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Google Books Case Dismissed On Fair Use Grounds

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the read-away dept.

Books 124

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In a case of major importance, the long simmering battle between the Authors Guild and Google has reached its climax, with the court granting Google's motion for summary judgment, dismissing the case, on fair use grounds. In his 30-page decision (PDF), Judge Denny Chin — who has been a District Court Judge throughout most of the life of the case but is now a Circuit Court Judge — reasoned that, although Google's own motive for its "Library Project" (which scans books from libraries without the copyright owners' permission and makes the material publicly available for search), is commercial profit, the project itself serves significant educational purposes, and actually enhances, rather than detracts from, the value of the works, since it helps promote sales of the works. Judge Chin also felt that it was impossible to use Google's scanned material, either for making full copies, or for reading the books, so that it did not compete with the books themselves."

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Lost opportunity (1, Insightful)

mynamestolen (2566945) | about 10 months ago | (#45426020)

for us all. Better deal would say, by all means copy, BUT you must make it fully available. I'm going through awful problems right now trying to get a copy of a 1776 book which was microfilmed ages ago, then digitised more recently. I don't mind people who did both processes getting a fair return but we need to decide what a fair return is. Super profits for people like the infamous convicted modern Enlgish airport fiction writer just don't cut it.

Re:Lost opportunity (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 10 months ago | (#45426162)

Fair return is whatever they can get based on demand and desire.

Re:Lost opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430697)

When the book in question was written in year 1776 the situation isn't quite that simple. If I buy their scanned copy, and then OCR it can I then sell it or make it available for free? The copyright isn't there anymore, I'm only dealing with the data in the book, I believe I could legally print and sell it, right?

Re:Lost opportunity (5, Informative)

ffflala (793437) | about 10 months ago | (#45426336)

One of the four factors used in the copyright statute to determine whether or not a use is fair use is: "The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole"

The idea here is to protect stuff like a critic quoting a bits of a book/movie in their discussion of a piece without violating the copyright of that book/movie. If it weren't for the 'snippet' view that prevents easy access to 100% of each scanned book, that factor would have weighed against google here, not for them. While one can only speculate whether that would have been enough to change the outcome, it is a certainty --the judge explicitly describes how, if you're interested-- that google's presentation of less than 100% of the scanned works helped secure this decision.

The reason for copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426914)

is to enrich the public domain by putting more stuff in it.

If it's not available, then it's not going into the public domain, is it. Hence it shouldn't have copyrights.

Re:Lost opportunity (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 10 months ago | (#45426438)

I'm going through awful problems right now trying to get a copy of a 1776 book which was microfilmed ages ago

Just out of curiosity, what book are we talking about here?

Re:Lost opportunity (2)

maroberts (15852) | about 10 months ago | (#45426468)

I'm going through awful problems right now trying to get a copy of a 1776 book which was microfilmed ages ago

Just out of curiosity, what book are we talking about here?

The Joy of Revolutionary Sex.

Re:Lost opportunity (0)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about 10 months ago | (#45426496)

The Joy of Revolutionary Sex.

uhhh, you have to remember that in 1776, sex was not supposed to be joyful.

Re:Lost opportunity (4, Funny)

RenderSeven (938535) | about 10 months ago | (#45426742)

"50 Shades of Red White and Blue"? Or was it that Loyalist best-seller "Deep Throne"?

Easy solution to "fair return" 9.8% like it or not (5, Interesting)

raymorris (2726007) | about 10 months ago | (#45426646)

> I don't mind people who did both processes getting a fair return but we need to decide what a fair return is.

It's 9.8%. Over the long term, they'll average 9.8% per year and there's nothing we can do to change that.

Suppose for a moment that there was a very high return. Let's say 50%.

Microsoft and their Bing divison, along with Amazon and others would be watching that and thinking:
      We have $50 million dollars to spend on our next project.
      We can either spend that on developing a game console, with an expected return of 2%, or
      on digitizing books, with a return of 50%.
      Fire up the digitizer!

People generally invest in the type of projects that are getting the best returns. So due to the 50% return, you'd have Google, Microsoft, and Amazon all offering different versions of the service. Maybe Microsoft would have no ads, but it would only work in IE11 on Windows 8.1.
Amazon's would be similar to Google, but with fewer, more obtrusive ads for full books that float over the digital pages.

With two competitors, Google's return would decrease. Specifically, new entrants keep coming in with different (better, cheaper, etc.) versions as long as the return is higher than other projects. It turns out that "other projects" return 9.8%, on average. So anything with a risk-adjusted return higher than 9.8% draws competitors.

If money goes IN to lines of business where it'll make more than 9.8%, where does it come FROM? From shutting down (or foregoing) operations that make less, of course. Any business with a risk-adjusted return less than 9.8% has some providers leave the market for greener pastures.

With the competitors close, their market share goes to the remaining competitors, so the remaining people get increased returns. Specifically, competitors keep leaving and the return keeps increasing until the return is as good as other options - about 9.8%.

So that's what you end up with - in the long term, any industry in the US has a risk-adjusted return of about 9.8%. Some, like oil or farming, are subject to high volatility - good years and bad years. Exxon for example is affected by oil prices, so it goes up and down. Exxon averaged 11.62% over the last 10 years, 7.86% over the last 15 years - everything swings up and down around that 9.8% mark.

Re:Easy solution to "fair return" 9.8% like it or (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about 10 months ago | (#45429565)

If money goes IN to lines of business where it'll make more than 9.8%, where does it come FROM? From shutting down (or foregoing) operations that make less, of course.

That would only be true if these companies had no liquid assets, no "war chest," and all of their money was working at 100% all the time.

None of that is true. The existing businesses most in a position to compete in a new area in fact tend to be large and have difficulty keeping their money working; when they see an opening, they can throw a bunch of money at it that was otherwise not working effectively.

And startups the drain is more in people that available money, because there is usually lots and lots more money available for statups than actually gets used, because teams that inspire confidence are the bottleneck, not the funding.

cash thrown away isn't available for new ventur (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 10 months ago | (#45429869)

Obviously people can only invest by having assets invest. You don't build up a "war chest" by throwing away your money on a losing proposition. As you said:

  "when they see an opening, they can throw a bunch of money at it that was otherwise not working effectively."

In other words, stop doing things that aren't effective at generating a decent return. We saw this today on Slashdot. Auto maintenance wasn't generating a return near 9.8%, so Sears is closing it's auto centers and putting those resources towards datacenters, which do generate a healthy return.

You say "would only be true". Pick ANY industry and look at the average return US companies in that industry made over any 20 year period. You'll see it IS true. Pick various lines of business at various times. You'll see they all have an average return close to 9.8%. It simply IS true. The return is somewhat risk-adjusted; people will tolerate a slightly lower return if it's consistent, and require a higher return if it has wild swings. It's always close to 9.8% over any extended period of time, though.

 

Good. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426026)

Even if you think that Google is Damien's evil brother, this is the right damn decision.

Re:Good. (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 10 months ago | (#45426404)

Unless it was Oracle.

Re:Good. (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45426928)

Even if you think that Google is Damien's evil brother, this is the right damn decision.

Agreed, and reading from the full text of the decision, its hard to see what the Authors Guild is all about.

You can't get the full text of a copyrighted work from google, no matter how hard you try. You get
snippets, not complete pages, and not snippets from all the pages.

Further, most of the Author's guild whining was all about the fact that Google is a for profit company.

Yet the decision clearly considers this:

Here, Google does not sell the scans it has
made of books for Google Books; it does not sell the snippets
that it displays; and it does not run ads on the About the Book
pages that contain snippets. It does not engage in the direct
commercialization of copyrighted works.

Google does, of course, benefit commercially in the sense that
users are drawn to the Google websites by the ability to search
Google Books. While this is a consideration to be acknowledged
in weighing all the factors, even assuming Google's principal
motivation is profit, the fact is that Google Books serves
several important educational purposes.

Re:Good. (4, Insightful)

Aighearach (97333) | about 10 months ago | (#45429595)

What they're "about" is, google has lots of Beeeeeellions of dollars laying around, and since they already did this, might as well make a grab at some of their cash. Regardless of if google's actions even harm them.

In the end, their greed cost them a bunch of legal expenses, whereas the moral high ground would have permitted them instead to focus on the free promotional value.

And if it was not Google? (0)

s.petry (762400) | about 10 months ago | (#45426074)

I believe the obvious outcome would have been the complete opposite. Play the game, get a few rewards.

Re:And if it was not Google? (1)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45426962)

Find any other company doing the same thing, and the result would be the same.
Its not WHO does it that determines fair use. It is WHAT is actually done.

Your response is the typical jealousy based response. Not rich enough
and not smart enough to pull this off even on a small scale, therefore Google
must have be evil.

Re:And if it was not Google? (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 10 months ago | (#45427206)

I'm sorry, but did you miss what happened with a guy named Aaron Schwartz? Maybe you missed that story, but in essence he was doing the same thing. Did you also miss all of the Amazon successful lawsuits against B&N?

So it's not petty jealousy, it's real world examples.

Re:And if it was not Google? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45427348)

Google was guilty of breaking into facilities they don't own, hacking a computer network, and releasing every page of every book ever printed???

That would be the situation to make it equivalent to Mr. Schwartz. I agree that the witch hunt against him was uncalled for, but don't equate his actions to Google releasing snippets of books.

==
Posting as AC to avoid the nerd rage machine.

Re:And if it was not Google? (2)

Mathinker (909784) | about 10 months ago | (#45428471)

Google was guilty of breaking into facilities they don't own, hacking a computer network, and releasing every page of every book ever printed???

Last time I checked, the facts were that: (1) Swartz had free and open access to both the building and the closet in which he placed his computer, (2) any hacking he did amounted to (possibly) changing his MAC address and violating terms of service, and (3) none of the material he downloaded was released by him to the public. Have any reliable sources to contradict this?

Last time you checked ... you were an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45429981)

Because 100% of what you said is untrue.

Re:And if it was not Google? (2)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45427382)

I'm sorry, but did you miss what happened with a guy named Aaron Schwartz?

Schwartz was not working from legal copies obtained by legal means.
Nor was he providing snippets, but rather whole texts.
He wasn't even arrested for copyright infringement.

Re:And if it was not Google? (2)

s.petry (762400) | about 10 months ago | (#45428749)

Schwartz was not working from legal copies obtained by legal means.

You are ignoring facts to make such a statement, primarily that he was not found guilty of anything. He was allowed access to a buildings, allowed access to a network, and was allowed access to the documentation he was downloading. The people requesting prosecution were not the authors, but a DRM company making a profit off the materials. Most of the documentation Aaron was downloading was public domain with no Copyrights, being hoarded by the same DRM company. Even after he was asked not to copy, there was no enforcement and no protections added. It's really too bad he committed suicide, it would have been nearly impossible to convict him which is why the prosecution was trying to threaten him into a plea..

The next two statements are factual, but does not change the case nor my statements. Google does not provide only snippets either, at least in things I have tested (which admittedly was a couple years back). I may have to change a URL or perform a few searches, but they are scanning all of the data and not just a snippet.

I agree that the cases are not identical. That said, it's preferential treatment that _nobody_ else has received and there is no expectation that anyone would receive such treatment.

Didn't we just have a case here yesterday where Lyric sites providing only lyrics were going to be shut down because of copyrights and making ad revenue from those sites? The reason to mention that is because even if Google was only using snippets, another precedent being set claims you can not make revenue off of even a portion of copyrighted material.

Re:And if it was not Google? (4, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45428843)

Just go read the Judges ruling.
You clearly don't have a clue about how the Google books search works. You are talking nonsense.

Nobody said google was only USING snippets. Google will only GIVE YOU snippets.
Just like the librarian that won't let you copy a whole book but will let you copy a coupe pages.

Google doesn't SELL these snippets. There is no advertising on the pages that contain Snippets.
There are unpaid links to stores that sell the book you are looking at. And some libraries that are
known to have a copy.

READ WHAT THE JUDGE SAID FOR CHRISTS SAKE.
Its a court ruling. Anyone who wants to copy google's model, in whole or in part can point to that ruling in court.
Unless or until it is overturned, it is the law of the land.
Please, I beg you, go read the ruling. You are making an idiot of yourself on the internet.

Re:And if it was not Google? (0)

s.petry (762400) | about 10 months ago | (#45430105)

I did read the ruling, which should be obvious if you had actually attempted to read and comprehend my post. The judge claimed that Google's snippets lead to people purchasing books. The same could be said for Lyric sites, that as of yesterday were receiving DCMA take down notices for copyright infringement.

I also never stated Google sold the snippets. Stop inventing false statements! Go back and read what I wrote, and if it was not clear ask questions instead of inventing nonsense. I did state that Google makes ad revenue on the pages that serve the snippets. The same thing that in the case of Lyric sites is claimed to be "making money from other people's copyrights". If you don't see the similarity you are willfully blind!

Look, I get that you refuse to read and comprehend what I stated. It also seems like you are ignorant to the Lyrics sites that were just hit yesterday, so consider that you should be doing the reading, instead of accusing other people of what you are guilty of.

Are you going to invent something else I didn't claim as an argument? Spam more caps because it's the only way you can feel like you said something important? Those are called rhetorical questions, don't answer those.

Re:And if it was not Google? (1)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45430165)

I did state that Google makes ad revenue on the pages that serve the snippets.

Again, go back and read what the judge wrote. Your first reading was a failure.
There is no advertising on the snippet pages.

Further, the lyrics group published the FULL lyrics, not snippets, so NO not the same thing at all.

Re:And if it was not Google? (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 10 months ago | (#45430205)

Read my 2nd post, the whole page IS ads! There is no entry there that is NOT advertising. Or you trying to claim that a link to Amazon, B&N, Wallmart, etc.. from Google will generate Google no revenue?

Lyrics is not the song, the song is the music and the lyrics. Both sites are giving parts not the whole, both could be of the same value to the copyright holders. Hard to take your bias glasses off, I get it.

Re:And if it was not Google? (2)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45430257)

Lyrics are a separately copyrighted work.
The copyright holder is in most cases not the person who even wrote, sang, or recorded the song.

Again you don't even understand what we are talking about here.

Click this link to show a typical google books text search so you can at least be vaguely acquainted with the topic under discussion http://tinyurl.com/p4xq4w9 [tinyurl.com]

Re:And if it was not Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45431327)

Give it up and don't bother wasting your time. You're dealing with a fully certified idiot.

Re:And if it was not Google? (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 10 months ago | (#45430141)

One more thing. The whole fucking Google Snippet page is giant advertisements! Glad to know you are either a shill or an idiot. I refuse to fix the formatting on the quotes, for a liar.

Painting Books - Acrylic Art Instruction , Beginner Level Snippets ... $24.99 from NorthLightShop.com

The President's Devotional: The Daily Readings That Inspired ... by Joshua DuBois HarperCollins 2013.10.22 hardback 432 pages In the heat of Barack Obama's first presidential campaign, staff member Joshua DuBois recognized the wear and tear on his boss and asked the senator if he could e-mail a ...more 66 seller reviews $17.01 Barnes & Noble $14.00 Alibris $23.12 Bookdepository.com Compare prices from 10+ stores

Snippets of a Days Steeplechase and Hurdling - with a Short Guide ... $26.45 from Barnes & Noble 12,748 seller reviews

Re:And if it was not Google? (1)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45430231)

Oh, my gawd, you don't even have a clue about what is being discussed!!!
Not the first clue!!!

We are not talking about a list of books for sale, with publicly released dust jacket descriptions.
we are talking about the FULL TEXT search capability of entire books.

Key this into google, Quotes and all: "to moscow with an atlas"
Click the first hit, or any hit that points to Books.google.com.

You will see the text of the book, Not all of the book. Just snippets.
Not a price in site. There are links to libraries and book sellers.

No wonder you are so confused. You don't even know what this issue is about.

And belief is fact? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45427208)

The only thing that makes this result based on it being Google is that only Google would have so much money at stake and enough money to fight the ogiarchy who don't want change because they're at the top and the only place they can go is down. Hence change==bad.

Spent a lot of money to help us (4, Insightful)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 10 months ago | (#45426102)

Google spent a lot of money to help us find books. I really don't mind seeing ads down the side while I search. They are not preventing anyone else from spending lots of money to do the same thing.

Re:Spent a lot of money to help us (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45427132)

But that's just it, they don't show ads down the sides when showing you snippets.

Go search for a quote from any book, and look at the snippets.
You will see links to places you can buy the book, as well as libraries that have it.

That's really all.

Re:Spent a lot of money to help us (2)

bledri (1283728) | about 10 months ago | (#45429417)

But that's just it, they don't show ads down the sides when showing you snippets.

Go search for a quote from any book, and look at the snippets. You will see links to places you can buy the book, as well as libraries that have it.

I'd say the link to buy the book is essentially an ad, no? I assume that Google gets some sort of click through payment or compensation when a purchase is made. And I'm totally cool with it, it's a valuable service and it's awesome that they proved the links to libraries, etc.

Re:Spent a lot of money to help us (1)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45430083)

Google is often, but not always, one of the places you can buy the book.

The others include Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Books a million, ebay and places you haven't even heard of.
I don't know if there is an agreement with those places or not, but I'm certain there isn't an agreement when you click the links to find it in a library.

Not EVERY link on a google site is a paid link. They are very clear in designating paid advertisers from simple search links.

Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426106)

So, if this stands does this mean it's lawful for Google to make the full text available of these books, or not?

TFS says no, ltd pages, o competition are key (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 10 months ago | (#45426300)

The SUMMARY tells you no. Two key facts were that a) entire books are not available, you can only read a couple of pages and b) it doesn't compete with full copies, but rather increases sales of full copies by helping consumers find books they are interested in.

Re:TFS says no, ltd pages, o competition are key (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426478)

The SUMMARY tells you no. Two key facts were that a) entire books are not available, you can only read a couple of pages and b) it doesn't compete with full copies, but rather increases sales of full copies by helping consumers find books they are interested in.

It's still better than nothing, i.e. what the media industry wanted us all to have - a big, fat fuck-all!

Re:TFS says no, ltd pages, o competition are key (1)

kylemonger (686302) | about 10 months ago | (#45426702)

A key question is whether Google copied all the pages then displayed some of them, or only copied some of the pages and then displayed all that they copied. If the first, then why can't an individual copy a whole book then claim to have only read some of the pages? (That's what the NSA claims to be doing with our phone records, apropos of almost nothing.)

You can copy it, read it all, just can't sell it (2)

raymorris (2726007) | about 10 months ago | (#45427004)

Generally, you CAN copy a whole book, it isn't necessary to claim you only read a few pages.
You can copy it and read all of it, or copy a whole album on tape and then listen to the whole album.
What you can't do is sell whole copies.

Yes, that's a three sentence summary of 100 pages of law, so of course there are more details than that.

Re:You can copy it, read it all, just can't sell i (1)

adolf (21054) | about 10 months ago | (#45428845)

But can I go to your house, copy your books (with your permission), and then take my copies with me?

Only for most of the books Google did, public or (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 10 months ago | (#45429059)

For most of the books Google did, yes. They are either public domain or Google has the publisher's permission. For the others, unless there are facts I'm not aware of, I don't suppose that would be legal. However, I haven't read the entirety of the court's opinion. It's quite likely there was a reason the court ruled as it did - some matter of fact or law not mentioned in the page or two we read from the 30 page opinion.

Re:You can copy it, read it all, just can't sell i (2)

Aighearach (97333) | about 10 months ago | (#45429649)

But can I go to your house, copy your books (with your permission), and then take my copies with me?

Yes.

But I could get in trouble if I invite you over specifically for that purpose, or if I charge you a fee, or if I advertise to my friends that they can come and copy my books. This is exactly the same as copying of cassette tapes, and making cassette tapes of radio broadcasts.

You ARE allowed to share with your friends in a very limited way. But it has to be like, your friend is already visiting, and asks to make a copy, and makes the copy themselves.

Re:You can copy it, read it all, just can't sell i (2)

adolf (21054) | about 10 months ago | (#45430465)

Of course we have the right (in the US) to record broadcasts for the purposes of timeshifting, but not necessarily to give a copy to a friend. [citation [wikipedia.org] ]

You ARE allowed to share with your friends in a very limited way. But it has to be like, your friend is already visiting, and asks to make a copy, and makes the copy themselves.

[citation needed]

Re:Translation (1)

foobar bazbot (3352433) | about 10 months ago | (#45426322)

So, if this stands does this mean it's lawful for Google to make the full text available of these books, or not?

From TFS:

Judge Chin also felt that it was impossible to use Google's scanned material, either for making full copies, or for reading the books, so that it did not compete with the books themselves.

If Google were to make the full text available, this ruling obviously wouldn't apply.

Re:Translation (2)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | about 10 months ago | (#45426454)

So, if this stands does this mean it's lawful for Google to make the full text available of these books, or not?

Fair use cases are very fact specific. If you start monkeying with the facts, Judge Chin might not feel the same way about it.

Why can't I? (4, Interesting)

WilyCoder (736280) | about 10 months ago | (#45426186)

If google can legally copy books (even when profit is involved) then why can't I do the same?

Wouldn't I get hammered with copyright infringement problems if I scanned in books I did not author myself?

Re:Why can't I? (1)

suutar (1860506) | about 10 months ago | (#45426226)

Sure, and you can use this case as precedent in your defense. Make sure your method of presenting the scanned books is at least as hard to read or you'll lose the "not competitive with the original book" clause.

Announcing "Mario's Books" (1)

mariox19 (632969) | about 10 months ago | (#45428871)

I'm setting up a free service. Anyone can contact me with a question about some topic. I'll search all the books in my fairly large and diverse personal library, and if I find something cool on the topic, I'll get back to you with full bibliographic information and read to you a short excerpt from the book. Oh, and, of course, I'll also read to you a very short, but interesting and personalized, advertisement. I apologize that I won't be able to handle the same volume as Google, nor can I promise the same extensive results to your query. What I can promise is a personal touch. Google can't give you that.

What's in it for me? Whatever money I make from advertisements, and enhancement to my personal brand. (I mean, the chicks are going to dig this!) But, as previously noted, the service is completely free to the end user. So, support the honest efforts of an enterprising individual. Lines are open!

Re:Why can't I? (1, Troll)

Logger (9214) | about 10 months ago | (#45426248)

If you had as much money as Google, you could too.

Re:Why can't I? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426286)

You can, provided the purpose of scanning them isn't to print copies for resale. You have just as much of a Fair Use right as Google does, and you're probably not going to catch the attention of the Authors' Guild.

Re:Why can't I? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426326)

Can you bribe the law makers like Google can? I didn't think so. All or equal before the law, except the law it self is different for different enities seems to be taking firm hold.

Re:Why can't I? (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | about 10 months ago | (#45426442)

If google can legally copy books (even when profit is involved) then why can't I do the same?

Wouldn't I get hammered with copyright infringement problems if I scanned in books I did not author myself?

I don't know but please hire me as your lawyer when you do.

Re:Why can't I? (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 10 months ago | (#45427424)

I would like to retain your services in this matter. Please list your bank account information so that I may transfer a retainer payment to you. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Prince Bernard Koffi Austine
Nigeria

Re:Why can't I? (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | about 10 months ago | (#45427770)

I would like to retain your services in this matter. Please list your bank account information so that I may transfer a retainer payment to you. Thank you. Sincerely, Prince Bernard Koffi Austine Nigeria

Dear Prince Bernard, If you're talking about my bank account, you're barking up the wrong tree :)

NYCL takes major credit cards and Dwolla (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45428873)

Once you and NYCL have agreed on fees, you can transfer funds through these payment options [beckermanlegal.com] .

Re:Why can't I? (5, Informative)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 10 months ago | (#45426476)

Traditionally you could. If you owned a book or a tape or a record, you traditionally could make copies of it for your own personal use without needing permission. Collecting your favorite songs onto a single tape, or copying your records onto tape to listen to them in the car, or making copies so the originals wouldn't get worn, were all considered perfectly OK things to do as long as if you sold the original those copies either went to the buyer or got destroyed. It's only been very recently that copyright holders have been trying to claim that you can't do any of that.

Re:Why can't I? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426878)

Irrelevant. Google don't own any of the books they copied. So this precedent means that my book and video collection I downloaded over the years is safe. I don't profit from it, I don't sell the videos, I just want to watch/read it myself.

Re:Why can't I? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426920)

this precedent means that my book and video collection I downloaded over the years is safe.

It always was safe. You don't get sued for downloading, just for distributing--which is the risk with P2P.

100% wrong there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45427016)

Google bought every single copy they scanned.

They own those books.

Re:100% wrong there. (1)

deviated_prevert (1146403) | about 10 months ago | (#45427961)

Google bought every single copy they scanned.

They own those books.

Here here! There will always be Anonymous twitwad morons who will jump to conclusions especially when it comes to bashing Google regardless of the facts. If Google are seen to be fighting for fair use then they must be doing something nefarious. I have even seen claims here that Google must have bought out the judge! NOTICE that the fuckwads posting the fud are all anon cowards. NOW when Slashdot posts an article about what the Rockstar consortium is up to the same fuckwads come out of the wood works with their UID full on defending the patent troll attacks on Google.

The very same crowd of morons hammer away at Engadget and other sites like CNET. I have been watching their posts and some are obviously doing it on a full time basis. There are only 4 or 5 of them but they are easy to identify to say the least because they are stupid enough to cut and paste the same comments between the sites!

Re:100% wrong there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45431087)

Off-topic comment:

Here here!

Where?

It's "hear", not "here", assuming your intention is to draw attention to what someone said rather than to a specific location.

For example:

Someone: "[something very insightful]"
You: "Hear, hear!"

Someone: "Where is the treasure?"
You: "Here, here!"

You're welcome.

(No, I am not a native English speaker. There may be further mistakes of my own making in the above.)

Re:Why can't I? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 10 months ago | (#45426580)

If google can legally copy books (even when profit is involved) then why can't I do the same

I don't know, can't you? I know that I can.

You too can distribute excerpts of books (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 10 months ago | (#45426584)

You can legally do the same. Just the summary alone mentions two key considerations:

Google allowed readers to see just a couple of pages, excerpts.
That did not compete with sales of the full book, but rather increased the author's sales of the books by helping people find books they might like to buy.

The opinion has another 20 pages looking at the various factors involved.

Google is copying in a very narrow way (2)

walterbyrd (182728) | about 10 months ago | (#45426600)

Google is not just copying anything, and everything, they want.

If it was any other company, it would have probably never even gone to court.

Re:Google is copying in a very narrow way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45427376)

Google copies the entire book into their system, which is copyright infringement if you or I or anybody else does it, and then they are using that to show a snippet to search users. The snippet should be fair use... but Google shouldn't have them in the first place.

Re:Google is copying in a very narrow way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45428057)

The snippet should be fair use... but Google shouldn't have them in the first place.

The law says that's a question for the courts. Which is what this story is about.

Re:Google is copying in a very narrow way (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about 10 months ago | (#45429803)

You probably make the mistake of believing the copyright notices that the movie companies put on movies, which are almost never even true (as stated). Distribution is mostly where you actually get into trouble. Making a copy is only a problem if you are doing something that isn't a "fair" use.

In this case google's use was fair because they put technical barriers in place to ensure that they only distributed snippets, and didn't show their ads on or otherwise make money off of those snippets.

Re:Why can't I? (1)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45427224)

If google can legally copy books (even when profit is involved) then why can't I do the same?

Wouldn't I get hammered with copyright infringement problems if I scanned in books I did not author myself?

The Judgement clearly states:

Here, Google does not sell the scans it has
made of books for Google Books; it does not sell the snippets
that it displays; and it does not run ads on the About the Book
pages that contain snippets
. It does not engage in the direct
commercialization of copyrighted works.

Google does, of course, benefit commercially in the sense that
users are drawn to the Google websites by the ability to search
Google Books. While this is a consideration to be acknowledged
in weighing all the factors, even assuming Google's principal
motivation is profit, the fact is that Google Books serves
several important educational purposes.

That Google is a FOR Profit company doesn't enter into it at all. So is Barnes and Noble.
The pages the contain the snippets contain links to many different sites from which you
can buy the book (including Google Books in some cases) as well as where you
can find it in a library.

Why don't you
1) try out google book search and see what they do
2) read the judgement and see what it says.

If you do the same as google did, you can point to this judgement in your defense.
Google has opened the door for you. Just make sure you provide the authors
the right to refuse, and make sure you don't provide the FULL text of the book.

Re:Why can't I? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45427328)

You = plebe

Google = money! bitch

Re:Why can't I? (2)

Aighearach (97333) | about 10 months ago | (#45429669)

Copying in and of itself is not actually a problem. It is the distribution that usually causes legal conflicts. The act of copying is part of the physical process of distribution, and the number of copies figures into the analysis of harm once a copyright violation is proven.

Re:Why can't I? (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about 10 months ago | (#45429691)

If google can legally copy books (even when profit is involved) then why can't I do the same?

Because you don't have access to an android capable of turning and scanning the pages fast enough.

Re:Why can't I? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45430835)

In the Netherlands, you can make a copy of a book (or a cd or dvd) for personal use. I don't even have to own the book to be allowed to make a copy.
I interpret the google case as follows: you're allowed to make a copy as long as it doesn't hurt sales. I guess this means you have to buy the book first.

Re:Why can't I? (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 10 months ago | (#45431239)

Because favourable law only counts for big companies nowadays. You know, there was a time that "fair use" was meant for individuals instead of companies.

Wait, what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426198)

Somebody help me here. This sounds like somebody claiming to be a member of the United States judicial branch has made a reasonable and correct decision. Please tell me the other branches are still doing whatever they can to correct this aberration...

Re:Wait, what? (2)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 10 months ago | (#45427484)

President Obama is drafting a response to be teleprompted tomorrow.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 10 months ago | (#45430483)

I love how the republicans latch onto "teleprompted" speeches. Their alternative was a bunch of Bushisms and Quayleisms. They could use more teleprompting.

Missing tag (2)

excelsior_gr (969383) | about 10 months ago | (#45426210)

Suddenoutbreakofcommonsense

Re:Missing tag (4, Funny)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | about 10 months ago | (#45426416)

Suddenoutbreakofcommonsense

Thatswhatappealscourtsarefor

love J. Chin's fair use analysis (4, Informative)

ffflala (793437) | about 10 months ago | (#45426276)

In the US, "Fair Use" refers to a defense against a copyright violation. Section 107 of the US Copyright statute lists 4 different factors that can be used to determine whether or not a specific use is fair. Judge Chin discusses each factor in detail, then concludes with an excellent summary of why he believes that this project is a fair use:

In my view, Google Books provides significant public benefits. It advances the progress of the arts and sciences, while maintaining respectful consideration for the rights of authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely impacting the rights of copyright holders. It has become an invaluable research tool that permits students, teachers, librarians, and others to more efficiently identify and locate books. It has given scholars the ability, for the first time, to conduct full-text searches of tens of millions of books. It preserves books, in particular out-of-print and old books that have been forgotten in the bowels of libraries, and it gives them new life. It facilitates access to books for print disabled and remote or underserved populations. It generates new audiences and creates new sources of income for authors and publishers. Indeed, all society benefits.

Depending on how Chin's decision stands up on the inevitable appeal, this paragraph has probably given us some very useful & explicit design considerations to incorporate in projects likely to face similar claims of copyright violation.

Re:love J. Chin's fair use analysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426770)

He gets it because he is Asian.

Re:love J. Chin's fair use analysis (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45427280)

The benefits Google Books and full text search provides are only ONE Part of the judgement, and not even the most important part.

The key finding was that Google does not provide the full text of the books, can't be tricked into giving the full text of the book,
and actually contains links to where the book can be legally purchased (or borrowed from a library).

Even those books that are out of print will not be shown in full text if it is still under copyright.

Re:love J. Chin's fair use analysis (2)

ffflala (793437) | about 10 months ago | (#45427612)

Every 4 prong fair use analysis I've seen follows the model Chin does here: outline of applicable law, explicit mention of the four prongs ((1) purpose and character of the use, (2) nature of the copyrighted work, (3) portion used in relation to work as a whole, and (4) effect of the use on market value of copyrighted work), a detailed analysis of each prong, and then an overall assessment, kind of a bird's eye overview of the entire situation.

Chin's paragraph about the benefits is the overall assessment part. That is, it is all four prongs put together, plus any other factors that might apply in this context. OTOH Google's not providing the full text & can't be tricked into doing so are part of the third prong analysis, and the links to legal purchases of the book are part of the fourth prong.

Re:love J. Chin's fair use analysis (1)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45427760)

The overall assessment that you quoted merely addresses the benefit to society aspect, it essentiall covers only one prong of your four prong argument, and addresses a second prong only in passing.

None of that would be sufficient, if google was replicating the books (distributing copies). Copyright is named specifically for what it does, preserves the right of copying works for the author. Key to not violating the copyright is ONLY providing snippets.
Fair use is quite restrictive as to amount (percentage) copied. Its requirement that there be some public benefit is less clear.

So while the summary is laudatory, fawning, even, it is not central to the decision.

Re:love J. Chin's fair use analysis (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | about 10 months ago | (#45427800)

while the summary is laudatory, fawning, even, it is not central to the decision

Funny, I had the same reaction when I read it. He seemed like a salesman for Google or something.

Re:love J. Chin's fair use analysis (1)

ffflala (793437) | about 10 months ago | (#45427923)

Afraid I'm going to have to value the words of my law professors over yours on this particular point. It is not a four prong "argument", that is considerably understating things. Four factor analysis is THE LAW here, it's not an argument. The four factors/prongs in fair use analysis are explicitly stated in the statute. They can be found at 17 USC section 107. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/107 [cornell.edu] . "Benefit to society" is not one of the four factors. Chin's discussion of the benefit to society is not in the context of one of the four factors. Rather it is in the "Overall Analysis" section immediately following his detailed four factor analysis..

This is all in the actual decision. It might help you to (re?)read the decision, and pay close attention to the subheadings. http://beckermanlegal.com/Lawyer_Copyright_Internet_Law/authorsguild_google_131114Decision.pdf [beckermanlegal.com]

Chin's discussion of fair use (beginning on page 16) could serve as an excellent introduction to what fair use really is, and how it is applied in US copyright law.

Re:love J. Chin's fair use analysis (1)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45428129)

Sorry, forgot to mention that I DID read the entire thing.

My comments refer only to your assessments of the the summary, which you (in your first post) suggested is the most important part, saying:

this paragraph has probably given us some very useful & explicit design considerations to incorporate in projects

.
This is the part I disagree with, not the summary itself, but rather your assessment of the value of this closing paragraph.

More detailed design guidelines were given elsewhere in the ruling, and those parts will be far more instructive and useful than the summary.

This summary paragraph serves no real purpose except perhaps as "appeal bait", being perhaps a little too effusive and one sided.
 

Re:love J. Chin's fair use analysis (1)

ffflala (793437) | about 10 months ago | (#45428371)

Well there is little use debating what is a matter of speculation of some possible future use. Sounds like we disagree on our perception of relative importance of parts of the decision. What detailed design guidelines do you think will be more instructive?

Here's why I think the summary will be more applicable for future projects. The technical specifics of google books that Chin addresses seem like they'd be limited, basically, to copycats of google books. OTOH, the summary section could be directly applied to systems designed to enhance public access to various types of media, not just text.

It almost reads like the mission statement of a nonprofit organization, and *hat* is the scope and level of project design I'm talking about here. I was not talking about operational specifics, such as obscuring a certain percentage of a given book. If you're talking about such operational specifics of a hypothetical system, then yes I'd agree with you that Chin's summary is too vague to be of much direct use.

Can't read the whole book?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426566)

Is this really true? I know the book search is limited yet if you target other sections with your search the limit would slide and if you were clever/persistent enough you would be able to access the full text wouldn't you? Otherwise what is the point of only indexing a small part of each book?

Re:Can't read the whole book?? (2)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 10 months ago | (#45426906)

Google limits the amount of pages you can view on media with active copyrights. It is tied to your IP which remains blacklisted for some time (months?). It would be possible to get a full copy if you could get around the blacklisting but that's more trouble than just getting a copy of the book in the first place.

Re:Can't read the whole book?? (1)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45427326)

yet if you target other sections with your search the limit would slide and if you were clever/persistent enough you would be able to access the full text

Try it some time. It won't work.

From the judgement:

Google takes security measures to prevent users from
viewing a complete copy of a snippet-view book. For example, a
user cannot cause the system to return different sets of snippets
for the same search query; the position of each snippet is fixed
within the page and does not "slide" around the search term; only
the first responsive snippet available on any given page will be
returned in response to a query; one of the snippets on each page
is "black-listed," meaning it will not be shown; and at least one
out of ten entire pages in each book is black-listed.

An "attacker" who tries
to obtain an entire book by using a physical copy of the book to
string together words appearing in successive passages would be
able to obtain at best a patchwork of snippets that would be
missing at least one snippet from every page and 10% of all
pages.

Fuck Google (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45426708)

A for profit corporation shits on the little guy again.

queue fanboys telling me how great the NSA, er google is.

I am a publisher (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45427028)

I am a publisher and want Google to offer a service that if my books, or similar books are searched for, one of the ad links is my stuff, for free. That is a reasonable compromise because it would serve the needs of the viewer. Heck, have a marketplace or a deal with one like Amazon.

JJ

So you want free advertising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45427456)

Tell you what, like with any other avenue to advertise, you pay google to put your ad for free on their systems.

Do you demand that the newspapers put your ad in there for free too? No? Why?

Sure it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45427360)

...since it helps promote sales of the works.

Evidence? ...impossible to use Google's scanned material, either for making full copies, or for reading the books, so that it did not compete with the books themselves.

Totally wrong.

Wrong judgement... thank goodness (0)

The Raven (30575) | about 10 months ago | (#45428181)

Google is very clearly in the wrong, legally, with their usage. Technically, they are violating copyright flagrantly, and profiting from it. And I am so glad the judge decided the way he did, because despite very clearly being illegal under current law, the end result is very much in the public interest, as well as being good for publishers despite their throwing a tantrum about it.

Re:Wrong judgement... thank goodness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45429237)

Google is very clearly in the wrong, legally, with their usage. Technically, they are violating copyright flagrantly, and profiting from it. And I am so glad the judge decided the way he did, because despite very clearly being illegal under current law, the end result is very much in the public interest, as well as being good for publishers despite their throwing a tantrum about it.

At the risk of feeding a troll: If you want to argue that something is illegal, in spite of the fact that a judge has ruled that it is, you need to at least give some sort of reasoning. The judge in question did, and I find his argument a lot more convincing than your vapid, childish retort.

I'm Disappointed. (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 10 months ago | (#45429031)

I am glad the court found in Google's favor.

However.... I liked the settlement idea better.

It would have enabled Google to allow me to read entire books online without DRM, directly from a Google search, with a small payment....

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