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Google Subpoenas Microsoft & Yahoo 164

Posted by Zonk
from the getting-the-gang-together dept.
eldavojohn writes "Mercury News is running a story reporting that Google has filed subpoenas with Microsoft and Yahoo, in relation to their legal battles with publishers and authors. Google faces charges of massive copyright infringement surrounding its online book project. The company claims that Microsoft and Yahoo have taken the exact same steps in acquiring print-related rights. Google therefore wants to show that 'everyone is doing it.'" From the article: "McGraw-Hill Cos. and the Authors Guild, along with other publishers and authors, contend that a Google project to digitize the libraries of four major U.S. universities, as well as portions of the New York Public Library and Oxford University's libraries, ignores the rights of copyright holders in favor of Google's economic self-interest ... Is the library of the future going to be open? Or will it be controlled by a couple of big corporate players?"
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Google Subpoenas Microsoft & Yahoo

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    This first posting crap is barely worth it anymore.
  • Que: Your parents. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fahrbot-bot (874524)
    Google therefore wants to show that 'everyone is doing it.'"

    Well I guess that makes it OK. If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you?

    • by filtur (724994) on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:09PM (#16338389) Homepage
      Well I guess that makes it OK. If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you?
      Only if google told me to :)
    • by Overzeetop (214511) on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:13PM (#16338451) Journal
      Insightful, possibly, from a "what would your mother say" point of view, but not necessarily form a legal standpoint.

      Common practice can become a part of law through judicial rulings, and in this case there is arguably a good reason for this database (seeing as how a database suh as this does not exist in the public realm, nor is there any real impetus to create one). Google would like the law to be interpreted for its intent, not necessarily the letter, and the believe they might have some footing.

      Really, it's a non-issue, except there's gazillions of dollars of corporations involved, and those gazillions of dollars are usually fighting with one another.
      • by LurkerXXX (667952) on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:17PM (#16338529)
        So, if they get a pass with 'everyone else is doing it', do I get the same if I want do download some songs or MP3s? Can I just tell the **AA that 'everyone else is doing it', and that everyone is a lot higher number than the folks google is talking about.
        • by DragonWriter (970822) on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:31PM (#16338749)
          So, if they get a pass with 'everyone else is doing it', do I get the same if I want do download some songs or MP3s?
          "Everyone else is doing it" is a rather simplified version of what Google will argue, which is likely to be something like (with evidence presented supporting each contention): 1) The use they are making of the work is to enable research, and 2) The method of enabling the research that they are using is widespread for that purpose (the part being characterized as "everyone does it"), and 3) The method of enabling research that they are using does not negatively effect, indeed positively effects, the market for and value of the material indexed. IOW, it will be tailored to address the purpose and nature of use considerations relevant to "fair use" under 17 USC 107. Good luck trying to assemble convincing evidence on those points to defend your song trading...
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            Not very hard to recast it.

            1) is tenuous, but you could say that people who really care about the music will buy a legal copy instead of downloading it from some random server, which is likely to have a poorly-digitized version of it.
            2) For every song I share, you can already find it on the Internet. If it takes you a couple more seconds of searching, that's irrelevant to the case.
            3) Some studies have shown that people are more likely to buy an entire CD or whatever after listening to the song online. The a
        • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:33PM (#16338767)

          So, if they get a pass with 'everyone else is doing it', do I get the same if I want do download some songs or MP3s? Can I just tell the **AA that 'everyone else is doing it', and that everyone is a lot higher number than the folks google is talking about.

          Well, there is a lot wrong with your post. First, to my knowledge no one in the US has yet been sued for downloading songs, only uploading. Somehow, however, the MPAA has managed to get the term "downloading" into the public consciousness. I always look at these articles that say "downloading" and every time they then mention uploading in the actual case.

          Next, "everyone doing something" speaks to part of one of the four fair use criteria for legal copying and republishing of works without a copyright holder's permission (effect upon the market). If you meet all these criteria (as Google seems to) then by all means you can tell the RIAA to shove it, although you may have to go to court to prove it. For example, if you download a song and burn part of it to CD and hand them out to your students as part of their homework on modern culture, you probably have met all the criteria for fair use. and whether the copyright holder likes it or not, they're going to lose if they take you to court.

          • Next, "everyone doing something" speaks to part of one of the four fair use criteria for legal copying and republishing of works without a copyright holder's permission (effect upon the market). If you meet all these criteria (as Google seems to) then by all means you can tell the RIAA to shove it, although you may have to go to court to prove it.

            Market effect is one of four nature of use factors that 17 USC 701 says are to be considered in determining fair use, but you don't have to "meet" all four. The l

            • ...but you don't have to "meet" all four... ...not a checklist of standards where you have to meet some specified level on all four, and if you do, you are in the clear.

              I was trying to simplify a bit, perhaps a bit too much. If you "meet all four" (your use is favorable in regard to them) then you're almost certainly in the clear. But yes, you're certainly right. The court could make up anything and declare a use to be unfair.

        • you're not a multi-million dollar corporation
      • by giblfiz (125533) on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:19PM (#16338565)
        Insightful, possibly, from a "what would your mother say" point of view, but not necessarily form a legal standpoint.


        Well, actually there is a another legal angle that makes the "everybody else is doing it to" argument useful. If they can show something like selective enforcement (I don't know what the civil equivalent of this is, but I'm pretty sure that their is one) Then the suit would either need to be dropped or expanded to include MS, Yahoo and all the rest.

        This would be to google's advantage because of the additional legal and political weight that the other players could bring to bear, and because it would make their opposition's case seem that much more absurd.
        • If they can show something like selective enforcement [...] Then the suit would either need to be dropped or expanded to include MS, Yahoo and all the rest.

          How? You're going to force copyright holders to sue more than one infringing party at once? Surely going after one case to get the precedent is the oldest one in the book?

          • by giblfiz (125533)

            How? You're going to force copyright holders to sue more than one infringing party at once? Surely going after one case to get the precedent is the oldest one in the book?

            That's a very good point. I'm not even going to pretend to know, much less understand the law concerning this. The truth is that IP law is a big complicated hairy mess. I do know that in a criminal trial selective enforcement is a valid defense, and the state would be forced to either drop the charges or bring them against everyone.

            Even if

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Monchanger (637670)
          I think my parent is talking about just the thing I was wondering - that there is a legal issue where if one does not protects one's property, certain rights over said property may be lost.

          The example I know of happens in the United States. It goes like this: A man owns a piece of land including a private beach. He does not fence, sign or otherwise make public the fact that it is private. His neighbours use the beach to bathe and launch boats off of regularly for several years. The man one day fences of
          • by Software (179033)

            The example I know of happens in the United States. It goes like this: A man owns a piece of land including a private beach. He does not fence, sign or otherwise make public the fact that it is private. His neighbours use the beach to bathe and launch boats off of regularly for several years. The man one day fences off the lot. The neighbours sue. The case is ruled in their favor because he had not, in all those years, defended his property

            The term you're looking for is adverse possession [freeadvice.com], and the example

            • The term you're looking for is adverse possession,

              No, I think in the case of the beach access, where you aren't claiming to have acquired title to the land but merely a right to use the land that the holder of the title cannot prevent you from exercising, its actually easement by prescription [findlaw.com], not adverse possession, though the two are very similar.

              Though, in any case, you are correct that there is no direct analog to the applicable real property law in copyright, so the analogy doesn't really work legally,

        • This would be to google's advantage because of the additional legal and political weight that the other players could bring to bear, and because it would make their opposition's case seem that much more absurd.

          You'd think... and yet the RIAA gets away with this same tactic. Further, the judges help them along by allowing them to accuse 500 people with one subpoena filing.

          I say this is the latest iteration of old people not keeping with the times, pissing off the younger generation until something gives.

          wwI
      • by Erwos (553607)
        "Google would like the law to be interpreted for its intent, not necessarily the letter, and the believe they might have some footing."

        Unless I'm missing something, I don't understand how Google is somehow following the intent of the law. Copyright is a limited monopoly granted to the work's owner to control distribution (hence "copy" "right"). The idea is that they presumably may want to sell this work, thus making it profitable to produce more such works (which, presumably, is to the benefit of their fell
        • By scanning these works in and offering them only as excepts as part of a search engine, they are indeed advancing the arts and sciences by facilitating research. They are not offering the entire (or even large chunks of the) work, and anyone who finds their reference must then go purchase the said work. They _are_ making a digital copy for the purpose of creating the search database, which I presume is the sticking point. However, if they can show that the common practive for scanned archives is to create
          • by HuguesT (84078)
            However the publishers may argue, amongst other things, that by doing their book indexing, Google are depriving the copyright owners of some control over their work without their consent. From what I've seen the scanning and OCR of non-authorized material is complete and thorough. There is also the point that you raise, that basically a digital, complete, unauthorised copy of all the disputed works is currently present on Google's servers. The fact that it is not available to the general public is mostly ir
      • Common practice can become a part of law through judicial rulings,

        This behaviour boils down to three businesses wanting to make more money, ignoring decades or centuries of background to the copyright principle that is even recognised explicitly in the Constitution of the US, in statute law in many other jurisdictions, and under international treaties. I don't think "everyone's doing it" is going to hold a whole lot of weight with any sane court here, no matter how expensive the legal teams.

        and in th

        • Surely if there were no real impetus to create one, then either Google wouldn't be doing it, or public libraries wouldn't exist? However, we (the people of many countries) have explicitly decided through our legislative processes to recognise the concept of copyright, with limited exemptions. Public libraries may qualify as one such exemption. I'm not sure why a private, profit-making company should expect the same treatment, nor that what Google is doing is at all equivalent in its practical effects (parti
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by thelost (808451)
      Google is trying to illustrate legal precedent, i.e. to show that other companies are actively pursuing the same goal as them. The comparison to jumping off a cliff is perhaps not apt or accurate.
      • Other companies pursuing the same goal (unless there has been litigation about that pursuit) does not demonstrate legal precedent. What Google is doing is marshalling evidence for one piece of an argument that their use is within the "fair use" exception to copyright under 17 USC 701.
    • by Ksisanth (915235)

      I haven't been able to use that line on my kid ever since the Turkish sheep incident [usatoday.com]. She just replies, "If the bodies are piled high enough to cushion my fall, then sure!"

      Microsoft and Yahoo: soft, fluffy bodies?

    • Necessarily (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Friday October 06, 2006 @01:54PM (#16340029) Journal
      If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you?

      Of course.

      Because if I didn't, "everyone" wouldn't have jumped off the cliff - violating the premise.
    • by ajs (35943)

      Well I guess that makes it OK. If everyone jumped off a cliff, would you?

      You have your analogy wrong.

      Here's the (rather strange) result of combining cliff-jumping with the current situation:

      "If there were an established sort of cliff jumping that had been ruled legal in many long-standing rulings, and everyone else interpreted a new kind of cliff jumping as legally identical to that previous sort, would it be legal to engage in?"

      The answer is: maybe. Caselaw is tricky, and there's always litigation risk, bu

  • Amazing! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Erwos (553607) on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:11PM (#16338437)
    I must have missed the bill where the "everyone is doing it" defense was made valid. Pirates of the world, unite!

    If my buddy and I violate someone's copyright, and the copyright holder sues me and not him, guess what? That's his or her decision. Their copyright does not somehow become "less valid" because of whom they take legal action against, or do not take such action against.

    Now, for _trademarks_, it's a different story. But, clearly, scanning in entire books has far more to do with copyrights than trademarks, at least in this case.
    • Re:Amazing! (Score:5, Informative)

      by dontbflat (994444) on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:23PM (#16338615) Homepage
      This is not about violating Copyrights. Google is saying that yahoo and MSN have legal rights to these books and so should we. It says in the article "According to filings in U.S. District Court in New York, Google wants Yahoo and Microsoft to provide descriptions of their projects,as well as documents that show they have legal rights to the books that are included in the project".
      All google wants is a fair chance at being able to scan those books that Yahoo and Microsoft have already gotten permission for. We are not talking about violating Copyrights.
      Who knows. This may turn into a new form of discrimination where publishers can say "we dont like you so No you cant use my books....but we like this guy" Personally, I say if you make it open to one....you must make it open to all.
      • by planetmn (724378)
        This is not about violating Copyrights. Google is saying that yahoo and MSN have legal rights to these books and so should we.

        Just because you have legal rights to property that you have paid/bartered/negotiated for or otherwise obtained, does not mean that I nor anyone else have a legal right to the same property.

        This may turn into a new form of discrimination where publishers can say "we dont like you so No you cant use my books....but we like this guy" Personally, I say if you make it open to one..
    • Re:Amazing! (Score:5, Informative)

      by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:24PM (#16338629)

      I must have missed the bill where the "everyone is doing it" defense was made valid.

      For copyright it does make a difference because the laws are based upon the effect of an action. Fair use allows people to copy works without the copyright holder's permission in certain instances. So far, the legal precedent pretty much is all in Google's favor, but because the effect of their action on the market is one of the four things considered for fair use, showing that the market in general is already doing this is an important legal point to shut down any arguments about that provision.

      If my buddy and I violate someone's copyright, and the copyright holder sues me and not him, guess what? That's his or her decision.

      You've got this all wrong. This is to determine if they are violating the copyright. An analogy is firing a gun. Sometimes it is target practice and legal and sometimes it is murder. Google copied works. Now the law is determining if that copying is illegal.

      But, clearly, scanning in entire books has far more to do with copyrights than trademarks, at least in this case.

      Yes, this is a copyright case, but not all copying is illegal and some is specifically designated as legal. For example, the courts have ruled that it is perfectly legal to copy every image you can find on the internet, and store those images, for the purpose of providing a thumbnail image of those images for profit. That is because what is being sold is meta-data about where you can find an image, not the images themselves. The courts have also ruled that making low quality copies of porn images and making them available is illegal, because the intent was for people to just look at the images and the effect upon the market was to deprive the copyright holders of business.

      What Google is doing in almost every way is similar to the former. They copy an entire work, but only for the purpose of providing an excerpt and "selling" information about what books will be helpful. Now, if they were to image and post certain works, like dictionaries or recipe books, with excerpts that are all a person wants, they might be in trouble, except for the fact that in order to claim damages a copyright holder has to have notified the violator of the infringement, and Google already removes any book at the request of the copyright holder.

      • You know I try to avoid pseudo-modding with my comments. But the pp is just about as far opposite of offtopic as you can get. He clearly and insightfully replied to the gpp and explained his perspective on google's motive.

        Anyway, you made a compelling argument that made sense to me. Before reading your post I was kind of on the "why the heck would google do something like this" side of the fence myself.

        +1 Insightful...
  • I suppose this is welcome news to all the fourth grade lawyers out there, but it seems to me that if Google needs a subpoena to discover that Microsoft and Yahoo also do something that Google issues loud press releases about, that largely justifies singling Google out for lawsuits.
    • by sgtrock (191182)
      Actually, it's more that Google needs to demonstrate in court that they are simply providing a fair use service similar in structure to that provided by their competitors. I'd say the odds are very high that Google will win this one hands down because they don't allow for the full download of material. They only allow people to search the material and read a small sample.

      Frankly, I still can't figure out why the publishers are so upset. Don't they understand that Google's actually doing them a favor?? T
  • by joerdie (816174) on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:16PM (#16338511) Homepage
    mabey google should change their slogan from "do no evil" to "do less evil and tattle on everyone else when we get in trouble."
  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:18PM (#16338543) Homepage Journal
    Now we can read all the posters wildly misinfomred legal opinions.
    Sweet.

  • by peter303 (12292) on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:19PM (#16338557)
    Google certainly has enough cash.
    The optical fiber cos bought the phone cos.
    The dot.coms bought the networks.
    Rockefeller bought his competitors.
  • by kike (58542) <henry_ficher@@@yahoo...com> on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:21PM (#16338589)
    ... ignores the rights of copyright holders in favor of Google's economic self-interest

    No. The public has also the right to digitized, freely accesible publications. And since these books are already freely available in public libraries, why shouldn't they be on the Internet?
    • by jedidiah (1196) on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:27PM (#16338683) Homepage
      It's not even about "freely accessable publications". This isn't like Google going all project Gutenberg or something. This is only about Google and the given Universities being able to do searches against books: a valid & reasonable fair use of the books in question.

                This kind of thing really isn't even unprecedented. There are similar dead tree references of this sort for other types of dead tree works. The book industry is just trying to be control freak pricks and trying to extract more revenue where they deserve none.

                The federal judges should see this and just say: Piracy? What Piracy? Get the H*LL out of my courtroom and stop wasting my time.
      • I'll accept your argument, as long as you get Google to agree that should any digitized copy of a work in their system leak so that more than small excerpts are available on-line, Google will immediately (a) compensate the copyright holder of that work at the same high rate of punitive damages that other copyright violations such as through P2P fall under in the US, and (b) shut down their system, since any argument about being fair use because is does no harm to copyright holders will have been completely

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          I'll accept your argument, as long as you get Google to agree that should any digitized copy of a work in their system leak so that more than small excerpts are available on-line, Google will immediately

          ...not Google's problem. The very same argument was proposed when Xerox machines came into use. The maker of a tool is not responsible for misuse of that tool. Sorry, but Google already goes well beyond their required duties in this regard.

          On the other hand, should you be able to prove that Google Books

          • The maker of a tool is not responsible for misuse of that tool

            That's not always true, either morally or legally. Technology is neutral by default, but building and supplying a tool that you can reasonably know will be used to commit illegal acts is dodgy. In my hypothetical scenario, where the condition is that a work has leaked, then Google would be in exactly that position.

            On the other hand, should you be able to prove that Google Books is negatively effecting the market for these books because the

    • by cfulmer (3166)
      Absolutely not. In the US, at least, the public DOES NOT have the general right to digitize copyrighted works, whether they are freely accessible or not. Remember all those signs you see on library photocopiers? There are some 'fair uses,' but these are limited. For example, you can record a TV show for the purpose of watching it later. But, you can't check a book out of the library, photocopy it and return the original.
  • by maelstrom (638) on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:26PM (#16338661) Homepage Journal
    "Is the library of the future going to be open? Or will it be controlled by a couple of big corporate players?"

    I'd rather see the Library of Congress do something like this instead of having it controlled by the publishers or Google or Yahoo or Microsoft. One would be very foolish to have anyone entity control this, and I'd rather it be free to all and not plastered by Adsense everywhere.
    • library of the future...

      Libraries are already closed. Try selling an item - book/DVD/video - to any public library in North America.
  • by Hoplite3 (671379) on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:26PM (#16338663)
    Is the submitter upset at the amount of knowledge and culture McGraw-Hill controls, or the amount of culture Google will soon control? Both are corporate entities and not private.

    On the other hand, this experiment with copyright is getting out of control. It's difficult for modern works to achieve classic status. Just last week I was reading that many anthology creators pick and choose their contents based more and more on what rights they can afford. Some modern authors might make a splash, but they're pricing their work out of range for posterity.

    You could say that the market will sort this out -- but it's a tragedy what happens in the mean time. Good works will moulder and die as publishers and author's families try to pimp them for the final dollar. All I can think is, doesn't it make more sense to SHORTEN copyright periods as technology improves rather than to extend them? A book can be published, shipped, promoted, bought, and read the world over in a few years now rather than a decade.
    • >It's difficult for modern works to achieve classic status. Just
      >last week I was reading that many anthology creators pick and
      >choose their contents based more and more on what rights they can
      >afford.

      Oh no! We won't be able to replace $TIME_HONORED_CLASSIC with
      $MODERN_TRIPE?

      I'm ordering some more genuine Mickey Mouse stuff right now, along
      with a nice thank you note ;)
  • Rich get richer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pembo13 (770295) on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:27PM (#16338681) Homepage
    Neglecting the fact that Google is already 'rich'. Copyright, in its current implementation seems to be in place simply for the rich to get richer. Yet most Americans are in the middle class. So I think its fair to assume that most US-Slashdotters are in the middle class. So how is it that laws, continued by rich, enforced by order of the rich, and that benifit mostly the rich get so much support on /. ? Does the money earned from copyright go directly back to the economy? I was of the (possibly incorrect) understanding that it just goes into the bank account of the rich.
    • So how is it that laws, continued by rich, enforced by order of the rich, and that benifit mostly the rich get so much support on /. ?

      Partly I suspect because those promoting the current copyright regimes pay a lot of astroturfers. Also, in general, I think support is the result of propaganda that tricks people into thinking that copyright is a natural right and because the topic is somewhat complex and most people don't care to take the time to understand it, so they believe what they hear.

    • While im not in love wiht the current state of copyright in this country. You understanding that the money goes into the bank is correct, however that does not imply that that money doesnt go back into the economy. Banks are not the space between the matrees and boxspring to shove your money there for later. Banks take deposits, and in return give out interest to the owners of those deposits. In return the banks get to loan out the money or invest it in some other way, and give the little guy(who is not ric
  • If Google uses the digitized books for self economic interest is not ok, I wonder what you guys think about peer-to-peer swapping of digitized books? No more 'economic benefits', is that ok?
    • If Google uses the digitized books for self economic interest is not ok, I wonder what you guys think about peer-to-peer swapping of digitized books? No more 'economic benefits', is that ok?

      You're probably thinking about the fact that non-commercial copyright infringement was legal up until the 70's and many people think it still is. Legally, it is not nearly as simple as you seem to think. It is not whether or not Google is making any money that is under consideration, but whether their way of making mo

  • by headkase (533448) on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:36PM (#16338815)
    The way people interact with Information needs to be completely re-drawn. I believe what is needed is compulsary licensing of most information. Your Internet bill just had a $25US fee attached to it. And in return you get all the downloads you can suck through the tubes. Seriously. Video, audio, books, and software. Your fee is divided back to the copyright holders. Then through regulation mandate that all browsers need to include some kind of bit-torrent like functions to increase the reliability of information access as it would be distributed (vs the current centralized points of failure). Fixing copyright law to reflect the Information Age would make the symptoms of the industrial to information conversion sickness (such as DRM) disappear. Compulsary licensing is the key - like what the Library of Congress evolves into in Snow Crash. Derivative works could explode in this kind of environment - imagine the increased revenue to copyright holders as portions of their works are remixed later on (such as Anime Music Videos).
    If you could, what would you do to fix copyright?
    • If you could, what would you do to fix copyright?

      At this point? Nothing.

      I'm sorry but I disagree with your idea here. Copyright gives an artist a right to determine how (and if) his/her work will be distributed. Calling up a flat fee and telling an artist that they do not have rights to the distribution of their work is nonsense. And ultimately who's to decide who gets what fee for what work?

      It seems that one of your problems is that government currently has say in copyright and that eliminating current
      • by headkase (533448)
        At this point it may be the best deal they'll ever get.
        The concept of "Mine" fades off into the distance I guess.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        At this point? Nothing.

        Are you saying you're unaware of the massive problems caused by our current copyright system, including the massive destruction of works and the government enforced prevention of old works from being revived?

        Copyright gives an artist a right to determine how (and if) his/her work will be distributed. Calling up a flat fee and telling an artist that they do not have rights to the distribution of their work is nonsense. And ultimately who's to decide who gets what fee for what work

        • Why are we giving up our free speech for this?

          And how does your right to free speech apply? No one is taking away your right to free speech. Or do you consider the inability of an artist to regulate their own work, regardless of your desire to rip off their creations, as free speech?

          I love how so many at slashdot don't give a crap to the rights of the artist and only consider their own rights. Rights work both ways. You may not consider it a "natural right" but I'm sure the creator of these works feel ot
          • And how does your right to free speech apply? No one is taking away your right to free speech. Or do you consider the inability of an artist to regulate their own work, regardless of your desire to rip off their creations, as free speech?

            You sing a new song. I hear it and like it. I sing it too. The government grants you some of my money in compensation, taken at gunpoint if necessary. That is a restriction on my freedom of speech.

            Copyright is a limited restriction (government sponsored) on free speec

            • This is funny because I'm a professional writer, with numerous published works and copyright provides the majority of my income.

              Yeah, I always here stories like this. I'm calling you out! PROVE to me that this is true. You can make up any crap you want and get away with it. PROVE IT.

              And if you have such faith in this why are your (supposed) works under the protection of copyright?
          • One more thing, I noticed your sig:

            Dedicated Cthulhu Cultist since 4523 BC.

            Maybe for an example of the problems with copyright you might read up on the problems regarding HP Lovecraft's works and copyright disputes after his death, with legal battles stopping or delaying the publishing/republishing of many of his stories and letters. In fact, if not for the generosity of distant descendants of his aunt, his works would still be languishing, many unpublished and copyright would not begin to expire on any

            • Maybe for an example of the problems with copyright you might read up on the problems regarding HP Lovecraft's works and copyright disputes after his death, with legal battles stopping or delaying the publishing/republishing of many of his stories and letters. In fact, if not for the generosity of distant descendants of his aunt, his works would still be languishing, many unpublished and copyright would not begin to expire on any of them for another year.

              The problem with Lovecraft's works had more to do w
    • If you could, what would you do to fix copyright?

      Well, for one thing, I sure as hell wouldn't turn the "media" industry into a government regulated industry, like you suggest, where some un-elected body gets to dole out the compulsary licensing money to the "copyright holders". $25 would VERY quickly turn to $30...and on and on it would go. Before you know it, we'd have big wankfest's here on /. whining about our yearly fee for content and how expensive it has become over the years.

      No, compulsary
  • Is the library of the future going to be open? Or will it be controlled by a couple of big corporate players?

    I think the person who said this has missed the boat. The library is already controlled by corporate players, they are called publishers. Hence the reason it costs $250 for a text book on network security, but only $40 for a book on network security.

    The question now is WHICH corporate players will control the library? Will print publishers continue to hold sway, or will the digital revolution move th
  • There are just personas and groups that still cant grab the way things going and fight against it.
  • What if the government took over the project and said they would digitize all books and make an online national library. Would they be able to? I think an online national library would be a great idea. I understand the concerns of publishers and authors, but if I wanted I could go to the library and get their books for free anyways.

    Someone could write a program that the user downloads that would allow them to preview a certain page for a limited time. maybe each person would get library credits. Or maybe
    • What if the government took over the project and said they would digitize all books and make an online national library. Would they be able to?

      Yes, and this just what other countries have been doing.

      Or maybe the database of books could only be accessed at librarys.

      Technically, I think schools can legally do this right now, if they are so inclined. In the UK I think there are 4 or 5 libraries each of which gets a copy of every copyrighted work. The library of congress got these copies too, until they

  • The question revolves around the fact that a digital scan of a book, isn't a copy of a book, since it isn't paper. This is similar to taking a photo of a statue, which doesn't infringe copyright of the statue. Same with taking a photo of a painting, it doesn't infringe copyright, since a photo isn't a painting.
    • by RexRhino (769423)
      I agree with you that a photo of a painting or statue should not infringe on copyright... but unfortunatly it does. Try taking a picture at the Louvre... or manufacturing a product with a photo of the Lone Cypress (which is a tree, it isn't even a sculpture) on it... and see how far it gets you!
  • The ultimate irony will be if Google wins all of these cases brought against them by libraries and newspapers, and then someone simply comes along and pilfers all of Google's data for it.

    What's to stop Yahoo! from simply scraping all the book images and running their own library? Google can't claim copyright foul, has already supported fair use of Internet pages made publicly available, and in general has forwarded a philosophy of "what is presented to the public is free for the taking, repackaging, and sel

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