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Old 09-20-2009, 01:01 AM   #1
sforce
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Google CEO Sees No Alternatives to Google Book Search

Google CEO Eric Schmidt Sees No Alternatives to Google Book Search

"I'm open to a better solution. You will recall, we had our solution, and we were sued over it. And we then had a god-knows-how-many-years of negotiations with 27 parties, and we've actually produced a deal. ... I would like to hear from the critics a better solution to the problem as opposed to criticisms of the solution that we arrived at after four years of negotiation. I read this stuff, and it strikes me that people who only criticize have as their interest the current status quo."

http://googlewatch.eweek.com/content...ok_search.html
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:12 AM   #2
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Well, no one loves or welcomes a monopoly - even an allegedly non-commercial monopoly that Google Books would set up. If they are scanning and storing copies of "orphan" books that are out-of-print or no longer available, in conjunction with libraries relentlessly culling out pbooks that are no longer checked out, then yes - they are establishing a monopoly on readers' access to these book titles. Setting up partnerships with other online/electronic book scanning/storage operations might lessen the animosity towards their practice.
It's an interesting dilemma: convenience (one-stop access to any title at one site) versus total control of access to reading material.
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:25 AM   #3
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I would like to hear from the critics a better solution

How about, "we will abide by copyright law in the future, and obtain permission before commercial use of someone else's IP?" (I'm aware that commercial use isn't the only part that matters, but that's what the lawsuit is centered around.)

Followed by, "We will put our lawyers to work to change copyright law so that process is a bit less psychotic?"

Put copyright back to 28 or even 56 years, and most of the objections would vanish.

Last edited by Elfwreck; 09-20-2009 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 09-20-2009, 01:42 PM   #4
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If Google wants to "not be evil", they ought to be lobbying Congress to pass an orphaned works bill, rather than making side agreements with organizations that can't directly speak for the actual owners of the copyrights which makes Google the de facto owners/publishers of the works. Once an orphaned works bill gets passed, then Google can safely make available all of the out of print works that are orphaned. I suspect doing that, however, would prevent Google from making available anything after 1963, because anything published after 1963 is clearly still copyrighted.

For me, as a sometime contributor to Project Gutenberg, I'd rather see orphaned works legislation that would simplify my verification that a work is out of copyright, than some deal that allows only Google to make such works available. Maybe some day Google's OCR will be improved to the point where there won't be OCR errors on every page, and they'll go back and rerun the OCR on it all, but it's certainly not there yet. Until then, I'd rather have some competition to Google with people taking the time to actually look it over and fix the errors.
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:19 PM   #5
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I kinda see the guy's point (back off with those sticks, y'all!). This is something I have said all along. No one gave a darn about orphaned works, and were more than content to let them disappear, until Google took a hand about fixing the problem. THEN everyone wanted a piece of the pie. Hmm..monopoly or nobody? I'll take the monopoly, thanks. Let the stoning begin...
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by phenomshel View Post
I kinda see the guy's point (back off with those sticks, y'all!). This is something I have said all along. No one gave a darn about orphaned works, and were more than content to let them disappear, until Google took a hand about fixing the problem. THEN everyone wanted a piece of the pie. Hmm..monopoly or nobody? I'll take the monopoly, thanks. Let the stoning begin...
+1
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Old 09-20-2009, 02:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by phenomshel View Post
I kinda see the guy's point (back off with those sticks, y'all!). This is something I have said all along. No one gave a darn about orphaned works, and were more than content to let them disappear, until Google took a hand about fixing the problem. THEN everyone wanted a piece of the pie. Hmm..monopoly or nobody? I'll take the monopoly, thanks. Let the stoning begin...
I'll throw no stones here.
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Old 09-20-2009, 03:23 PM   #8
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The scary thing is (or the good thing is - depends on your viewpoint) that while all this wrangling is going on, Google continues scanning the books.
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Old 09-20-2009, 03:29 PM   #9
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The scary thing is (or the good thing is - depends on your viewpoint) that while all this wrangling is going on, Google continues scanning the books.
Not scary, but awesome Even if it doesn't get distributed all that data is safe.
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Old 09-20-2009, 03:40 PM   #10
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Well, no one loves or welcomes a monopoly - even an allegedly non-commercial monopoly that Google Books would set up. If they are scanning and storing copies of "orphan" books that are out-of-print or no longer available, in conjunction with libraries relentlessly culling out pbooks that are no longer checked out, then yes - they are establishing a monopoly on readers' access to these book titles. Setting up partnerships with other online/electronic book scanning/storage operations might lessen the animosity towards their practice.
It's an interesting dilemma: convenience (one-stop access to any title at one site) versus total control of access to reading material.

Total control? Does the used book market not exist?
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:41 PM   #11
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It's helpful to go back to the original article, which has more statements by Schmidt:

http://searchengineland.com/googles-...solution-25950


While I am fine with extending scanners limited rights that could fall under fair use -- e.g. allowing search, and showing small portions of relevant search results -- I don't have much sympathy for Google's plight. They essentially violated the nature of copyright, and if that sets them back, then they get what they deserve. If you get caught tunneling your way into a bank vault, you can't cite the efforts you put into digging as a legitimate reason to steal the contents of the vault.

And the music industry was able to make the transition from analog to digital and reissue tons of out-of-print material while staying within the confines of copyright law. I hardly see why books ought to be any different.

As to how to improve it, it may not be politically easy to set up, but:

• Treatment of orphaned works in all media should be legislated, not fixed by a class action lawsuit that only applies to books.
• Living authors / valid rights holders of out-of-print works should opt in, preferably with the ability to decide what rights to extend to distributors, rather than opt-out or have no negotiation over rights.
• Explicitly extend "Fair Use" rights to include search functions.
.
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:36 PM   #12
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Total control? Does the used book market not exist?
OK - point taken - how about virtually (pun intended) total control?
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:30 PM   #13
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• Treatment of orphaned works in all media should be legislated, not fixed by a class action lawsuit that only applies to books.
Why? Why not fix it with the fastest method. It is better to fix it now then try for a law change in 20 years...
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:36 PM   #14
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Love the title
As if the settlement wasn't getting enough undeserved hate already.

Just two points: First, "granting rights" for the first time to Google isn't granting them a monopoly. It's not a tax exemption, it's allowing them to make out-of-print works available again, a right that should be legislated, and if that ever happens Google won't have a monopoly by being first because, secondly, Google doesn't "control" the out-of-print books, they're just allowed to display and offer them as download if the author doesn't oppose it.

Of course it'd be nice to push for a change of legislature by the Congress, who unfortunately happens to be the very same chamber who extended copyright from 7 years to horizons only next generations will be (maybe) allowed to see, and because of who authors dead since 1950 won't see their works fall in the PD before 2040. If the settlement is rejected, I wouldn't count too much on a quick copyright reform..

Quote:
Living authors / valid rights holders of out-of-print works should opt in, preferably with the ability to decide what rights to extend to distributors, rather than opt-out
That's pushing for hide and seek and negociation with hundred of thousand of copyright holders.
Slowing down mass digitization of books, and making it more expensive by multiple orders of magnitude.
The opt-out fashion is more efficient, and I don't see what the holders are losing, other than rights they obviously don't care about. That's the way it should be legislated: your work has been unavailable for 1 year, then the digitizers are free to make it available again, unless you specifically opt-out in a public register.
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:06 AM   #15
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I do not understand the mentality behind those in favor of the google settlement... so perhaps someone can expalin it to me.

Why do people think they have a right to orphaned or out of print books? Which could be stated another way - why do people feel they have a right to a creation, the product of someone else's work?

And I am being serious - I simply do not get it. Why is someone's desire to read a book more important than then the creators of the books to decide how (or how not) to make it available?
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