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

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[7]: Here are some facts...
by galvanash on Fri 15th Nov 2013 23:55 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Here are some facts..."
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

Youtube compensate authors for copyright violations? You mean they actually pay copyright holders for the advertising they have done on their content in the case of infringement and in addition pay the standard rate for displaying the content?


No, they offer to pay them a percentage of advertising revenue on the video as an alternative to taking the video down. It is up the the copyright holder to decide which they would prefer to do.

The standard for infringing here is that you pay twice the normal licensing-rate (like if you by mistake use a photo or forget to give credit even with a license). I do not think Youtube does this?


Of course they don't - they don't directly infringe. If the copyright holder wants their due they can go after the infringer (the person who made the video)... I am not familiar with the standard you are referencing here, but in my opinion, if the issue is ethics, than it isn't ethical to go after Google for compensation when the actual infringer is another party - Google just hosts content, they do not create it.

You can create an ethical hosting service if you a) make it easy to remove obviously infringing content


Youtube does this.

b) require uploaders to provide verified identity information that is public.


Like authors are not allowed to publish under pseudonyms... You expect to deny the right to anonymity to others when it is routinely exercised by the party you are defending? Seriously? Yeah, that sounds real ethical...

I don't dislike Google. Their cloud solution is great. Dart is great. Chrome is good. But their ethics in business-critical areas is no better than IBM/Apple/Microsoft/Intel etc. It is a corporation. With corporate strategies.


Never said otherwise. But people like Youtube. People like Google Books. People like gmail. Google figured out a way to make those things available to the public without having to directly charge them for it - they fund it through advertising. And who pays for advertising? In no small part it is people selling things, much of it the same IP you are talking about (movies, books, music, etc.) Is it so bad, ethically, to create a business model where those that sell things pay to allow services to those that buy those things?

I'm not saying it is all roses, but it has it upsides too - the copyright holders never seem to want to acknowledge that Google is one of their best means to get eyes on their products. They pay for it after all, it can't be all bad.

If they stopped paying for it, it would no longer exist...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Here are some facts...
by olafg on Sat 16th Nov 2013 00:24 in reply to "RE[7]: Here are some facts..."
olafg Member since:
2010-05-27

No, they offer to pay them a percentage of advertising revenue on the video as an alternative to taking the video down. It is up the the copyright holder to decide which they would prefer to do.


So, they get to keep something they had no (moral) right to in the first place, because the legally can get away with it in a particular jurisdiction.

Of course they don't - they don't directly infringe.


Which is due to the particulars of U.S. hosting laws. In some other countries Youtube would not have been able to exist, since they would have been give editorial responsibility.

if the issue is ethics, than it isn't ethical to go after Google for compensation when the actual infringer is another party - Google just hosts content, they do not create it.


Which is really an "artifact" of the particular U.S. laws which Youtube were using/abusing. Google can do this because their most likely long term motive is to see copyright weakend, they benefit from this. A corporation like Sony who rely on copyright and want to see it strengthend would not have created such a service.

"You can create an ethical hosting service if you a) make it easy to remove obviously infringing content


Youtube does this.
"

Actually they required you to send a signed take-down request on paper AFAIK. That could easily take a week from Europe. And when it was removed someone else would upload it the next day… Only after they gained critical mass did they "change". AFAIK.

Like authors are not allowed to publish under pseudonyms... You expect to deny the right to anonymity to others when it is routinely exercised by the party you are defending? Seriously? Yeah, that sounds real ethical...


In other countries you get editorial responsibility and you have to make an effort to gain the real identity of users that publish material on your site. Again, the idea that you should both allow anonymous upload and claim no responsibility is a US phenomenon.

Which party am I defending? I am defending noone, I just claim that Google is doing legal tip-toeing and bending the "edges" of opportunities in US copyright law, because it is in their long term interest to see a weakening of copyrights.

But people like Youtube. People like Google Books. People like gmail. Google figured out a way to make those things available to the public without having to directly charge them for it - they fund it through advertising.


Yes, I like and use those too. Although the advertising on youtube is now getting very annoying. There was very little advertising in the beginning. The strategy is to gain traction/critical mass, then increase advertising pressure until you reach the pain-threshold. Now there is a lot of advertising on youtybe. For me, as a european, the amount of advertising on youtube has become very close to unbearable, but by US standards it is probably no worse than TV. (The advertising pressure is generally higher in the US).

Is it so bad, ethically, to create a business model where those that sell things pay to allow services to those that buy those things?


Well, my point is that Google aren't either ethical/unethical, but amoral when it comes to key business areas (although they are nice in the non-key areas such as providing programming tools, which I use and love almost every day). They strengthen their core business, use the legal opportunities that US law currently permit, and try to stay "bearable" in the public eye. Of course, in global markets that is kind of difficult over time since the "pain thresholds"/"expectations" differs from country to country.

If they stopped paying for it, it would no longer exist...


People pay for a lot of shit… ;^)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: Here are some facts...
by galvanash on Sat 16th Nov 2013 01:36 in reply to "RE[8]: Here are some facts..."
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

So, they get to keep something they had no (moral) right to in the first place, because the legally can get away with it in a particular jurisdiction.


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...

Ignoring Youtube for a minute and getting back to the Google's Books case... 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.

In a sense they just decided that the "good" the services provides to the public at large outweighs the "bad" of violating the rights of the copyright holder.

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

Fair enough, you don't have to look at things that way. But you are arguing from the point of view (Im assuming) of someone who holds copyright in Europe...

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?

Fact is I don't think the law is on your side, even in Europe... You may say it is, and since I no almost nothing about European law I can't really argue... However, I suspect if what Google does with Youtube were really violating European laws someone would have sued them already and won.

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...

Reply Parent Score: 2