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Old 10-04-2012, 12:19 PM   #1
afv011
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Google Settle 7-Year Copyright Infringement Suit Over Google Library Project

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Google has finally made some headway on the litigation over copyright infringement for the Google Library Project; and the deal puts in place another key piece of the puzzle for Google Books. Google has reached a settlement with the Association of American Publishers, ending a seven-year legal dispute over the use of books and journals by Google in its Library Project. The suit was first filed in 2005 by McGraw-Hill, Penguin USA, Simon & Schuster, Pearson Education and John Wiley. It was one of a number of legal actions taken by publishers against the search giant as it moved further into books. Among those, Google is still in dispute with the Authors Guild, although it appears to now be working through another high-profile dispute, with French publishers.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:12 AM   #2
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7 years. That is a lot of billable hours.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:19 AM   #3
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:13 AM   #4
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no author settlement yet

Note that they have not settled with the AUTHORS they illegally pirated. The biggest pirate on the planet sits there laughing, flanked by members of Congress...

I suspect one day they will send me my $5 in googlebuck advertising and some chewed bubble gum for blatantly pirating my books for years.

(Note: I don't care about piracy, I just loathe hypocrisy).
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:44 PM   #5
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Umm, I don't think that's fair. Google scans and makes the books searchable, but I assume it's not giving away whole books for free. Nor is it selling books and keeping money for itself.

True, doing it without permission is a stretch of fair use and I see it as legally and morally problematic, but it's not fair to call it piracy.

Recall that the newspapers hated google news. But they are now coming around to the idea that google directs traffic to them and brings eyeballs and hence money. The situations are not perfectly analogous, but close.

Last edited by Barty; 10-05-2012 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Nicholson View Post
Note that they have not settled with the AUTHORS they illegally pirated. The biggest pirate on the planet sits there laughing, flanked by members of Congress...

I suspect one day they will send me my $5 in googlebuck advertising and some chewed bubble gum for blatantly pirating my books for years.

(Note: I don't care about piracy, I just loathe hypocrisy).
You could just opt-out of having even an excerpt of your work available. I don't know why you would, but hey, not everyone likes being in a phonebook I guess.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:34 AM   #7
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True, doing it without permission is a stretch of fair use and I see it as legally and morally problematic, but it's not fair to call it piracy.
It isn't fair use.
It is copyright infringement on a massive scale.
That is what gets called piracy in other situations.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
It isn't fair use.
It is copyright infringement on a massive scale.
That is what gets called piracy in other situations.
For living authors, how is it piracy at all? Why wouldn't they want Google to provide at least a scanned portion of their book? That way they can allow people to find their books and possibly buy a copy.

For those that aren't sure what's going on, here's an explanatory paragraph from Tech Crunch:

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The Library Project is not about full-length content, but is more about giving book excerpts. “We’re working with several major libraries to include their collections in Google Books and, like a card catalog, show users information about the book, and in many cases, a few snippets – a few sentences to display the search term in context,” says Google in its intro to the service.

That still didn’t wash with publishers, though, who maintained that the “excerpt” was enough for those TL;DR people out there who would be put off from buying the actual item as a result.

...publishers will get to “choose to make available or choose to remove their books and journals digitized by Google for its Library Project.” Those who stay in get digital copies for their own use — possibly even to sell through other routes.
What's the downside to authors in your view? Are you confusing this with Google's ongoing litigation with the Authors Guild?

Last edited by Ninjalawyer; 10-06-2012 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:00 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ninjalawyer View Post
For living authors, how is it piracy at all? Why wouldn't they want Google to provide at least a scanned portion of their book? That way they can allow people to find their books and possibly buy a copy.
Sounds a lot like the argument that sharing copes of music tracks helps the artists because more people will discover them, and possibly buy an album, doesn't it?
What gives Google the right to make that decision for authors? If they simply wanted to make a useful service, they would have made it opt-in rather than opt-out.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:54 AM   #10
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Sounds a lot like the argument that sharing copes of music tracks helps the artists because more people will discover them, and possibly buy an album, doesn't it?
No, because a music track is a work of art whole in and of itself.

Unless I am missing something, Google Books is serving up quotations no longer than what you will find in reviews. A quote is not a work of art like a music track. If you are willing for a rave New York Times review to quote your book, you should also be willing for Google to offer quotes from it.

Some authors/publishers seem to think Google is like someone who downloads a pirated book and never reads more than snippets from it. The difference, I believe, is that employees at Google do not commonly read the books in their databases, and are surely forbidden to do so. By contrast, the only rational reason someone would download to their home computer is that they are planning to actually read the full text, or at least some artistically whole portion, such as a short story in a book of copyrighted short stories.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
Sounds a lot like the argument that sharing copes of music tracks helps the artists because more people will discover them, and possibly buy an album, doesn't it?
What gives Google the right to make that decision for authors? If they simply wanted to make a useful service, they would have made it opt-in rather than opt-out.
Well, the publishers that signed the settlement agreement apparently saw some value in it, and didn't think it was just Google stealing their authors' works.

And your example doesn't work. Google is providing a relatively small snippet of a text and providing links to where it can be purchased. The only downside for an author is allowing more people to find their work and pay for it. Ya, it's an opt-out system, but the default isn't "provide entire text" if someone doesn't opt-out, it's "provide snippet".

There's would be nothing stopping you from scanning a book you own and putting up a snippet; that's covered by fair use in the U.S. The issue was, among other things, the size of the snippet Google was putting up. So it was never entirely clear in this case if what Google was doing was infringing or not; now it doesn't matter because the litigants have settled.

This is just cataloging in the digital age, not some sinister plot.

Last edited by Ninjalawyer; 10-07-2012 at 10:08 AM.
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