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Old 07-01-2013, 11:36 AM   #1
John F
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"U.S. court throws out Google digital books class status"

"U.S. court throws out Google digital books class status"

http://news.yahoo.com/u-court-throws...140506289.html
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:54 PM   #2
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The three-judge panel also signaled it may prove improper to allow a class action on behalf of potentially hundreds of thousands of writers arguing that the Google Books Library Project improperly copied their works without permission.
So if Google can make a copy of someone's work without permission does that mean that it will be legal to make dark net copies of books? It's copying a book without permission in both cases. Legalizing one would seem to legalize the other. And what of the poor author who doesn't have the $$ to sue a big corporation like Google? Where is their legal redress?
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:10 PM   #3
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No problem... if you're big and powerful with lots of lobbyists and lawyers then it's fair use but if you're an individual then it's piracy...
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:17 PM   #4
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From the article: "Google Inc notched a legal victory in its bid to create ...". I thought companies preferred class action status (because it prevents a lot of pesky smaller cases)?
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:08 PM   #5
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
So if Google can make a copy of someone's work without permission does that mean that it will be legal to make dark net copies of books? It's copying a book without permission in both cases. Legalizing one would seem to legalize the other. And what of the poor author who doesn't have the $$ to sue a big corporation like Google? Where is their legal redress?
But that's not really what this is about. They aren't invalidating the claims or deciding the case, only stating that it was improper to approve class action status until after they assess the validity of Google's fair use defense. Not all cases qualify for class certification.

As for comparing it to the darknet, the big difference is distribution. The darknet contains copies made specifically for complete distribution to others. Google isn't distributing whole books, except for those in public domain. They provide snippets of the content to people based on search.

There are multiple issues here - the initial copying of the works, the end display to users, and the disputed "orphan works" issue, among others. The Fair Use defense revolves around the content that users of the database have access to, and whether or not Google should be permitted to maintain copies in order to provide that content.
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:32 PM   #7
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It's an interesting case. On one hand, the justification for copyright in the Constitution is "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;", i.e. giving authors a limited time copyright to promote the generate good. On the flip side, Google, in scanning all those books is potentially saving works that might be lost which arguable does far more to promote the general good.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
So if Google can make a copy of someone's work without permission does that mean that it will be legal to make dark net copies of books? It's copying a book without permission in both cases. Legalizing one would seem to legalize the other. And what of the poor author who doesn't have the $$ to sue a big corporation like Google? Where is their legal redress?
Anyone can make a copy of a book they legally own. That's not the issue, it's the distribution that is the issue. And here, not even that is the issue; this was just whether or not thousands of individuals could be certified as a class for a class action.

Not that it's particularly relevant here, but I generally don't have an issue with Google digitizing millions of books to make them searchable. Seems like a great way to increase access to knowledge that might otherwise be lost and for getting money to authors whose work might otherwise be lost in the flood of books that comes out every year. I don't really understand the gut-level concern some have with Google displaying a page or two of a book (with search results highlighted) (which seems to be compatible with U.S. fair use copyright exemptions and Canada's similar fair dealing exemption), and then having a "buy now" link that lets someone buy the book; Google isn't giving away anyone else's book for free.

I think there are some really interesting legal questions with what Google is doing (particularly when it comes to orphan works), but those subtleties seem to get lost in the FUD of "Googles steling ar bookz!!!11"

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Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
It's an interesting case. On one hand, the justification for copyright in the Constitution is "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;", i.e. giving authors a limited time copyright to promote the generate good. On the flip side, Google, in scanning all those books is potentially saving works that might be lost which arguable does far more to promote the general good.
Not just the general good, but often the good of the specific authors since Google is linking to sources where those books can be bought and isn't providing full copies of anything still under copyright.

I feel like some of those most outraged would be well-served by actually trying Google Books.

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Old 07-01-2013, 09:39 PM   #9
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The 2nd circuit COA merely bounced the case back to Chin, for further review. This will test the limits of the Fair Use Clause, and if the judge rules against Google, he has to decide what damages were incurred by "copyright infringement." It would be funny if he awarded the plaintiff's 1 penny each, as it is hard to see how a small excerpt of a book can impact the sale of the whole book. On the contrary, by providing samples of a book, Google might be increasing sales of the work, in which case there is no loss, but a free and beneficial gain.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:24 AM   #10
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I tend to agree. I suspect for some authors it's simply an emotional issue. They tend to think that it's their book and they should control all aspects of that book for eternity. It's their property. They forget that copyright is a privilege not a right. It's not actually property, the coined word intellectual property not withstanding. (coined by a lawyer who was trying to convince a jury that his client had something stolen when someone else used an idea that his client expressed). It's a bargain granted them by the government and like most bargains, there are two sides with each side having to give something.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:05 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
I tend to agree. I suspect for some authors it's simply an emotional issue.
After a talk with P.N. Elrod a bit over ten years ago, I'd be more inclined to believe their contracts are forcing them into it. Some of the Big Whatever have contracts that allow them to sue an author who doesn't actively prosecute copyright infringers.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:04 PM   #12
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I tend to agree. I suspect for some authors it's simply an emotional issue. They tend to think that it's their book and they should control all aspects of that book for eternity. It's their property. They forget that copyright is a privilege not a right. It's not actually property, the coined word intellectual property not withstanding. (coined by a lawyer who was trying to convince a jury that his client had something stolen when someone else used an idea that his client expressed). It's a bargain granted them by the government and like most bargains, there are two sides with each side having to give something.
But Google isn't the government, and doesn't get to simply define copyright law.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:06 PM   #13
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I tend to agree. I suspect for some authors it's simply an emotional issue. They tend to think that it's their book and they should control all aspects of that book for eternity. It's their property. They forget that copyright is a privilege not a right. It's not actually property, the coined word intellectual property not withstanding. (coined by a lawyer who was trying to convince a jury that his client had something stolen when someone else used an idea that his client expressed). It's a bargain granted them by the government and like most bargains, there are two sides with each side having to give something.
Who says it is a privilege and not a right? My understanding is that it is a law that was passed and not a bargain that was made.

It can, of course be revoked and all rights lost, just as the right to own property can be revoked and has been in some countries time and again. Even in the USA if the government or someone with enough influence wants your land to build a road etc, it can be confiscated.

An author works to write a book, usually works harder to get it marketed, and deserves the right of ownership and income as much as someone standing behind a cash register or working as a CEO of a big company deserves the earnings from their labour. Most authors work for a pittance if anything at all and some people with a regular paycheck feel that they are not even entitled to the pittance.

Google should have the right to copy books, for archival purposes, that they acquire legally for the use of the company and any one person who is defined as part of the corporate entity or whatever Google legally is, should be able to read it, one at a time, but mass distribution or even peak inside the book without the copyright holders permission seems wrong to me. As does copying a borrowed book.

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Old 07-03-2013, 10:00 PM   #14
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The comment was with regards to why some authors react with a "Google is stealing our books".

Tell me, do you feel like you should pay to open a book in the book store? If not, what is the difference?
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:41 PM   #15
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The comment was with regards to why some authors react with a "Google is stealing our books".

Tell me, do you feel like you should pay to open a book in the book store? If not, what is the difference?
The copyright holders permission is implicitly given when they send the books to the store perhaps? Maybe not, as Amazon does not have peak inside without permission AFAIK and it wouldn't apply to used bookstores.

Different implied rights apply to books in a physical container such as paper though as I am sure you know.

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