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Old 04-20-2017, 07:54 PM   #1
SteveEisenberg
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There is a database containing 25 million books and nobody is allowed to read them

https://www.theatlantic.com/technolo...-books/523320/

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Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria

“Somewhere at Google there is a database containing 25 million books and nobody is allowed to read them.”

. . .

It’s been estimated that about half the books published between 1923 and 1963 are actually in the [United States] public domain—it’s just that no one knows which half. Copyrights back then had to be renewed, and often the rightsholder wouldn’t bother filing the paperwork; if they did, the paperwork could be lost. The cost of figuring out who owns the rights to a given book can end up being greater than the market value of the book itself.
. . .

“The greatest tragedy is we are still exactly where we were on the orphan works question. That stuff is just sitting out there gathering dust and decaying in physical libraries, and with very limited exceptions,” Mtima said, “nobody can use them. So everybody has lost and no one has won.”

After the settlement failed, Clancy told me that at Google “there was just this air let out of the balloon.” Despite eventually winning Authors Guild v. Google, and having the courts declare that displaying snippets of copyrighted books was fair use, the company all but shut down its scanning operation.
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Old 04-20-2017, 08:36 PM   #2
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Problem with your quote.
If the books are in libraries then people CAN read them.

Is the Atlantic trying to say that if a book was published between 1923 and 1963, that even if a person or entity owns a physical copy of said book that no one is allowed to read it.

I call either bad journalism or very bad phrasing.

Note: The article said books not electronic copies of the book.
Oh and on the physical copies, if I owned one, I could a) sell it, b) loan it to someone, c)donate it to a charity, d)throw it in the trash, e) make book trees, f) make a book safe or I could read it.

Sorry, I just don't see the big deal that a person can't get every book ever published.

Though if someone knows where I can get Mastering the Art of French Cooking cheap (paper not e) let me know. Which was published in 1961.
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:10 AM   #3
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Strictly speaking, by the letter of the law (and the court rulings), the Google database is a collection of *quotes* that *everybody* can access.

That is all Google set out to do and that is what they created.

The "orphan works" mess was a sideshow they got dragged into by listening to promises from idiots that had no right to make such promises.

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Old 04-21-2017, 09:25 AM   #4
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Though if someone knows where I can get Mastering the Art of French Cooking cheap (paper not e) let me know. Which was published in 1961.
https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/S...king&kn=&isbn=
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:41 PM   #5
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Old 04-22-2017, 04:52 AM   #6
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Problem with your quote.
If the books are in libraries then people CAN read them.

Is the Atlantic trying to say that if a book was published between 1923 and 1963, that even if a person or entity owns a physical copy of said book that no one is allowed to read it.

I call either bad journalism or very bad phrasing.

Note: The article said books not electronic copies of the book.
Oh and on the physical copies, if I owned one, I could a) sell it, b) loan it to someone, c)donate it to a charity, d)throw it in the trash, e) make book trees, f) make a book safe or I could read it.

Sorry, I just don't see the big deal that a person can't get every book ever published.

Though if someone knows where I can get Mastering the Art of French Cooking cheap (paper not e) let me know. Which was published in 1961.
Ah but which libraries have which books? And which books are on acid pree paper and which aren't? And how many copies ae there on average of a given book? With digital copies you don't have to worry about the book vanishing if the paper crumbles, gets waterlogged, or burns. There have been similar problems with other media. OTR (Old Time Radio) for example. Most of the extant 'copies' of OTR programs come from people recording a copy while listening to the original broadcast of the show. Yet Conde Nast claims it owns many of them despite not having existed when they were broadcast and despite their existence today only being possible because private citizens preserved the shows themselves.
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Old 04-22-2017, 07:09 AM   #7
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Ah but which libraries have which books?
Good question.

A lot of those scanned are at the University of Michigan. Here are their interlibrary loan fees:

https://www.lib.umich.edu/interlibra...ther-libraries

I think that my local public library is in the tranche having to pay $20 plus their return mailing postage. Maybe they will absorb the cost for me, but I don't want to hurt their budget, and that's one reason I hardly ever ask for an interlibrary loan.

While Google's prices would have varied, it usually would have been less (or always, since if the eBook is $20, I just won't buy it). And with interlibrary loan, unlike the proposed Google scheme, authors and their estates receive nothing.
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Old 04-22-2017, 10:21 AM   #8
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Ah but which libraries have which books? And which books are on acid pree paper and which aren't? And how many copies ae there on average of a given book? With digital copies you don't have to worry about the book vanishing if the paper crumbles, gets waterlogged, or burns. There have been similar problems with other media. OTR (Old Time Radio) for example. Most of the extant 'copies' of OTR programs come from people recording a copy while listening to the original broadcast of the show. Yet Conde Nast claims it owns many of them despite not having existed when they were broadcast and despite their existence today only being possible because private citizens preserved the shows themselves.
I have some cookbooks that even I don't touch. They are all older and I baby them.

Funny thing is I have a 1905 cookbook that looks almost brand-new. And I have newer 1973 and later cookbooks that look like they have been through the wringer. Hardback and softback.
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Old 04-22-2017, 01:14 PM   #9
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Lost works is a huge problem in movies and video. Film does not store well. I remember reading an article back when they released restored DVD's of "The Might and the Mighty" and "Island in the Sky" of how difficult it was to find copies of the original in usable condition and how long it took to actually restored the damaged originals. I bought the restored DVD's back in 2005 when they came out.

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/200...hn-wayne-films

Not everyone has the money and desire that John Wayne's family did.

In theory, every book that went under copyright since 1870 is in the Library of Congress. That was a requirement of copyright according to the Copyright act of 1870. I suspect that was superseded when the requirement to register was dropped.

This, is of course, one of the great flaws of copyright law. Copyright holders love to talk about property rights without ever acknowledging any obligation to the public.
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Old 04-22-2017, 01:24 PM   #10
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Lost works is a huge problem in movies and video. Film does not store well. I remember reading an article back when they released restored DVD's of "The Might and the Mighty" and "Island in the Sky" of how difficult it was to find copies of the original in usable condition and how long it took to actually restored the damaged originals. I bought the restored DVD's back in 2005 when they came out.

http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/200...hn-wayne-films

Not everyone has the money and desire that John Wayne's family did.

In theory, every book that went under copyright since 1870 is in the Library of Congress. That was a requirement of copyright according to the Copyright act of 1870. I suspect that was superseded when the requirement to register was dropped.

This, is of course, one of the great flaws of copyright law. Copyright holders love to talk about property rights without ever acknowledging any obligation to the public.
Because they have no actual obligation to the public.
Heck, if I want to release "The adventures of Cinisajoy", that is my prerogative.
If I decide later to pull said book, that is also my choice. I have no obligation to the public to make sure the book, movie or cd is available for all eternity.
So now let me phrase it like this.
What gives the public the right to tell me what I should do with MY property?
Why should the public have that right?
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Old 04-22-2017, 04:07 PM   #11
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Because they have no actual obligation to the public.
Heck, if I want to release "The adventures of Cinisajoy", that is my prerogative.
If I decide later to pull said book, that is also my choice. I have no obligation to the public to make sure the book, movie or cd is available for all eternity.
So now let me phrase it like this.
What gives the public the right to tell me what I should do with MY property?
Why should the public have that right?
In order for it to be your "property" in the first place, copyright needs to exist and be enforced. For that you need the apparatus of the state, laws, the courts and so on. So the public might as easily ask you, "why should we stop people from sharing your work?"

Copyright is a bargain between society as a whole and the individual creator. Creator gets a temporary monopoly, enforced by the state, society gets to use and re-use the work in the longer term. Where the balance of that bargain should lie, how long the monopoly should last, is up for debate.
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Old 04-22-2017, 04:11 PM   #12
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Because they have no actual obligation to the public.
Heck, if I want to release "The adventures of Cinisajoy", that is my prerogative.
If I decide later to pull said book, that is also my choice. I have no obligation to the public to make sure the book, movie or cd is available for all eternity.
So now let me phrase it like this.
What gives the public the right to tell me what I should do with MY property?
Why should the public have that right?
Because it's not your property, plain and simple. Copyright is a government granted monopoly on the copying of a given work. No more, no less. The government grants that limited right to promote the sciences and arts.
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Old 04-22-2017, 04:34 PM   #13
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Because it's not your property, plain and simple. Copyright is a government granted monopoly on the copying of a given work. No more, no less. The government grants that limited right to promote the sciences and arts.
So you are in a sense telling me that Oxmoor House should keep " Southern Living Christmas£9 2016 cookbook special edition presented exclusively by Dillard's" on sale from Christmas season 2016 to forever.

That happens to be a limited edition sold by only Dillard's and only for Christmas 2016.
The book was $10 and the proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House.

Note: I shop at Dillard's about once a year. I typically spend $10.

I really don't see where the company has an obligation to make that book available to me after that season is over.
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Old 04-23-2017, 07:00 AM   #14
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In order for it to be your "property" in the first place, copyright needs to exist and be enforced. For that you need the apparatus of the state, laws, the courts and so on. So the public might as easily ask you, "why should we stop people from sharing your work?"

Copyright is a bargain between society as a whole and the individual creator. Creator gets a temporary monopoly, enforced by the state, society gets to use and re-use the work in the longer term. Where the balance of that bargain should lie, how long the monopoly should last, is up for debate.
Actually, one owns the copyright to their work immediately upon creating it - whether they register it or not. Registering facilitates "proving" (at least in a legal sense) and enforcing right of ownership, as well as collecting damages.

On the other hand, the downsides of obtaining a copyright include the placement of copyrighted works in the public domain once their copyright terms expire (if not renewed) and - even while the copyright is in force - the ability of anyone to "tweak" the registered intellectual property just enough to call their version their own, with impunity. Happens regularly.

Last edited by Froide; 04-23-2017 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 04-23-2017, 07:15 AM   #15
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On the other hand, the downsides of obtaining a copyright include the placement of copyrighted works in the public domain once their copyright terms expire (if not renewed) and - even while the copyright is in force - the ability of anyone to "tweak" the registered intellectual property just enough to call their version their own, with impunity. Happens regularly.
Copyright cannot be "renewed"; it exists for a fixed time beyond the author's death, and then expires. One does not "obtain" a copyright - it automatically comes into being the instant the author sets pen to paper (or whatever the medium is). Likewise, there's no choice about whether or not a work enters the public domain - it just happens.
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