AAP President Slams Google over Copyright Issues

31 comments

As most reading this will know, the Association of American Publishers are suing Google over the Google Print project. AAP President, former member of house judiciary committee and CNN analyst Bob Barr has slammed Google in the Washington Times today saying that "Google's position essentially amounts to a license to steal, so long as it returns the loot upon a formal request by their victims"

Quote:
And so we find ourselves joining together to fight a $90 billion company bent on unilaterally changing copyright law to their benefit and in turn denying publishers and authors the rights granted to them by the U.S. Constitution.

[...]

The creators and owners of these copyrighted works will not be compensated, nor has Google defined what a "snippet" is: a paragraph? A page? A chapter? A whole book? Meanwhile Google will gain a huge new revenue stream by selling ad space on library search results. Selling ads on its search engine is how Google makes 99 percent of its billions.

Harsh but fair in my opinion. Google do not have the right to change the law in order to profit from it.

Comments

About Bob Barr "After eight

About Bob Barr

"After eight years in Congress as a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee and Clinton Impeachment Manager...."

I am not a big fan

of Bob Bar. But in this case he is right.

The creators and owners of these copyrighted works will not be compensated...

google your walking down the wrong road trying to steal copyrighted work and if you don't stop and turn around your going to be hurt so bad you may never recover... I know that sounds lame since your a 90 billion dollar company, but mark my words.

CNN reporting

CNN has just been reporting on this story 2 secs ago - in their "Minding Your Business" segment. The guy was promoting Google Library "It's kind of like iTunes at the beginning, they don't have everything yet - but they'll get there so libraries won't go out of business in the near future"

i guess i am in the minority

i guess i am in the minority here, but i actually applaud google for challenging the law here. innovation changes culture, and culture shapes law, so this is all a part of the same innovative process IMHO.

i generally regard intellectual property laws as necessary evils, and i've even begun to wonder if they are actually as necessary as they seem.

kidmercury

Sounds to me like you do not own any copyrighted material yourself.

Does this really look so

Does this really look so terrible? The snippets of books under copyright really are just snippets. Nobody is stealing anything here. However, anyone on earth can now find my book, see that I talk about the thing they're looking for, and then buy it somewhere if they're interested. Is that bad for authors? Pages with snippets don't even have ads (disproving Pat Schroeder/Bob Barr's wild theories).

I mean, let's be honest. Right now I can walk into a library, find Pat's latest drivel and read the whole thing for free. I don't hear any complaining about that. I also don't see them complaining about the fact that their article complaining about Google was published on the web for free with ads all around it...

actually, quite the

actually, quite the contrary -- i have dedicated major portions of my life (and continue to do so) to creating what could be called intellectual property. i'm just of the opinion that the internet makes the cost of duplication/replication zero, and this changes practically everything. the RIAA needs to think about new revenue models, and so independent publishers. by the same token, this new technical/economic development creates new revenue opportunities for companies like google.

..

Nobody is stealing anything here.

If the owners of that property did not give their permission for its use, it has been stolen and the second you make a dime off it you have commited a crime IMO.

All your saying is; Look I can do it, so it must be legal...

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i'm just of the opinion that the internet makes the cost of duplication/replication zero, and this changes practically everything.

So, if I scrape your site or rip your music and use it to make money for myself, you don't care or want a piece of the action?

So, if I scrape your site

So, if I scrape your site and use it to make money for myself, you don't care or want a piece of the action?

there are other consequences/actions of something like that that are not directly monetary but need to be considered as they are quite important and valuable:

1. your reputation -- if you stole my stuff and didnt credit me at all (like no byline, no link, nothing...) then i would not be particularly pleased and may retaliate by spreading bad words about the thief

2. if you did include a link or reference, that's great -- free marketing!

in fact, i would WANT you to take my content and make money off it -- just give me a link back and i'll be quite pleased.

this is a common internet marketing tactic, i'm sure we're all familiar with it. it's the whole linkbait idea, essentially. i'm just saying that with the internet, linkbait and other similar ways of thinking need to become the status quo. they're more economically viable and more in accordance with the environment created by this new technology.

>> i actually applaud google

>> i actually applaud google for challenging the law here.

One of the beautiful things about our system of laws is that there are ways - legal ways - to petition the government to change or reform laws that you either don't agree with or think should be changed.

You don't just take the law in your own hands and go off and do what you like and then try to justify it later. Not on the scale Google is trying to do it on. I didn't elect Google to nothing. Google does not represent me. Google is not the entitity that I have chosen to decide what laws are right and what laws are wrong. In fact they are bound by exactly the same laws as I am. I consider it an unmitigated act of arrogance on their part that they think they are above the laws that the rest of us must abide by. I don't like all those copyright laws as they are currently written - but I abide by them nonetheless because I know that I can't always have it my way, and that the world does not revolve around me as Google thinks it does around them.

No wonder Google is hiring boat loads of high priced PR mercenaries to try to justify their behavior.

You made your book available

You made your book available to the public when you published it. You want people to find your book. So Google is now making your book findable by the public so that they know it exists. This is what libraries have been doing since who-knows-when. Since when is free publicity some kind of crime? Generally, authors pay publishers a huge cut of sales for the promotion of their book. Google is doing it for free. And did you even check the link I posted? There are no ads on pages that display snippets of copyrighted works.

..

just give me a link back and i'll be quite pleased.

You are wanting a piece of the action. If I give you a link back that it would not be stealing it would be a business arrangement.

When google scans(steals) a copyrighted book what incentive is there for the copyright holder who may not even own a website?

>>>did you even check the

>>>did you even check the link I posted? There are no ads on pages that display snippets of copyrighted works.

Not yet, but I doubt it will stay that way. How is google going to pay for all that bandwidth and storage in long run after the program goes live to the public?

>>>This is what libraries have been doing since who-knows-when.

?The comparison with what google is doing and libraries is just not valid IMO. How many libraries are for profit corporations and plan to make a profit from the books? Apples and Oranges, my friend. :-)

How about publicity?

Uhhhh...You can plainly see the title of the book and the author's name and information (this would allow a normal human to find the book for sale on Amazon and buy it). Google is basically saying, "Look, this person wrote a book about the subject you're looking for."

>>You don't just take the

>>You don't just take the law in your own hands and go off and do what you like and then try to justify it later.

sure you do! :) they're taking a risk -- if they ignore the law and proceed anyway, they will suffer legal prosecution. so it's about risk/reward. they're challenging the law and doing something that is obviously controversial; they're taking a risk, presumably because they know the reward (adsense and/or AI research).

the other issues publishers need to think about is enforcement costs. the internet has made intellectual property remarkably easy to steal. this gives content providers three options:

1. lock up your content using prohibitive, no-fun DRM type stuff.
2. spend a lot of time and money chasing criminals.
3. start thinking of your intellectual property in a different way -- perhaps as an advertising/marketing/trust-building type thing

which one makes the most sense?

Sigh...

Here's how Google's making money and how it uses the books:

Copyrighted works without permission: Snippets, no ads.
Copyrighted works with permission: A few full pages, ads below.

>>>Copyrighted works without

>>>Copyrighted works without permission: Snippets, no ads.

This still goes back to the main question; Why include copyrighted materials in this index without permission?

Google is still using someone else's property without permission!

lots0, in your last post,

lots0, in your last post, you just quoted rational beaver. did you get his permission? after all, nick said all posts belong to the member who posts, so did you just steal from rational beaver?

OMG, maybe we're all thieves!

..

>>>lots0, in your last post, you just quoted rational beaver. did you get his permission?

again apples and oranges...

Fair Use

That's where Fair Use comes in. They aren't reselling it. They aren't giving it away. In the same way that you can legally let your friend borrow a CD you bought, Google can show you a piece of a book you're looking for. That's a Fair Use and I think the courts will agree.

Another example: A public radio station (who makes money on donations) can play any music they want (without permission) and I can listen to it for free. That's Fair Use. What Google is doing is not quite the same thing, but my point is that Fair Use covers a wide range of activities.

Quoting my posts is also Fair Use...

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you said it all right there....

What Google is doing is not quite the same thing...

And with that I have to go back to work to make more stuff that can be stolen...

As I understood...

Google was scanning in the entire book..not just 'snippets'. This means you can pull up any page of the book...or any chapter or the entire thing. If google pays the publisher copyright money, I don't see a problem with it. As it is now, they aren't paying anyone a dime. That's where the problem comes in.

like a bad neighborhood

Quote:
And with that I have to go back to work to make more stuff that can be stolen...

That sums it up.. just like working poor living in a bad neighborhood - get up early, take public transport to a low-wage job, work long hours, return home late to find your stuff stolen. Go back to work to make money to replace your stuff. Funny in a sad sort of way, but there are industries built upon that system.

Are we watching another one grow? Sounds more like "old-skool economics" than "new economy". Is that the lesson?

is this an apple?

How is any of this different from Google crawling, caching, and listing [your/my/our] copyrighted web content? Does the resulting traffic serve as adequate compensation for the infringement?

If Google somehow figures out a way to send these copyright holders the offline equivalent of traffic (whether money, sales via an Amazon link, or some slice of the pie), will this opposition go away?

If Google somehow figures

If Google somehow figures out a way to send these copyright holders the offline equivalent of traffic (whether money, sales via an Amazon link, or some slice of the pie), will this opposition go away?

who knows, maybe a whole new market will develop for authors who need to buy adwords to go on the pages that google has lifted from their book....we already see companies bidding on search queries for their own names

Not black and white

Quote:
Google can show you a piece of a book you're looking for. That's a Fair Use and I think the courts will agree.

I agree.

Copyright is seldom black and white. If copyright drifts too far into over-regulated territory, then we end up with ridiculous situations like the RIAA going after children and diminished ability to share our own culture. Too lenient and publishers may lose artistic control, and the income that could be derived from their works.

If the benefit to society is greater, then copyright should favour a more lenient fair use. Is there greater benefit to society in having more information more easily accessible to more people? I think there is - it is the greater good. The real question, in this instance, is how to divide up the money and the control so that more people than Google, or any other for-profit company third-party, benefit.

The Meaning of Is

I think it's important for Google to define "snippet" here. I can see why some people are up in arms if it's the full version of books.

Personally, I like the idea of access to complete versions. Books are free to read in the library, but not all libraries are created equally.

It's all about innovation and evolution. If the government doesn't want to allow this to be commercialized, I'd like to see them plug in some scanners and digitize this information themselves.

It sounds like what we do. . .

Take tons of other people's copyrighted materials, remix "snippets" of them, and throw up ads (often google ads) en masse.

We're just missing their great "[we can] Do no evil" slogan.

BTW, if you're looking for free books online:
http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/
and
http://www.gutenberg.org/
have thousands of great books with expired copyrights.

Scraping

I don't think Google can claim copyright protection from people scraping Google's search results while Google is itself scraping publisher's books.

Also, I'm no lawyer, but will these libraries that are now knowingly making copyrighted materials available to Google for scraping going to become liable themselves?

Copyright ownership

Copyright ownership at least allows the holder the *choice* of whether to apply the protections of not.

I've done that before - allowed music I've composed to be distributed freely online, because I felt it benefited me more to do so.

Google are apparently not even allowing that choice, but instead are claiming the right to use protected property without permission.

I can't really see how that sort of exploitation is acceptable by a billion-dollar corporation.

Will be an interesting court case.

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