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Google puts the brakes on scanning of copyrighted books
duckhunter




msg:755820
 6:20 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

Looks like Google is finally getting the copyright attention it deserves!

Google Halts Scanning of Copyrighted Books [news.yahoo.com]

 

BReflection




msg:755850
 7:56 am on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I want to thank WebmasterWorld for getting the title right: Google did not completely stop scanning books, they stopped scanning copyrighted books. There is plenty of public domain work out there to keep them busy.

iThink




msg:755851
 8:26 am on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Who in the general public really cares?

I believe a lot of people in the general public really do care. There are some people still left in the world who like to buy a music CD from a store instead of downloading the pirated stuff for free by using kazaa. Some people do care enough to buy movie DVDs for $20 or so instead of buying them from vendors selling pirated ones for $2 or less. So not every one in the general public is a supporter of theft.

Piracy of books and printing material is limited at the moment because of the obvious reasons but what google is planning to do will steal the revenues of the publishers of printed books in the same manner revenue of businesses selling music, movies and softwares is stolen by using P2P networks. P2P networks like kazaa also claim that they are helping artists and record companies. Google is also giving the similar lame explanation.

janethuggard




msg:755852
 1:22 pm on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I just love adding hot peppers to the soup, and then turn up the heat.

But, this of course is my favorite post of the day.

>"You , I and the family dog use G, Y and sometimes >MSN"

That is one mighty intelligent dog. Clone him and rule the world. My cat can only pull the blinds up to look out. She hardly compares. I wish she could keyboard. I would put her to work researching our competitors in G. Very handy that dog of yours.

janethuggard




msg:755853
 2:09 pm on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

"I don't think that SE's will EVER be opt in...and if they were - putting an outrageous fee on "getting listed" would be suicide."

You can only do for free, what you can afford to do for free. Processing site owner agreement to TOS, millions of them, in what would likely only be a few months, is some major job. Paperwork, even in electronic form, is a major cost for business. Those costs have to be recovered. Of course they would charge.

Yahoo is charging $299 right now for their directory. Do you really think they would miss the opportunity to rack up some more profit for the stockholders, if a high court rules, that we all have to opt-in in order to be included in search, because of copyright violation? We are talking about 3 public companys here. Don't ever make the mistake of counting on anything free from a public company. You might expect personal pages to be included for a small nominal fee, but they will soak every person or business who makes a dime of any page in their site.

There are numerous things that could turn the web upside down at any point, due to legal rulings that would set the web back 15 years. One only has to look at the legal case verdicts in the USA in the past two years alone to see how backwards the thinking has become in this nation.

*ascends soapbox*

This is a topic about reading and content. Given only 1 in 10 Americans have any reading comprehension at all, which I personally witness on a daily basis from visitors to my own site, and past clients (it is really more like 1 in 500)what will be the outcome of any court case, that is based on the concept of reading, and requires reading to achieve a verdict?

You have people who can't understand what they read, AND have Attention Deficit Disorder sitting on juries, and ruling at the bench in civil cases. We the people (juries) put people to death in this country for things they didn't do, and we do it often. We have video footage of jurors sleeping during testimony. I recently witnessed a man sleeping, deeply enough to snore, during his wife's funeral.

You only have to look at the extensive media coverage of the federal elections to witness ADD in action. Americans can't even concentrate on a task long enough to poke little holes in a paper card properly when they vote. How many Americans? Millions. That same sloppiness is seen in the judicial system, from coast to coast, border to border.

You can no longer apply the concept of logic to anything.

With the amount of illegal drugs in the drinking water this country has (and apparently at least Italy as well) prepare yourself for some really wild court cases, and even wilder verdicts. Thank heaven for the deep artesian spring water I drink, imported from northern Canada. It is about the only place I trust any more when it comes to water.

You see the way we treat our POWs? This is your mind on cocaine polluted drinking water after receiving mercury laden vaccinations. Any questions?

*descends soap box*

NoLimits




msg:755854
 4:17 pm on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes, I agree that the United States would probably like to do some things to mix the pot in the not so distant future.

What I don't understand is how this divine ruling is going to span the globe.

I really don't think that the US is in a position to enforce copyright laws on a global level, do you? What's to stop someone in another country from starting the next free SE.

superpower




msg:755855
 6:36 pm on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Itagnc makes a good point.

This is similar to what happened to MP3.com and they lost the whole company. It was over a $400 million lawsuit and then some from every artist possible. However, there are some differences, namely that Google is not providing the full works only snippets which may be covered by fair use.

RIAA/MP3.com lawsuit:
[news.com.com ]

No doubt Google has better finances and it would probably go to the Supreme Court even if they were challenged on this.

I always thought Google had one Achilles heel: advertising rates. Now this is a symptom of another.

tntpower




msg:755856
 7:24 pm on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

G$ is going to become crazy and insane. It requires publishers to opt out instead of opt in. What is the difference between G$$ and those junk mail makers?

tedster




msg:755857
 11:36 pm on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Scarecrow (msg #11):
Information does not want to be free. Never has, and never will.

Here, you're addressing only part of the quote from Stewart Brandt. He actually mentioned TWO sides of the issue, both of which are getting some attention in this thread. Information wants to be free -- and information also wants to be expensive at the same time. These two forces are in a struggle with each other, especially today.

John Battelle, founder of Wired magazine and keynote speaker in our New Orleans Conference, recently observed that the owners of book copyrights should get smart here and find a way to USE Google to leverage the "long tail" sales they could achieve on most of their catalog -- which is currently pretty dead.

Just as webmasters have learned to leverage search engine spidering (you haven't banned Googlebot from everything you have online, have you?) book publlisher's would do well to find the opportunity this offers. And, yes, I'm sure that almost all publishers with cash cow copyrights will find out how to opt-out, just as those of us who have data to protect find a way.

I agree that these issues need to be worked out, but the resolution is not clear at present. But I feel that the pre-web thinking involved in having a total lock on intellectual property is not viable indefinitely into the future, If you try, then you just generate a black market (just as has happened already with audio and video.)

Better to work this out above board. There's gold in what Google wants to do FOR the copyright holders. There's also a potential for great abuse to be examined thoroughly.

Hey, with this web thing, we're making up a lot of the rules as we go along. Stewart Brand went on to say that those who can understand BOTH sides of this paradox will be the ones who profit the most from the "information age".

walkman




msg:755858
 1:00 am on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> There's gold in what Google wants to do FOR the copyright holders. There's also a potential for great abuse to be examined thoroughly.

I totally agree. Look at iTunes and what Steve Jobs did. However, Google's arrogance in going ahead--before convincing them--didn't help the cause. Like it ot not, the book publishers own the copyright.

tntpower




msg:755859
 2:23 am on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> There's gold in what Google wants to do FOR the copyright holders. There's also a potential for great abuse to be examined thoroughly.
I totally agree. Look at iTunes and what Steve Jobs did. However, Google's arrogance in going ahead--before convincing them--didn't help the cause. Like it ot not, the book publishers own the copyright.

Cannot agree more. Apple's iTune is as successful as ipod. Apple knows how to respect others.

larryhatch




msg:755860
 2:32 am on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

There are many thousands, if not millions, of out-of- copyright books gathering dust out there.
If Google gives them a second or third life, I'm not about to complain.
Who else would pay electronic attention to my smelly shoes or the lemon tree in my back yard? -Larry

hutcheson




msg:755861
 3:49 am on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ah, I haven't seen such coffee-sprinking-keyboard-ROFL political humor since the glory days of SNL. I'm just sitting back waiting for someone to say, "Jane, you igno..."

But I won't say it. I won't.

BigDave




msg:755862
 4:53 am on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

The interesting aspect of discussions of "opt-in/out" is that if Google is within their rights (either with indexing books or web content) then even offering an opt-out is really just a courtesy.

If Google is not within their rights, then opting-in through something like robots.txt may not be enough. You would need to provide some sort of actual license terms allowing for specific uses.

In fact, when you are clearly within your Fair Use rights, asking permission is frowned upon by libraries, schools and news organizations, as that would have the potential to weaken Fair Use.

Don't take Google's changing their stance as any sort of admission that they do not have the right to do what they are doing. Take it as a courtesy to publishers, allowing them to set up a dead tree version of robots.txt.

softwareengineer99




msg:755863
 5:15 am on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

From AAP's website, in response to Google's deadline:


The U.S. publishing industry, through the Association of American Publishers (AAP), continues to express to Google, grave misgivings about the Google Print Library Project and specifically the Project's unauthorized copying and distribution of copyright-protected works. "Google's announcement does nothing to relieve the publishing industry's concerns," said Patricia Schroeder, AAP's President and CEO.

While publishers are eager to explore initiatives that promise to bring books to a vastly expanded audience through the innovative use of technology, the Google Print Library Project is digitally reproducing copyrighted works to support Google's sale of advertising in connection with its online search business operations without corresponding participation or approval by the copyright holders. Although the Project will get underway with the digitization of works in the public domain over the next three months, Google's plan calls for digitally copying every work in the collections of three major libraries unless specifically denied permission for a particular work by the copyright owner. "Google's procedure shifts the responsibility for preventing infringement to the copyright owner rather than the user, turning every principle of copyright law on its ear," said Mrs. Schroeder.

"Many AAP members have partnered with Google in its Print for Publishers Program, allowing selected titles to be digitized and searchable on a limited basis pursuant to licenses or permission from publishers. We were confident that by working together, Google and publishers could have produced a system that would work for everyone, and regret that Google has decided not to work with us on our alternative proposal," Mrs. Schroeder said.

<added>
Right on AAP!

And now, from Aaron Swartz's Google blog:
Publishers, in typical copyright-holder paranoia fashion worried that perhaps the two line snippets Google would be providing of their books would spell the end of the world for their entire industry.
...
That's right: Google won't even scan any book copyright holders ask them not to, even though doing so is perfectly legal. It's as if copyright holders got to dictate what books get placed in libraries. Their short-sighted selfishness will cost us all, depriving us of our heritage in our online Library of Alexandria.

I'm speechless!

walkman




msg:755864
 7:35 am on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> Publishers, in typical copyright-holder paranoia fashion worried that perhaps the two line snippets Google would be providing of their books would spell the end of the world for their entire industry.

>> Their short-sighted selfishness will cost us all, depriving us of our heritage in our online Library of Alexandria.

how is it a library if all it has is two line snipets? Unless he's worried that somehow all the books will burn, or disappear unless scanned by Google. Try again :)

And as far as libraries: correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that they have $$ arrangements with publishers. Plus, the libraries aren't using copyrighted books without permission to make money.

crisscross




msg:755865
 10:41 am on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Jane

Google already has an opt-in program called Adwords. In case you haven]t heard of that system, it allows a webmaster to place their site on a Google search page for a small fee. Apparently, it is the source of almsot all of Google's revenue.

If all search engines were to move to opt-in for sites that are currently placed in the index by default it would be done through the equivalent of an opt-in version of robots.txt. If Google said it was a requirement to have an opt-in robots.txt, I can guarantee that almost every webmaster would add the code within a few days. And it would still be free.

Google has made plenty of money out of its "free" content, whether it be search listings, images or copyrighted material and webmasters have, in general, been quite happy to get the promotion and the Adsense money that goes with it. However, they can't please all of the people all of the time and their public image is suffering. Small things matter. The time and energy I have wasted fighting with inflexible Adsense and Adwords features leads me to cheer on the competition (while picking up the Adsense check). At a certain point these small things build up to the tipping point, and then the fun will start.

The less said about your off-topic rant about drug-laced drinking water the better.

BigDave




msg:755866
 4:40 pm on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google's plan calls for digitally copying every work in the collections of three major libraries unless specifically denied permission for a particular work by the copyright owner.

Funny, but that is not how their contract with Michigan reads. Works where either Google or Michigan think there is a copyright issue are not added to the collection and if they are added, and an issue is raised by either party, it is immediately removed. At this point only Google and the libraries know what has actually been approved for scanning.

What makes this all interesting is that many of the publishers gave google permission to scan their books. My understanding is that their complaint is that they thought they were only giving google permission to scan the books that they supplied, not those that google got from other sources.

Don't take what the AAP says at face value in an adversarial situation any more than you would take what Google says. Read the contracts. Read the statues. Read the caselaw. Wait to see what actions Google actually takes.

whoisgregg




msg:755867
 8:18 pm on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

From NYT [nytimes.com]
Adam M. Smith, senior product manager at Google, said in an interview that the opt-out policy is consistent with how Google maintains its relationships with Web site owners, allowing them to say when they do not wish to be included in a searchable index.

I'm not even going to get into the discussion. I just wonder... Does it ever make sense to answer an objection to a business practice with, "We get away with it all the time. We've been getting away with for years."

::sigh::

BigDave




msg:755868
 10:12 pm on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Does it ever make sense to answer an objection to a business practice with, "We get away with it all the time. We've been getting away with for years."

No it does not make sense to reply that way. That is probably why Google did not reply in the way that you suggested.

Try reading it this way:

"While we are well within our rights to do what we are doing, and it is not within your rights to stop us, we are willing to respect your wishes if you ask us not to include your work in our index"

Mind you, I am not saying that they *are* within their rights, but if they believe they are, then your "we get away with it" paraphrase is way off base.

Scarecrow




msg:755869
 10:19 pm on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't know what you're drinking, BigDave, but since I'm the one who got the contract posted at the U. of Michigan, you can be sure I read it.

Your interpretation of the contract language is no better than your interpretation of copyright law.

The contract does indeed say that if it was assumed that something is in the public domain, and either party discovers that it wasn't, that they should notify the other party:

4.2 If either party reasonably determines that a portion of the Selected Content that was previously thought to be in the public domain is actually subject to copyright, that party shall promptly notify the other party in a writing that particularly identifies the portion(s) and provides an explanation for why the portion(s) are believed to be subject to copyright.

Here is what you said:

Works where either Google or Michigan think there is a copyright issue are not added to the collection and if they are added, and an issue is raised by either party, it is immediately removed.

I'm sure you didn't mean this the way it sounds. The contract language is interested in copyright not to determine if something is scanned. It will be scanned whether or not it is in copyright, unless (and this is Google's latest concession) they have a specific opt-out from a rights holder. The contract is interested in copyright status only because this status affects the amount and manner of how this item is displayed in Google's search.

The AAP is arguing that the scanning itself violates copyright, even before any display issues are discussed in light of copyright law.

walkman




msg:755870
 11:13 pm on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Let's look at it differently. Imagine this headline:
"Google Video inks deal with Blockbuster; will post online every movie ever made"

Oh, and they'll only show a few seconds max, but have the entire catalogs stored on Google's servers. What would the reaction be from RIAA and the courts? Blockbuster can even be replaced with libraries since they carry plenty of movies too.

Google has to show them the money, that's all. The publishers aren't stupid to buy the "altruistic" angle, and now there's bad blood because their intelligence was insulted. Google will have ads on the top, left and links to Amazon or BN in the text.

Amazon shows a few pages and it's benefits both sides. The difference is that Amazon asked for permision, and showed that the publishers can make a lot more this way. All Google has to do is share the book revenues with the publishers and they'll have a deal. At least they can agree to test the service for a few months and see.

BigDave,
even file sharing networks had disclaimers about trading copyrighted stuff. Saying doesn't make it so.

BigDave




msg:755871
 11:21 pm on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

The contract language is interested in copyright not to determine if something is scanned. It will be scanned whether or not it is in copyright, unless (and this is Google's latest concession) they have a specific opt-out from a rights holder. The contract is interested in copyright status only because this status affects the amount and manner of how this item is displayed in Google's search.

Well, you better go back and reread section 4 of the contract. While I did not get it exactly right, it was closer than your interpretation.

4.1 Copyright Law. Both Google and U of M agree and intent to perform this Agreement pursuant to copyright law. If at any time either party becomes aware of copyright infringement under this agreement, that party shal inform the other as quickly as possible.

No, it does not say what the actions taken will be, but it does say that they intend to follow copyright law. Or did you miss that part. If they voilate copyright law, they also violate the agreement.

4.2 Copyright Status. As Selected Content1 is provided by U of M to Google for Digitizing, U of M shall to the best of its knowledge notify Google which portions of Selected Content are in the public domain and which portions are subject to copyright. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Google shall be responsible for ensuring that Google's digitization and its use of the Google Digital Copy is authorized by the relevant copyright holders or by law.2 If either party reasonably determines that a portion of the Selected Content that was previously thought to be in the public domain is actually subject to copyright, that party shall promply notify the other party in writing that particularly identifies the portion(s) and provides an explanation for why the portion(s) are believed to be subject to copyright.

1. "Selected Content" is a theme throughout the contract. It is not the entire collection, a is often suggested, but a selected part of the collection. We simply do not know what they have selected.

2. "authorized by the relevant copyright holders or by law". That tells us that google believes that they either have the law on their side or they have the permission of the copyright holder to do what they are doing.

If they do not have the law or permission on their side, they are not only in violation of the law, but also of the contract.

Go ahead and read the rest of the contract with an open mind,and you might come up with some possibilites other than those that you have predetermined.

BigDave




msg:755872
 11:33 pm on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Let's look at it differently. Imagine this headline:
"Google Video inks deal with Blockbuster; will post online every movie ever made"

Good analogy. But only if the headline misrepresents the contract, as the AAP is doing with at least the Michigan contract.

If Google's plan was to make the copies of only those works where they were allowed to by law or by permission of the rights holder, that is after all how their contract reads, then it is by definition legal. It doesn't matter what the headline says to the judge, it is what actually happens.

BigDave,
even file sharing networks had disclaimers about trading copyrighted stuff. Saying doesn't make it so.

Where the hell did that come from? I was pointing out a bad paraphrase, and how google probably intended it.

I specifically said, as I have repeatedly said throughout this discussion, that I am not convinced that google is in the right here.

But I do say that most members of this board have very little idea of how copyright works, and few have ever paid attention to any real copyright trials where precident is set.

Even if it is working the way you all seem to be assuming here, there is no precident for this. We will have to wait for the court case to find out what is actually being scanned, what the publishers have agreed to, and what the courts think of what google has done.

Scarecrow




msg:755873
 11:50 pm on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Of course the contract says that they will respect copyright law. No contract is ever written that says we intend to break the law. That would make the contract invalid, wouldn't it?

I'll tell you what "selected content" means. This is used to describe the books that the University of Michigan library pulls from their shelves and provides to Google for digitization. John Wilkin, the librarian at U.Michigan who is in charge of the Google project there, has said many, many, many times to the press that he intends to provide all 7 million items to Google, which includes everything out of copyright, as well as everything in copyright.

The clincher to the whole contract is that Google has their own interpretation of "fair use," and they have said many times that what they are doing is within the law. So what? What do you expect? Google is not stupid.

Stupid people don't come as close as Google already has, when it comes to stealing entire libraries.

walkman




msg:755874
 11:58 pm on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> Where the hell did that come from?

you said that Google intends to follow copyright law. What else are they going to say in a legal contract? Let's suppose that they don't plan on doing so, are they going to admit it?

Anyway, I'm done in this thread. I doubt this will go to court though; if Google loses, they will lose big. They are already extremely successful as it is, no need to take these kinds of risks. I think they'll reach an agreement.

I'm starting a site that gives away MSFT software. All you need to do is click on a few ads on the site, or pay a small membership fee. I gave Microsoft 48 hours to send me a list of the titles they don't want me to give away /profit from. You can't say I'm not fair ;)

outland88




msg:755875
 12:29 am on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Iím seeing a different reading, other than the posted url, in my newspaper. It seems more people are concerned about once Google fully implements this plan thousands of other businesses could follow suit with more grandiose plans nipping at copyrights. Lord knows many Adsense sites have created enough DMCA filings. Google's methods already have made it almost impossible to put up more than a paragraph of text on the Internet without it being hijacked.

Plus from what Iím reading this French paper isnít the only business suing Google.

whoisgregg




msg:755876
 5:38 am on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

@ BigDave
Mind you, I am not saying that they *are* within their rights, but but if they believe they are, then your "we get away with it" paraphrase is way off base.

(my bolding in the quote)

It was the perspective of the person asking the question that I was referring to. Whenever accused of anything, it seems the accuser will never be happy hearing that it's a common practice by the accused.

The accused may be in the right or in the wrong. But either way, you just don't satisfice your critics with that tack. (Because they hear it the way I paraphrased it.)

I didn't intend to imply guilt for any party in any regard, only to point out what I perceive to be a common poor communication choice. It's frustrating (to me at least) to watch people unintentionally slight others.

softwareengineer99




msg:755877
 8:03 am on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

For everyone who still cannot seem to understand the basics of copyright and how G is stealing, please read this with carefully, as these are some serious questions that needs be answered by G before they can go forward.

Search for this file on G-watch site as I can't post a link:

aaupress.pdf

softwareengineer99




msg:755878
 10:13 am on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

I posted it on this forum elsewhere:

"Google has lost the GEICO trademark infrigement case" - TheRegister.co.uk

Harry




msg:755879
 2:48 pm on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

--Amazon shows a few pages and it's benefits both sides. The difference is that Amazon asked for permision, and showed that the publishers can make a lot more this way. All Google has to do is share the book revenues with the publishers and they'll have a deal. At least they can agree to test the service for a few months and see.--

Not true. Amazon Advantage reserves itself the right to copy any book entered into its program, whether the publisher wants to be included or not.

It wasn't like that at first, and then they changed the fine prints, as they always do to give themselves the power to copy any parts of any book sold through Advantage. I would not hold Amazon as an example of a vendor that upholds' publishers, copyrights.

At first they hired telemarketing folks to force unwilling publishers to join in - mind you - this was the only time many publishers got a human contact with someone from Amazon and it wasn't for their benefit. I would even describe the methods used by the Amazon telemarketers as pressure tactics and guilt games. And when you said "no," they were rude with you.

Amazon's situation and handling of publishers is no better than Google's.

figment88




msg:755880
 8:00 pm on Aug 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google has their own interpretation of "fair use"

I think Scarecrow cuts to the heart of the matter here. Google statements about we're just showing a few lines snippet underscores the point.

However, just because Google only shows a snippet to any given user, I do not know if that allows them to maintain a full copy in their repository.

I think this whole snippet as fair use argument breaks down even further for many of their other products.

For example, their define feature uses snippets to replace the orginal content.

Features like news, restaurants, and movies use aggregated snippets from various sources to completely replace the original content. I don't know if there has ever been a case along the lines that is is ok to use a quote from content in isolation but not in conjunction with other quotes, but Google seems to be pushing this limit.

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