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After 7 Years In Court, Google Settles With Publishers On Book Scanning 127

redletterdave writes "After seven long years of litigation, Google Inc. and the Association of American Publishers have reached an agreement to settle over the search giant's book-scanning project, which will allow publishers to choose whether or not they want their books, journals and publications digitized by Google and accessed via its Google Library Project. The agreement, according to the two companies, acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright holders, so U.S. publishers can choose to remove their books and journals digitized by Google for its Library Project, or choose to keep their publications available. For those that keep their works online with Google, those publishers will be able to keep a digital copy for their own use and sell their publications via the Google Play marketplace." Also reported by Reuters, as carried by the Chicago Tribune, and the BBC.
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After 7 Years In Court, Google Settles With Publishers On Book Scanning

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  • Intensely idiotic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @01:54PM (#41551315) Homepage Journal

    Like every copyright case initiated by one of the big names, like the *AAs or big corporate publishing houses, this case is INTENSELY idiotic.

    Google got the good end of this. Basically the corporate assholes can shoot themselves in the foot and pull their material... and lose money in the long run. Google can provide a free publicity service or you can take your ball and go home.

    What a difficult choice....

  • by ThatsMyNick ( 2004126 ) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @01:59PM (#41551351)

    I though the publishers are on the right here. What gives google the right to scan and put up copyrighted work on their website, without the permissions of the copyright holder?

  • by preaction ( 1526109 ) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @02:02PM (#41551387)

    I'm more concerned about orphaned works and the length of copyright causing a work to be completely destroyed before it can be preserved. I understand the desire to keep copyright, and I understand the idea that Google is infringing by creating these digital copies and then providing excerpts for users, but the wealth of knowledge that gets lost because of copyrights that last essentially forever is a real problem that needs a real solution.

    Perhaps it's stupid to entrust that burden to a corporation, and it should be the job of a public or non-profit institution, but this knowledge must be preserved.

  • by Bill_the_Engineer ( 772575 ) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @02:09PM (#41551469)

    Perhaps it's stupid to entrust that burden to a corporation, and it should be the job of a public or non-profit institution, but this knowledge must be preserved.

    If only the Library of Congress in the US, national library of China, library of Russian academy of science, National library and Archives Canada, and the German National Library existed.

  • by danomac ( 1032160 ) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @02:16PM (#41551527)

    Well, look at this this way. When the publishers hoard their material and choose to not publish, it gets lost forever. At least if it's digitized, it'll survive.

    Music is a good example of this. There's a lot of music 20+ years old that's no longer in print, and the labels are no longer around. If someone that had a copy didn't digitize it, it's lost forever.

  • by s0nicfreak ( 615390 ) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @02:19PM (#41551567) Journal
    If only there weren't many books that all of those refuse to archive.
  • by Bill_the_Engineer ( 772575 ) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @02:24PM (#41551611)

    Is this a trick question? How is "fair use" not applicable?

    Depends on how much of the book is being digitally published without the express consent of the copyright holder. A portion of the cover art, the table of contents, and very small number of sample paragraphs seem like a reasonable amount for "fair use". Entire chapters or a large portion of most chapters of a book seems like an unreasonable amount for "fair use".

    This is absolutely no different from the "scanning" and "putting up" that google does of every other part of the internet.

    Actually the websites that are being scanned are freely available on the internet and Google only provides enough of the website to give the user information on wether or not to visit that website. Also the website can attempt to opt-out preemptively by placing a file in their URL space that informs the web crawler of the author not wanting any of the pages scanned.

    Why should the fact that it started out in a grossly inefficient medium be any distinction whatsoever?

    You are correct. The copyright holder should have his rights respected regardless of the medium being used.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 04, 2012 @02:27PM (#41551633)

    You can't opt-in if you are dead, in a coma, clinically insane, etc.

    Why should the public, who has granted a limited right to control copying, be denied use of your work after that right has expired because you didn't bother to leave us machine-readable version?

  • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @02:31PM (#41551687) Journal
    It sure as fuck is an argument. Copyright is a SOCIAL BARGAIN. We, The People have every right to tell IP holders to shove it up their ass, if we so desire. And I assure you that people will continue to make great art long after copyright bites the dust. To think otherwise completely ignores human nature.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 04, 2012 @02:40PM (#41551769)

    So, what you're saying is that we return to the era prior to copyright (say, before the 1700's just to have a nice, rounded number), all of the authors will no longer have any motivation to publish just like before that time? No one will bother publishing works like Romeo & Juliet (or any of Shakespeare's books, for that matter), Beowolf (before copy right as a concept even existed) or any other works because of lack of copyright protection?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 04, 2012 @02:58PM (#41551929)

    They never wanted an exclusive license. They just wanted a license. People painting it as "exclusive" just weren't willing to go through all the trouble to scan the stuff on their own.

  • by TheSwift ( 2714953 ) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @03:51PM (#41552483)

    Just a thought... what if your boss reduced your pay by 50% and told you that "if you're only doing it for money, then you're doing it for the wrong reason"?

    Of course the only reason I write is because I enjoy it. And submitting any of my work for publishing would have reward in and of itself, but to do so would require that I devote an enormous amount of time that I could otherwise spend earning money and providing for my family, which, right now, I consider the more important task.

  • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @04:18PM (#41552725) Journal
    In contrast to those that buy law to get what they want... Social Bargain is the apt term to call the exchange of limited time and scope monopolies for future culture enrichment. Copyright is supposed to be a balance of allowing creator enrichment while enriching society in the long run. We are now asking where is the balance to be struck in the age of trivial information exchange. The problem IP has is it flies directly against Liberty and so we must use great caution when setting its limits. Right now caution is abandoned and we are allowing the IP holders to encroach Liberty too far.

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."