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US Department of Justice objects to Google book plan
Not satisfied deal that would allow Google to build a vast digital library
herb




msg:4075009
 5:00 pm on Feb 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

DOJ criticised the agreement for requiring authors to opt out of having their books included in the deal, rather than opting in.

DOJ said that the agreement would allow the Google to be "the only competitor in the digital marketplace with the rights to distribute and otherwise exploit a vast array of works in multiple formats".

[news.bbc.co.uk ]

 

edacsac




msg:4075025
 5:29 pm on Feb 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thank you DOJ. I'm getting a little annoyed in the least of constantly hearing of this pervasive opt out policy. Google may be an industry leader, but that does not give right to declare oneself the keeper of all data.

whitenight




msg:4075062
 6:42 pm on Feb 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

DOJ criticised the agreement for requiring authors to opt out of having their books included in the deal, rather than opting in.


:))))))

Oops, seems Gorg ran into some resistance. ;)

This is actually a huge thing, as Gorg is/was rapidly turning all their services
(esp concerning privacy, cookies, personalization) into opt-out instead of opt-in.

Precedent has been set. And there's no sweeter word in law than precedent.

i'm actually quite giddy right now

londrum




msg:4075064
 6:48 pm on Feb 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

google's become a bit like those guys at the traffic lights, who start washing down your windscreen before you've had a chance to say no. they don't wait for permission.

unless you tell them to go away they'll be standing there soapy sponge in hand, expecting your money.

Syzygy




msg:4075072
 6:58 pm on Feb 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Posted over here about 5 hours earlier!

[webmasterworld.com...]

vordmeister




msg:4075080
 7:08 pm on Feb 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

For the opt-in vs opt out issue:

I've just started a project where I will copy every website on the internet and become the biggest website in the world. I've got some fantastic technology that I can use to interlink words and pages to ensure I have top spots in search engines. I also have technology for some really well targeted advertising.

If you find out that I'm doing this you can opt out. You will also be able to opt out from the 20,000 other mega sites that will adopt my model.

I feel the OP article missed the point - it's not about monopoly.

albo




msg:4075100
 7:42 pm on Feb 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'd just like to second, hooray and yippee for the vote against opt-out and for opt-in! I detest having to watch for what new radio buttons I have to uncheck.

J_RaD




msg:4075104
 7:48 pm on Feb 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

wow the DOJ actually got this one right! good job!

outland88




msg:4075165
 9:52 pm on Feb 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

The DoJ just criticized the agreement. No court has handed down a decision. Google will just go back and rework the deal with more flowery language to get what it wants.

ken_b




msg:4075170
 10:05 pm on Feb 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

The NSA is probably headed over to the DOJ to explain the facts of life in the internet age to them.

Leosghost




msg:4075186
 10:30 pm on Feb 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

ken_b
+1 :)

tntpower




msg:4075195
 11:11 pm on Feb 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google is ridiculous

avalon37




msg:4075240
 1:07 am on Feb 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is fantastic news. The whole opt in cannot be legal and finally someone is challenging Google. Elliot Spitzer hated Google and was on their back 24/7; too bad he became Governor of NY and eventually made some stupid moves of his own, but he was a serious thorn in Google's side for a long time. I am in a constant struggle with making an income from Google, but mostly despising them as a business - they are a bully who thinks they can buy everyone.

incrediBILL




msg:4075600
 12:46 am on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

DOJ criticised the agreement for requiring authors to opt out of having their books included in the deal, rather than opting in.


So when will websites be OPT-IN instead of OPT-OUT?

We're authors too!

The medium doesn't make any difference, writing is writing, authoring is authoring, it needs to be consistently all opt-in or opt-out.

Pick a stance and run with it.

dcheney




msg:4075621
 1:50 am on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

As someone that frequently uses quite obscure books in my daily research, let me say a word about "opt-out".

The problem with a very large number of books is that there is no easy way to determine 1) who owns the copyright and 2) how to reach them.

Book publishers have come and gone and merged a lot in the last 90 years. So even contacting the publisher is often a difficult task.

Authors move and die (not like most books have addresses for the author anyway).

If "opt-in" is required, this very large number of books will never become available digitally.

I have no problem with there being a requirement that a reasonable attempt be made to find the copyright holder. I don't even have a problem with "opt-in" for anything written in the last 50 years (with that 50 years sliding ahead as time passes). I have no problem for paying for access to the books. But I would hate to see that large quantity of books rarely or never being found because of a mandatory "opt-in" policy.

incrediBILL




msg:4075627
 2:14 am on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

The problem with a very large number of books is that there is no easy way to determine 1) who owns the copyright and 2) how to reach them.


Nonsense.

It's as simple that if there is no continuance of legal copyright filed, there is no legal copyright after it's initial expiration date.

dcheney




msg:4075884
 7:31 pm on Feb 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

These are the main groups I'm talking about: (US books)
1923-1963, Copyright was renewed: 95 years after publication date
1964-1977: 95 years after publication date

(the rules get even more strange post 1977)

For the first group, the won't be public domain until 2018-2058
For the second group, its 2059-2072

And that is only for US published books. The rules vary widely by country.

hutcheson




msg:4076571
 8:43 pm on Feb 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have some experience researching copyrights in multiple countries, and my experience tends to confirm what the experts are saying: for 70-80% of copyrights on material as recent as 1960-1970, the copyright owner is practically invisible. For older material, under he Berne Convention-like rules, it is not in general possible to determine that material is public domain unless the material is at least 150-200 years old (depending on country) OR ... ALL the authors are sufficiently well-known to have death dates in the public record. It's amazing how hard it is to find dates of death even for people listed in "Who's Who" in the relevant period.

Incredibill seems to be assuming the situation that existed in the U.S. before 1963 -- which was truly much simpler for all concerned. But there have been a lot of lawyers undermining the bridge since then.

wheel




msg:4078596
 7:48 pm on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

If "opt-in" is required, this very large number of books will never become available digitally.

So? Your wants to get access and distribute other peoples work doesn't justify demands to take that work arbitarily just because it's difficult to find out if the copyright has expired. Though that seems to be the argument everyone has - I want it, it's not convenient to determine if I can have it, so I get it anyway.

Sorry, if you're unable to determine the copyright, then it's not yours to access or distribute.

Yes that means stuff won't be available for a long time. Tough. That's why we have copright - the assumption is that the author/owner gets to say what happens to their work, not you. That's it by default - the answers no. You want the default answer to be yes. So does Google. I disagree.

And yes, I am well aware of the difficulty of determining copyright date of material. If you want access to it, find a library or buy it. You don't get to copy it and hand it out, no matter how convenient it is for you.

outland88




msg:4079260
 8:22 pm on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

As of today Google apparently wants to go "toe to toe" with the DOJ and has filed a rebuttal.

Google and it founders want to finally prove they are more powerful than the US government with a defeat of the DOJ. If anything Google will cost the American taxpayers millions during a recession.

hutcheson




msg:4079459
 1:53 am on Feb 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

>It's as simple that if there is no continuance of legal copyright filed, there is no legal copyright after it's initial expiration date.

That was very simple, back when that WAS the law in the U.S. But the law has changed. Under current Berne Convention treaties, there are no ORIGINAL legal copyrights required to be filed, anywhere. There is no such thing as a copyright renewal. Copyright expires X years after all the authors are dead (where X varies by country, but is usually between 50 and 120).

The problem this causes should be obvious.

hutcheson




msg:4079764
 9:33 pm on Feb 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

>That's why we have copright - the assumption is that the author/owner gets to say what happens to their work, not you.

The settlement applies only to the U.S., and that motivation plays no part whatsoever in why the U.S. has copyright. (Here, its SOLE justification is to make information available to the public.)

You may not like that. Tough. Your jurisdiction may have different laws. That's its right.

>You want the default answer to be yes. So does Google. I disagree.

Google has an advantage: an actual argument in its favor (two, really). Google points out that the author obviously wanted the book to be printed at one time (else it couldn't have been published)--therefore the only sensible default is "yes"--we KNOW, of absolute moral certainty, that for every one of those authors the answer was "yes" at some point in time. You cannot know that any of them would now say "no" (without, of course, asking.)

Google's second argument is that (at least in the U.S.) making information available is not "something the law doesn't care about". It is the ONLY thing copyright law cares about. All copyright is merely a pragmatic approach to making that information available. If it's failing, it MUST be changed--that's a constitutional requirement.

Google is showing one way in which the required social purpose might be accomplished -- WITHOUT trampling over the rights of authors who truly want to be suppressed.

ChanandlerBong




msg:4079813
 1:02 am on Feb 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

what did any author ever say YES to? For a work to be published when they were alive or for some faceless mega-corporation to whore their work out with ads surrounding it once that author was dead and cold in the ground? No author EVER said yes to that just by publishing a book a century ago. It's a non-argument but clearly one that suits google.

hutcheson




msg:4081782
 2:42 am on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Why the heat, chanandlerbong? I can see you're upset, but it's really none of your business. You have no more right to speak for ANY author than does any faceless mega-corporation--less, actually, if the FMC has actually been in contact with organizations representing authors.

Google's not competing with you: neither you nor anybody else is doing anything like this--but nothing keeps you from doing the same thing on whatever scale you want to pay for. They're not competing with any dead-tree-pulp publisher, since books in print are opt-out by default. They're not hurting any author or author's heirs against their will--anyone who doesn't like the deal can opt out. Nobody that cares is being hurt. Nobody that doesn't care CAN be hurt. Why would anyone who's not being hurt care?

I can understand being delighted by any kind of initiative that puts more content on the web. Isn't that what webmastering is all about? But this petty viciousness is ... puzzling.

chanandlerborg, you obviously have not read many 19th-century books. The truth is, it was customary for the publisher to bind advertisements for other books, often for competitive books, sometimes their entire catalog, in every book published. It was common for many authors to publish novels in installments in magazines with advertisements.

In fact, there are a number of webmasters here -- far more anonymous and visage-challenged than Google -- who make a business of posting advertisements around information that, to put it lightly, did not originate in their own mind. Do you find that kind of anonymous advertising with web-publication offensive everywhere?

I can't believe that's the problem. I defer to nobody on earth in my dislike of advertising. I don't watch TV, I don't listen to the radio, I don't read the newspaper, or any magazines printed by for-profit companies. But the advertising on Google Books is so unobtrusive, even I don't notice it. (And, for that matter, you can download a PDF and read it at your leisure without ANY advertising.) That's a non-issue--unless you're ready to accuse everyone who visits this forum of being an unlicensed provider of intimate services.

What's the problem. It's not the advertising. It's not anyone being hurt, not authors or publishers or readers. Is it just that Google competes with Microsoft and must be crushed ... and THIS is the best argument that Microsoft can hire to have made?

wheel




msg:4082337
 4:37 pm on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

No, the authors already unequivically stated NO. That's the copyright laws. No, you can't copy the books. No you can't copy the books. No....you can't copy the books. It's copyright law already in the US and most other westernized countries.

Now Google and others are trying to say, well, maybe the authors *wanted* us to distribute their work, despite clear copyright laws to the contrary.

Lots of excuses - maybe they Wanted us to do that. I can't find the owner. it's for the children.

Whatever. It's pretty black and white. If you don't own the copyright, keep your mitts off it. Anything else is self serving.

ChanandlerBong




msg:4082464
 7:42 pm on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

hutcheson, the content is not Google's to publish. Simple as. I'm not really sure what you're going on about. Read the post above mine to make it clearer for you. It's not theirs!

analogy: you walk down an old-fashioned street in Ireland, the ones where the houses front right on to the street - you can even stick your head in the window of someone's lounge. One day, you notice an ice-cream lolly has been left on an open window ledge, next to the houseowner's reading glasses and newspaper. You stand there a minute and realise the ice cream is melting away to nothing in the hot sun.

do you have the right to take it? No, you don't. "Ah, but it'll go to waste otherwise" is not even approaching a valid argument for what would be theft.

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