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Books Google Piracy Your Rights Online

Publisher Is Pretty Sure Google Could End Piracy (techdirt.com) 216

An anonymous reader writes: Techdirt is running a story about Square One Publishers Rudy Shur, and his confusion over the DMCA process, and exactly what Google has control over. The story goes: "After being contacted by Google Play with an offer to join the team, Shur took it upon himself to fire off an angry email in response. That would have been fine, but he somehow convinced Publisher's Weekly to print both the letter and some additional commentary. Presumably, his position at a publishing house outweighed Publisher Weekly's better judgment, because everything about his email/commentary is not just wrong, but breathtakingly so.

After turning down the offer to join Google Play (Shur's previous participation hadn't really shown it to be an advantageous relationship), Shur decided to play internet detective. Starting with this paragraph, Shur's arguments head downhill then off a cliff then burst into flames then the flaming wreckage slides down another hill and off another cliff. (h/t The Digital Reader) '[W]e did discover, however, was that Google has no problem allowing other e-book websites to illegally offer a number of our e-book titles, either free or at reduced rates, to anyone on the Internet.'

There's a huge difference between "allowing" and "things that happen concurrently with Google's existence." Shur cannot recognize this difference, which is why he's so shocked Google won't immediately fix it. 'When we alerted Google, all we got back was an email telling us that Google has no responsibility and that it is up to us to contact these sites to tell them to stop giving away or selling our titles.'"

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Publisher Is Pretty Sure Google Could End Piracy

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  • by fieldstone ( 985598 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @01:33AM (#51206959)
    But the Google is emperor of the internet! Everynoob knows this to be true.
    • Does this mean we can't call Bill Gates to get the whole thing shut down?
    • by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @08:47AM (#51207933) Journal

      If Google can't control what people post on the Internet, Bill Gates should be able to block them from the Internet entirely. This guy should talk to Bill Gates, and say that Donald Trump sent him!

    • It's Google's Internet, we just live in it.

      I remember back in the '90s on the Mac, when you installed Internet Explorer, it put it in a folder called "Microsoft Internet." So it used to be Microsoft's Internet, but now it's Google's.

    • But the Google is emperor of the internet! Everynoob knows this to be true.

      To be fair, a lot of people have no idea how the Internet works. A few years ago I sat down with my elderly mother for about an hour to explain what was actually happening when she connected to the Internet and clicked on a link. At my previous job one project manager didn't understand how I could put servers that were located in our office "on the Internet". This Mr. Shur should have been more informed before he fired off this letter. But to many people, our modern technological world might as well be

      • At my previous job one project manager didn't understand how I could put servers that were located in our office "on the Internet".

        "The Internet is like the telephone network. If you have a phone line running to an answering machine in your office, the answering machine will accept calls from someone across town or across the country. Likewise, a server in your office can accept connections over an Internet line."

        Did you use an analogy like that? If so, how did your project manager take it?

        But to many people, our modern technological world might as well be magic.

        That's why Jesus of Nazareth taught with analogies: people understand them.

        • "The Internet is like the telephone network. If you have a phone line running to an answering machine in your office, the answering machine will accept calls from someone across town or across the country. Likewise, a server in your office can accept connections over an Internet line."

          Did you use an analogy like that? If so, how did your project manager take it?

          Yeah, something like that. I said something like, "Our whole office is technically on the Internet. The same way we can send and receive email, people can be sent to our server when they request our website. He got it, he just hadn't thought it through.

          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            Perhaps the boss thought Internet was directional, such that requests go one way and responses go the other. Asymmetric-rate connections might lead one to believe that, with the phone analog being payphones that don't take incoming calls. And in the era of IPv4 address exhaustion, so might carrier-grade NAT.

      • At my previous job one project manager didn't understand how I could put servers that were located in our office "on the Internet".

        Well, if you didn't have a truck coming by periodically to take your content to the nearest tube, I guess I can understand it. ;-)
    • by sudon't ( 580652 )

      I'm constantly amazed that people no longer seem to understand what a search engine is, or how it works. Even governments, such as the European Union, who presumably have people on the payroll to explain these things to them, seem to think Google = The Internet itself.
      Of course, Google doesn't help itself when it manipulates search results for its own purposes. Once you've started down that road, you can no longer pretend to be merely a neutral indexer of the web.

  • What in the fuck? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ravenspear ( 756059 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @01:38AM (#51206971)

    Could someone explain the summary in plain English?

    It sounds like something bad happened to someone important but other than that I have absolutely no idea what it is saying.

    • Re:What in the fuck? (Score:5, Informative)

      by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @01:50AM (#51207011) Journal

      Could someone explain the summary in plain English?

      Crybaby publisher is scapegoating Google for for unauthorized distribution of works.

      • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

        The guy seems to confuse patent and copyright law by blaming Google for making a distinction between the two.
        Did the guy ever wonder why there are separate laws here?

        As an added bonus, he says Google is evil for only going after infringements of their own patents, and not his copyrights.
        Is he implying that Google should knowingly misrepresent itself as copyright owner of somebody else's work?

    • by fred911 ( 83970 )

      This dude that's a publisher is pissed over getting spammed by Google and the fact that Google indexes websites that give away IP he's (or his clients) got the rights to.

        So he publishes this diatribe on his website and somehow got it published here also.

      No nerd news here...

    • Re:What in the fuck? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @01:54AM (#51207023) Homepage
      From what I can gather: publisher is asked by Google if they want to put their books on Google Play. Publisher head refuses, does "detective work" and suddenly arrives in the 21st century, realizing that there are many pirate sites hosting their books. Since the guy used Google to reach those pirate sites, he comes to the conclusion that Google is doing the piracy.

      The TL;DR of the summary of the rant is that somebody in a tiny position of power doesn't understand the internet.
    • tl;dr version: Some old geezer mistook the service that distributes street numbers for the guys running the crack house.

    • It's true -- Google could hire some censors, thereby increasing its costs, increase their liability, piss off its customers, reduce ad revenue, and reduce marketshare. Oddly enough, they have elected not to do so. (Also, it would have had a minimal effect on piracy)

      • With a very large amount of "some". Imagine the number of people needed if you where to censor the amount of pages going trough the Google index every day.
    • by Daemonik ( 171801 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @07:54AM (#51207765) Homepage

      Could someone explain the summary in plain English?

      It sounds like something bad happened to someone important but other than that I have absolutely no idea what it is saying.

      Well, your initial supposition is wrong first off. Some guy who thinks he's important blames Google for the actions of people that are not under their control. It's like blaming crowbar manufacturers for people using crowbars to break into houses.

      His business model is unable to adjust to the fact that his product is easily pirated, and he's blaming the most visible company connected to the Internet for other people pirating his works, without taking into account Google has no control over anyone but themselves, they are not the only search engine in the world, they only index the WWW portion of the Internet which has many other protocols that files can be shared over. He's tilting at windmills.

    • Bennett Hasleton started posting anonymously. That's really all you need to know about this post.

  • Liability (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @01:44AM (#51206977)

    I've to say, with Square One Titles on Health [squareonepublishers.com] like Cancer: A Second Opinion [squareonepublishers.com], I can only presume that Rudy Shur believes that Square One should be, by extension, guilty of any wrongful death suit that occurs by following the advice given in the books that delay treatments that might otherwise save lives. Because as a publisher of such material, Square One is under a lot more control over what goes into the books they publish that Google has on what content is published by others, even if they're admittedly less than dutiful when it comes to preemptively scrubbing ilegally copyrighted material from the web or otherwise investigating and responding to publisher allegations of such things.

    I mean, seriously, do you really want to be casting stones?

  • by thephydes ( 727739 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @01:46AM (#51206981)
    Just like IE was the internet when it had dominant browser share . Yeah right!
    • I wonder is Microsoft/IE did/does get contacted by people telling them to take things off the Internet.

      • I'm absolutely positive that Microsoft both did and do receive messages to remove content from "Internet Explorer".
        • It would be hilarious if MS "complied" by sending the requestor an automated update that removed Internet functionality from all Windows based systems on their network.

  • by wisnoskij ( 1206448 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @02:00AM (#51207053) Homepage

    Just summarize the article. We don't need to be told what to think by some anon

    • What the? Are you trying to tell me you don't read Slashdot just for the commentary?

    • Anon in this case looks a whole lot like Bennett Hasltons ignorant rambling ...

      Actually, the behavior it's describing also sounds a lot like Bennett.

      20 Euro says he wrote it.

  • And while you're at it, wash my car, do my dirty dishes and vacuum my house, Mr. Shur.

    I can find you and your crap company on the interweb, so you owe me. DO SOMETHING ABOUT WHAT'S BUGGING ME!!!

    Conversely Mr. Shur, pull you head out of you ass and enter the 21st century. Other wise shut the fuck up and leave those of us who have consciousnesses and cognitive abilities to get on with things.

  • Guy goes on date with Pamela Handerson ends up with face palm disease.

  • Oh for chrissakes... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chas ( 5144 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @03:18AM (#51207205) Homepage Journal

    1: Google cannot make demands of third party sites to cease selling/distributing (POSSIBLY) copyrighted works.

    First off, Google itself, unless it's the actual publisher/author of record, has no standing to make such a demand (request actually).

    Second off, Google has NO way of knowing what other ebook sites have coterminous agreements with a given publisher or author.

    This is why it's up to the publisher/author to submit DMCA requests to the proper channels. And Google itself isn't a proper channel!

    2: This idiot tries to compare it to a store selling knockoff handbags.

    First off, these are ebooks, not handbags.

    Second off, Google is not "the police" of the Internet. They have no legal standing to do go in and shut these sites down. ESPECIALLY since they have no way of knowing if such a thing would interfere with another distributor's agreements with the publisher/author.

    3: Google has no problem going after people who infringe on their own patents.

    That's because they're GOOGLE'S patents.

    What this imbecile is asking for would be like Google going after you for violating Lockheed Martin's patents.

    For someone who is an ostensibly successful publisher, this person shows a SHOCKING lack of knowledge of one of the central legal protections available to him for internet distribution. And it calls into question what other mistaken notions this ignoramus is operating under.

    Oh! And now he's just jumped into a large, bright red crosshairs costume and strapped on a blinking neon "Kick Me" sign.

    • For someone who is an ostensibly successful publisher, this person shows a SHOCKING lack of knowledge of one of the central legal protections available to him for internet distribution.

      Or understands quite well how to use public outrage as free advertizing.

  • by ITRambo ( 1467509 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @04:10AM (#51207281)
    I know that whenever I get angry and want to, or do, spout all sorts of nasty things verbally, that it never results in a better outcome than keeping a cool head would have. This guy hasn't yet learned to bite his tongue in cases where emotion has beaten the crap out of logic. If your subconscious whispers "I shouldn't say this", then don't. Just accept that copyright infringement, in this case, is not Google's problem as they're playing by the rules, or so it appears, in this case.
    • Sometimes I just compose a really nasty email when I'm mad, preferably in a separate editor so there's no chance of sending it. That often cools me off.

  • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Wednesday December 30, 2015 @05:24AM (#51207443)

    An earlier commenter pointed out that Square One publishes some books of medical lies, peddling false cancer cures and the like, but check this out:
    http://www.squareonepublishers... [squareonepublishers.com]
    http://www.squareonepublishers... [squareonepublishers.com]
    http://www.squareonepublishers... [squareonepublishers.com]

    This is a publisher of lies and woo. They do not deserve to be pirated. They do not deserve to be read. They do not even deserve to be acknowledged, except for purposes of mockery.

  • Let me ask you something. If a store sells knockoff designer handbags, why is it okay for police to come in, confiscate the illegal merchandise, and arrest and fine the store owners? It’s because the store is profiting from the sales of these illegal goods, in the same way Google can increase its advertising rates because these illegal sites increase the number of users it attracts.

    Fan of analogies, is he. The question is, if a store sells knockoff designer handbags, why do you want the police to g

  • when it comes to technology.

    Dear authors... Technology is hard, leave it to the professionals.

  • all the way to the bank. -_-

  • ...he should probably be in Congress, no?

  • On first scanning the headline, I read "... Google Could End Privacy". And I thought, meh what's new. C'mon, I can be the only one?

  • Google has no problem allowing other e-book websites to illegally offer a number of our e-book titles, either free or at reduced rates, to anyone on the Internet

    Even if this were true instead of a complete misunderstanding, what's wrong with that? I also have no problem with other ebook websites illegally offering 100% of your ebook titles, either free or at reduced rates, to anyone on the Internet. I don't agree with copyright law, and I'm not legally required to agree with it, and I won't lift a finger to help enforce it unless required to do so by law.

    • From what I've heard about the books, I do have a problem with anyone distributing them. This is entirely separate from copyright concerns.

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