whatever I like as you are raping and pillaging through my cultural tapestry. The day I stop will be the day there is an actual agreement restored. I would be willing to settle for twenty years for a copyright term which is even more generous than the original fourteen. With a twenty year period I would also like to see as a punishment for twisting our heritage that only copyrights younger than ten years would be protected from the start. In another ten you'd be up to your twenty. Bite me content you're a parasite and you are stealing from me directly. Anything 1989 and older is a moral right to me and until you stop reneging on the social contract everything newer is as well.
    • Re:Copywrong. (Score:4, Informative)

      by jpmorgan ( 517966 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @10:24PM (#30167412) Homepage
      Cool! Who signed your letter of marque?
    • by tjstork ( 137384 )

      Bite me content you're a parasite and you are stealing from me directly

      How is content stealing from you? It's not taking anything away from you. It's never been easier to get your own content out there, and that is what is actually happening. The idea of deriving corporate power from copyright is going to be silly because, yeah, the Alien movie with guys in a spaceship fighting an alien may never be public domain, but who fricking cares because there's 100 movies and video games out there aliens in spaces

      • What irritates me are the secondary effects of Hollywood trying to make their last gasp. Bad legislation such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act which prevents many legitimate and useful consumer devices from entering the market - even here in Canada where it is not law. Hollywood is dead they just don't know it yet, have you noticed that machinima is steadily improving? nVidia's Fermi graphics processor already renders images that are indistinguishable from real life. Throw in some voice-synthesis
      • Content in the figurative, represented today by the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America. Both are pushing their agendas and manipulating discussion according to their goals. Time to poke back just because their assholes.
      • by KingSkippus ( 799657 ) on Friday November 20, 2009 @12:05AM (#30167938) Homepage Journal

        *Whoosh!* There goes the point right over your head. Big content is stealing from you.

        They're taking your history and your heritage. Imagine a ludicrous extreme, such as the hospital you were born in saying that you can no longer use the name that you were given at birth unless you pay for it because it happened on their premises, therefore they own the rights to it. Or if you are in immigrant, imagine someone telling you that you can no longer describe where you're from, because that information is "owned" by the country from which you came. (God forbid you draw a map!)

        Similarly, the music that was on the radio when I was a child? I'm prohibited by law from sharing that with my friends. Movies that have become so deeply ingrained in our culture that we constantly refer to them... "May the force be with you." "I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more." "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." "Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!" Yeah, in spite of them being part of the very fabric of our culture, you're legally prohibited from sharing them with your kids without paying your pound of flesh to people who did something great decades ago (or in some cases, to estates of long dead people).

        Look, I'm all for compensating artists justly for what they do. In 1962, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr released a clever little song called Love Me Do. It was a bona fide hit, and they made a lot of money off of it. So be it, they deserve it. But now it's 47 years later. Do you really contend that the song was so unbelievably great, so untouchably amazing, that Paul, Ringo, and the estates of George and John should STILL be making money when a radio plays it?

        Or let's look at it another way. Don't you think that's being way too overgenerous to artists? I mean, these past few years, I've been doing some of the greatest work in my professional life in a computer datacenter. I've gotten consistently great reviews, and I feel like I've made a real positive difference for the company where I'm employed. They've paid me well, I'm not complaining. But if I walked out tomorrow, wouldn't you agree that it's kind of silly to expect them to STILL keep paying me because they're enjoying the fruits of my labor while I worked there? 50 years after I'm dead, should they STILL be paying my estate because my contributions in the first decade of the 2000's contributed to the history of the company being great?

        When I retire, I'm going to be living off of money I've saved up during my lifetime specifically because I don't expect my former employers to still be paying for my work 70 years after I die. Why is it that an artist who writes a hit song, a writer who writes a best-seller, an actor who turns in an Oscar-winning performance, gets that luxury? My opinion is that if you want to continue making money off of your work, get out there and work like the rest of us do. No one should get a lifetime + 70 years of resting on their laurels because they did something great. Like the rest of us, if they want to retire in comfort, they should set aside some of the money they make during the height of their popularity so they'll have it after the limited time [] that copyright is supposed to be valid.

        • by HiThere ( 15173 )

          It's not overgenerous to artists at all. The artists get very little of that money.

          If the artists DID get the money, then I'd agree that it was not only overgenerous, but ridiculously absurdly overgenerous. There are only a small finite number of musical measures. (In this context, musical further constrains the set of sounds to those that people can learn to enjoy reasonably easily.) I can't put an exact number on it, and it probably varies through the population anyway. I don't know what the number i

        • The way I look at it is this. I don't care how old the song, is, is it well, worth a dollar? Is Sgt Peppers worth $20? I'd say, geez, I'm going to play the CD until it breaks, and listen to it an easy 100 times, so yeah, its worth a buck. In fact, its pretty hard to find a better deal for entertainment than a song. You can take it with you. You can have it on while you are doing something else. It makes whatever you are doing better, and its only $20. Don't get tripped up that John is dead now, or w

          • The point is that they claim to own it when they have no right to do so. It's like a shady character opening his trench-coat to sell you a rolex in the back alley. Why should you pay for something that by all rights is part of our common culture? How does it promote the progress of the arts to perpetuate this corporate welfare tax? Its mine and I'm taking it.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Actually he might have a small point somewhere in there. Content creators are standing on the shoulders of giants, using centuries worth of stories and history as inspiration, then claiming the 'idea' as their own - essentially demanding payment for re-using our culture and all the while locking it up so much that it will never enter our domain again. They are pulling up the ladder behind them, while claiming moral superiority.

        They may deserve a bit of cash for their time in re-writing the story to meet mod

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      You are basically right, but be sure to maintain your anonymity.

      I agree with you about the copyright theft 100%, and possibly a bit more. My protest, however, has taken the form of refusing to purchase works supporting either the RIAA or the MPAA. This is a legal protest, probably because it's ineffective. Since you are Canadian, perhaps the tax of recordable media is sufficient to justify some of your actions in the eyes of the courts. As I recall the decisions have been mixed and limited.

      My objections

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The content industry plays lip-service to the issue, they insist that there is a public domain but when every work is at least life of author plus seventy-five years or so there is in reality no public domain from my life's point of view.

      The answer is to instantly kill anyone who makes a really good movie, or a book, and then just patiently... wait...

      On your rocking chair on the porch, with a happy, knowing smile on your face.

    • If anyone is interested, I've seeded this idea on the: isoHunt Forums [] as well. It got off to a rocky start there but it is a specialized community well suited to developing this stance.

      Also, the very first place I posted this stance began in this: This [] article over on ArsTechnica. I've also sent emails to The Pirate Bay and TorrentFreak to continue to sow the seeds of discontent.
    • then I recommend you sell copies of the original Mickey Mouse series in protest of the law.

      • The point is that it is the public domain. I won't sell it but I will happily let you download it from me. The public part is the greatest heist of the 20th century. We've been ripped-off. Time to kick the thief in the teeth.
  • Haha (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gzipped_tar ( 1151931 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @10:13PM (#30167366) Journal

    /trollish mode on

    Slashdot americanism knee-jerk on anything about China is just amazing.

    /trollish mode off

    This is not news. It was on local TV news several days ago. Basically, the Author's Society (a "guild"-like organization) said to Google something like this: "We know the benefits of scanned-and-indexed books and we want digital libraries, but why you're not paying for the copyrighted content?" So far the parties are negotiating a plan that is supposed to achieve mutual benefit.

    BTW, I think Google was doing a right thing simply putting those books on-line and negotiate later. In the words of Admiral Grace Hopper, "it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission." The books acquired without negotiating copyright serves as a good corpus of OCR calibration or "training" material. While the legal dept are doing the talking, the techies can take the time sharpen the tech.

    • it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

      Indeed, Sony must think the same way [].

      Of course, corporations can do this, but you're evil if you do it, citizen.

  • The Only Answer! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by b4upoo ( 166390 )

    Since we in the US seem to now be also controlled by every governments' copyright laws the only answer is to insure that all of us at every single moment are under perpetual surveillance to be absolutely certain that we comply with the laws of every brutal, jerk water, banana republic on the face of the Earth. After all copyright is just sooooooo important!

  • I can't help but wonder if this is retaliation for all the crap they get for infringing on non-China copyrights. You know, in a you-too, "Fine if you care about copyright so much pay up!" sort of way.

    I can see them going after MS, since they like to pull BSA stunts in China. But, I don't know why Google, unless they just want to stick it to foreigners in general.

    • China is works closely with MS and Yahoo. Google does not.
    • I don't understand why everyone is focussing on the 'China' part of this story. Google's strategy with scanning books is to commit wholesale copyright infringement and then hope that they can get a favourable settlement when they are eventually sued. The Authors' Guild of America sued them first, now their Chinese counterpart is doing the same. Other countries almost certainly will too.

      Note how 'don't be evil' Google is not campaigning for provisions in ACTA and similar treaties to allow this internatio

  • First, I would look carefully at this. Google is sticking with western companies, specifically those that are based on English law (UK, Australia, Canada, and USA). They recently quit doing French and German. Now, the Chinese are claiming that their copyrights are infringed. Can Google simply drop the books? Seems to be fair, if none have been sold yet. In addition, if it has sold some, AND if they are to pay, then they should pay each book based on what one Chinese company would pay another (which is nex
    • by vik ( 17857 )

      "Them" being the hard-working authors who are having their works ripped off, along with authors all over the world? Or "them" who only write bureaucratic documents? Those Chinese in Taiwan or the mainland? What about the ones who have emigrated? I believe they're generally different groups, and trying to collate the groups in that manner is not helpful.

  • by stimpleton ( 732392 ) on Friday November 20, 2009 @02:09AM (#30168624)
    This flurry of like activity is a dig at the Obama(the US) administration's recent visit.

    If the US wishes to preach the consequences of being on the world stage, China has a habit of coming right back at you.

    A good example was a visit to New Zealand by the Chinese president a couple years back. NZ joined the chorus of mentioning Human Rights. Just before the visit China asked the question, so how were our immigrants coming to NZ treated?

    For chinese coming to NZ:

    - Thumb prints for chinese, yet no other nationality.
    - Chinese people were deprived of the old age pension .
    - A poll tax of $100...just for chinese.
    - Formal oraganisations, while not governmental, such as the Anti-Asiatic League

    The governemt of New Zealand then felt compeled to issue a formal apology. Those that cast stones in glass houses....
  • by khchung ( 462899 ) on Friday November 20, 2009 @02:13AM (#30168636) Journal

    Aside from the typical /. China bashing, why is anyone here surprised by this at all?

    I mean, if you keep pressuring a country to "enforce IP rights" and keep spreading propaganda, uh, educational message about how many billions was "lost" due to IP rights violations. Is it that a surprise that the group of people who stands to gain the most would be responding, who those who stand to lose money will drag their feet?

    Are so many /.ers here so blinded by their anti-China prejudice that you cannot even realize that with over 1 billion people, there will be different groups of people with different agenda? What's the point of lumping this authors' guild with software pirates in this discussion?

    What's more, isn't this exactly the case for American companies to demonstrated how IP rights should be respected? Or will this be another demonstration of pure greed? Do you think anyone in China is going to take "IP rights" seriously (there are few enough who does so, but supposedly we want that to change, right?) if Google demonstrates that US companies are just going violate others right when it suits them?

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."