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Old 09-22-2009, 04:47 AM   #31
Morrigan
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Thank you to everyone who answered my questions... but i still honestly do not get it... I understand your reaoning, but it still makes no sense to me.

A book is nore than and idea... it is the product of someone's labor... I just not see how anyone is entitled to that.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:22 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Morrigan View Post
Thank you to everyone who answered my questions... but i still honestly do not get it... I understand your reaoning, but it still makes no sense to me. A book is nore than and idea... it is the product of someone's labor... I just not see how anyone is entitled to that.
Do you understand why there is such a thing as "public domain", and why eventually all works revert to being in the public domain?

It is estimated that currently, of all the books found in the world's libraries, only about 15% are in the public domain, even though only 10% of all books are still in print; the remaining 75% are books which remain unavailable because they are still under copyright protection.

Last edited by acidzebra; 09-22-2009 at 05:27 AM.
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:18 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Morrigan View Post
Thank you to everyone who answered my questions... but i still honestly do not get it... I understand your reaoning, but it still makes no sense to me.

A book is nore than and idea... it is the product of someone's labor... I just not see how anyone is entitled to that.
Patents are the product of someone's labor, too, often much more intensive and expensive labor than a book is. Yet patents expire after 17 years in the US, so that inventions can become widespread and cheaper, such as generic drugs. Certainly you can see the value of that? Why not see the value of shortened copyright? Or of making out-of-print books available?

Knowledge is power - it's in the public good that the public domain be expanded and that out-of-print books be made available. Although I understand your reasoning (I wrote it! It's mine!), I don't agree with it.

I labor everyday - all I get for it is a paycheck. I don't expect that I'll get a portion of the business's profits for as long as I live + 90 years. Why do authors think they're more entitled than inventors or machinists or accountants?

New disease: Disneyitis.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:29 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Morrigan View Post
Thank you to everyone who answered my questions... but i still honestly do not get it... I understand your reaoning, but it still makes no sense to me.

A book is nore than and idea... it is the product of someone's labor... I just not see how anyone is entitled to that.
You are entitled the the products of Shakespeare's labor, are you not? Why shouldn't his heirs have the right to continue making money from his plays--they're certainly popular enough?

You are entitled to the products of the labor of the US Supreme Court, when they publish a ruling, as well. (US Government publications are all in the public domain.)

Authors (and other creators) are allowed a short-term monopoly on the use of their works, with the expectation that those works eventually become part of the public domain--the rich history of information and lore on which we build our culture. That "short-term" monopoly used to be 28 or 56 years in the US, plenty of time to make profit. It's now life-plus-70 years, which can be much, much longer--but is still limited.

Also, the monopoly is limited. A certain amount of fair use is permitted. Exactly how much that covers is not defined anywhere, and is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Nobody here, AFAIK, is arguing that copyright law should not exist. But many argue that it lasts too long to be useful for its intended purpose, and many argue that acceptable fair use is broader than what many authors and publishers believe.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:46 PM   #35
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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...
I am with you on this one! I like to read "garbagey" 50's, 60's, and 70's novels - pulps, sci-fi, detectives, action, etc. With the exception of sci-fi, this stuff is impossible to find in ebook format (even through less than legitimate sources).
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:24 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Morrigan View Post
Thank you to everyone who answered my questions... but i still honestly do not get it... I understand your reaoning, but it still makes no sense to me.

A book is nore than and idea... it is the product of someone's labor... I just not see how anyone is entitled to that.
Ok, let me see if I can take a slightly different tack.

Most of the rights we enjoy in the United States are held to be Natural Rights -- I.e., they are potentially enjoyed by man in a perfectly free state where our actions are not constrained. Even rights that are specifically legislated by the Government are not generally considered to be the establishment of a right, but rather to be a protection of an existing right (Consider, most of the Bill of Rights restricts Congress or the Government from acting against the right, it does not actually establish it).

Now, property is a concept that is generally held to exist in Natural Law because there is in general a limited amount of it. Two people cannot build different houses in the same exact location at the same exact time. However, prior to the existence of the State, no such restriction existed on ideas. An idea can be shared amongst many people without loosing its value. Therefore, many hold that in Natural Law, ideas are not property. People should be able to borrow them and reuse them as they please.

Now, just because ideas are not natural property, that does not mean they don't have value. Long before copyright, there was value derived from books, inventions and ideas in general. The United States Constitution recognizes that, and gives Congress the power to provide an incentive for the creation of new creative works through the issuance of patents and copyrights. The first amendment essentially restricts how tightly those copyrights can be enforced; you may have come up with an idea, but others might comment on the idea and even, to a limited extent, profit from it (Under fair use restrictions).

Now lets look at this from the perspective of the Google Book Settlement. Currently copyright for authors is life plus 70 years. For the sake of the argument, lets assume that on average, that works out to be 100 years. The vast majority of books however will be in print for less than 10 years (including books by relatively famous people). So on average, books will remain out of print for 90% of the time they are in copyright; during this period, no one will be able to profit from them. This essentially is anathema to the very idea of copyright. The purpose of copyright is to allow an author to profit so they would have an incentive to create and ultimately to allow all of us to potentially profit. Whats worse, over those 90 years, the work can be lost and therefore never have an effective opportunity to reach the public domain.

So, Google essentially wants to do with books what they have already done with the web. store it and catalog it so that others can make use of it for research and pleasure (and so Google can make some money off of it of course). These are works that, outside of Google Books or some similar project, have little commercial value. Indeed, the value is being invented by Google's efforts.

Part of me has to wonder... Right now Google has agreed to set aside funds to compensate authors for their works; of course most authors never make more than a small percentage of what the book actually makes through sales; agents, editors, printers, distributors and book stores all take sizable chunks of the money earned; all them profit from the author's initial efforts. I wonder if ultimately most authors might not do better publishing with Google Books initially (if Google ever opens up to such a concept); they might make more in the long run.

One last thought; you do realize that by posting in these forums, you allow people to profit from your labor without any compensation what so ever other than the pleasure of using these forums .

--
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:00 PM   #37
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Part of me has to wonder... Right now Google has agreed to set aside funds to compensate authors for their works; of course most authors never make more than a small percentage of what the book actually makes through sales; agents, editors, printers, distributors and book stores all take sizable chunks of the money earned; all them profit from the author's initial efforts. I wonder if ultimately most authors might not do better publishing with Google Books initially (if Google ever opens up to such a concept); they might make more in the long run.
I think Google's settlement is potentially advantageous for many authors. My concerns include--

Problems with their approach to academic authors & works (i.e. no different from popular novels: no mass sharing of annotations, no allowance for authors making their books freely available, no open use for research, no guarantees about scan & metadata quality),

No checks against future price-gouging: how can libraries confirm that Google won't triple their prices after they've been around long enough to start purging paper books because they've got access to ebooks?

Direct profiting from orphan works, instead of setting aside that money for the authors or for continuation of the project & lowering prices in other areas,

Insufficient opt-out abilities, on several levels,

Lack of coherent definitions of many of their terms (Is "best of Batman" a book, or periodical? Periodicals are exempt; books can be scanned), and problems with publishers that regularly move books in & out of print, like comic book companies.

I like Google's goals; I think their implementation is troublesome in a few too many areas to be allowed to work. I think the Author's Guild reps made a deal that works fine for them, and most of the authors affiliated with them, but does not work for anything resembling all rightsholders of registered "books" (as blurrily defined by Google) in the US.

EMI's objections pointed out that they own or control millions of copyrights, and are certainly not going to list every single one of them to opt out from Google's arrangement. (Every lyric booklet sold with a CD; every "songs of [topic]" book; every songbook with music that falls below Google's percentage for exemption.) Other types of authors have pointed out flaws in other areas, all of which boil down to "Google & the author's guild paid attention to the concerns of popular mainstream authors & publishers, and ignored everyone else."
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:57 PM   #38
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Monopolistic concerns aside, I'd be curious to know if Google has any notion of adding Print On Demand to the access methods for out of print books, as an alternative to or extension of purchase-for-view. Then out of print books need not ever go out of print once Google has scanned them. The quality would not be as good as texts prepared for POD to begin with, but would be a 'good enough' facsimile of the original in many cases, and could generate income for publishers/authors who would otherwise not be able to justify the expense of reprinting or converting their source material to POD on their own. Bookstores could then offer these editions to their customers as well (some folks don't go online, strange to say). Online access is fine and has its advantages, but so do printed books (not that I'm buying any of them myself <g>).

POD, together with ebooks, are the future, and can eliminate 'out of print' from our vocabulary.
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Old 09-22-2009, 08:17 PM   #39
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I'm a freelance writer: I live by my words.

I like what Google is trying to do - make books available to readers. Remember, copyright is basically a way of saying "you can only keep other people from doing what they want with this for so long and NO LONGER." Essentially what they want to do is change the default for books to "available" from "unavailable" and that's a good thing. Yes, they do need to work out ways that rightsholders can be compensated and that books can be removed from the system. But they can't forget that the real reason for copyright is to induce people to add to the public domain.
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:52 PM   #40
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Monopolistic concerns aside, I'd be curious to know if Google has any notion of adding Print On Demand to the access methods for out of print books, as an alternative to or extension of purchase-for-view.
Google plans on allowing very limited printing through their library subscription program. (A few pages per registered user.) It's one of the objections that a couple of academically-focused authors noted--that many academics would prefer anything out-of-print be copyable at will, for research or whatever reasons, but Google's settlement doesn't allow them to set open access terms for their works.

OTOH, comic book publishers have pointed out that "out of print" is often a temporary state in their industry, and object to the idea of graphic novels being thrown into Google's registry in a way that discourages them from reprinting that novel, or sections of it, in future publications.

There is no current POD option planned, and the settlement seems to not allow future variations. (Another complaint. The GSA is not fixable in parts; it's an all-or-nothing deal.)
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:11 PM   #41
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Monopolistic concerns aside, I'd be curious to know if Google has any notion of adding Print On Demand to the access methods for out of print books, as an alternative to or extension of purchase-for-view. Then out of print books need not ever go out of print once Google has scanned them. The quality would not be as good as texts prepared for POD to begin with, but would be a 'good enough' facsimile of the original in many cases, and could generate income for publishers/authors who would otherwise not be able to justify the expense of reprinting or converting their source material to POD on their own. Bookstores could then offer these editions to their customers as well (some folks don't go online, strange to say). Online access is fine and has its advantages, but so do printed books (not that I'm buying any of them myself <g>).

POD, together with ebooks, are the future, and can eliminate 'out of print' from our vocabulary.
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57181
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:46 PM   #42
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FYI,

Just read an article on another site that Google and the AG have pulled the current settlement and canceled the October hearing. The DOJ has told them that there is no way that they will allow the current settlement proposal to be upheld due to "foreign rights, privacy, and antitrust reasons".
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:49 PM   #43
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FYI,

Just read an article on another site that Google and the AG have pulled the current settlement and canceled the October hearing. The DOJ has told them that there is no way that they will allow the current settlement proposal to be upheld due to "foreign rights, privacy, and antitrust reasons".
Link?

What does that mean? That Google will not be able to proceed?
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:50 PM   #44
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:52 PM   #45
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What does that mean? That Google will not be able to proceed?
It sounds like they are pulling the current settlement and will renegotiate in order to try and solve some of the major objections.
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