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[8]: Here are some facts...
by olafg on Sat 16th Nov 2013 00:24 UTC 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

RE[10]: Here are some facts...
by olafg on Sat 16th Nov 2013 11:28 in reply to "RE[9]: Here are some facts..."
olafg Member since:
2010-05-27

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.

Reply Parent Score: 2