Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 14th Nov 2013 16:37 UTC

Google has won a resounding victory in its eight-year copyright battle with the Authors Guild over the search giant's controversial decision to scan more than 20 million library and make the available on the internet.

In a ruling (embedded below) issued Thursday morning in New York, US Circuit Judge Denny Chin said the book scanning amounted to fair use because it was "highly transformative" and because it didn't harm the market for the original work.

"Google Books provides significant public benefits," writes Chin, describing it as "an essential research tool" and noting that the scanning service has expanded literary access for the blind and helped preserve the text of old books from physical decay.

Too much common sense. I'm not sure I can handle this.

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RE[10]: Here are some facts...
by olafg on Sat 16th Nov 2013 11:28 UTC in reply to "RE[9]: Here are some facts..."
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That is the irony of this whole argument. Fair use law in the US is one area of law where morality (in the sense of "what is subjectively good for the public at large") plays into the court's decisions...

Sure, and Google will exploit US law to strengthen their own business. Google also benefits from the US political system and how it is funded which gears the whole system towards strengthening big corporations. Courts inclusive.

The court just decided that irrespective of the copyright holder rights, Google is providing a valuable and transformative service that is in their view protected by fair use.

Which is not all that surprising since Google have lawyers that will guide them towards the edges of US legal practice. Unlike Apple and Microsoft who's business depends on copyright, Google can and will continue to weaken copyright practice by walking these borders and slowly eroding them by making the general public increasingly feeling entitled to whatever they gain (like on youtube).

Google use their money bag to create a big service at a loss. This service is so big that it becomes an indispensible marketing tool. That forces other players to accept their practice or they will become irrelevant. So if you want to sell you have to be on Google search, make as much available on Google Books as other players do and have a presence on Youtube (and Facebook and Twitter…).

That makes it look good in court, because other players are following. Nobody but Google could do stuff like. It would be too expensive to set up the initial infrastructure. Then they gradually can introduce monetizing features.

The first dose is free, then they gradually make you pay. Youtube initially had no intrusive advertising. Currently the advertising pressure is close to what you have on US TV. I personally am getting increasingly annoyed (I am not conditioned to intrusive advertising, I don't have TV).

All of your arguments against what Google does concern the "bad" they do, and you give no credence to the good...

I don't care about good/bad. I just don't believe that Google does this because they are good or want to do good. They do it because they want to retain their "monopoly" in search and advertising. They seek areas where Microsoft is reluctant to enter because Microsoft rely on a strong copyright regime. Google do not need copyright at all to protect their business, that is their advantage. So they can over time work to erode the copyright-system by conditioning the general public over time.

Go to the European courts and sue them under European law. US law has little influence there... Seriously, if you think you are right about what they do being illegally in your jurisdiction go ahead and sue them. Whats stopping you?

They are a big US corporation. Seriously, you cannot sue a foreign company at all. And even if you could... in general you don't get much money from suing outside the US, the legal costs tend to outweigh the benefits. The US awards much higher damages, it is a sue-happy country. Most european countries are not.

However, I suspect if what Google does with Youtube were really violating European laws someone would have sued them already and won.

Impossible, they operate under US jurisdiction. They are untouchable in the same way that gambling sites that operates from small obscure countries are.

In my limited experience European law is very pro-consumer (more than the US), and your arguments are not about anti-consumer activity, they are about anti-rightsholders activity. So go ahead, see how the courts see it...

European copyright law is not unified, but tend to favour authors over publishers more than the US. You cannot sign away your authorship for instance. And the IP laws are practiced in a way that doesn't favour big corporations to the same extent (like patents). Also the copyright regime tends to be stricter (and last longer) and publishers are held accountable. It is quite likely that youtube would have been viewed as a publisher with editorial responsibility, just like a newspaper.

So the US copyright regime is weaker, but you have other laws and practices that acts with it that big businesses benefits from (like the sue-happy regime, the hosting laws, DMCA). So you have a different situation. But since most big players in the US benefits from a strong copyright regime very few big corporations are geared towards eroding the copyright practice. Google is a notable exception.

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