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Print 9 comment(s) - last by CityZen.. on Nov 17 at 4:26 PM

Google still working to get book scanning project past regulators

Google has had its share of allegations that it has a monopoly in the online search/advertising world. The most recent of these accusations comes from the book scanning program that Google runs. Google ultimately plans to make the scanned books accessible online to more readers to help eliminate lost works and let readers opt out of print material.

The problem for many publishers and publishing groups is that they feel that Google is infringing on their copyright by making the works available in a digital version. Google proposed a settlement with author groups in the U.S. in September that would allow it to continue scanning the books. The same week, the FTC asked Google to draft a privacy policy that would limit the secondary personal data use that the scanned books offering would allow. This was an effort to prevent Google from targeting ads at readers that was "contrary to reasonable expectations."

Reuters reports that Google and author groups are trying to answer the questions relating to copyright concerns that have been raised in the U.S. and overseas. Google filed a 30-page court filing Friday that eliminated a section of the proposed settlement deal that would require the registry created, if the deal was enacted, to give Google at least as good a deal as any competitor to access the registry and the digitized works.

The Justice Department felt that the registry had a conflict of interest since it was tasked with locating the writers and paying them for their online sales. The unclaimed funds from the use of author's works under the new plan would eventually go to charity if the writers can’t be located. The new agreement has to be approved by the courts. The Justice Department recommended that the original version of the plan be rejected because it might also violate antitrust law and copyrights.

Richard Sarnoff, president of the Bertelsmann Digital Media, "We've had numerous discussions and quite a lot of dialogue with the Justice Department and feel we've addressed their key concerns."

Part of the new plan would also limit book in the registry to works with copyrights in the U.S. or those published in Australia, Canada, and the UK. This was in response to significant international objection to the deal on grounds that non-English speaking authors had no negotiations in the deal with Google.

Reuters reports that German book publishers were criticizing regulators in Europe for not taking a stand against the Google book deal. The French were also seeking to block the deal and reportedly asked a Paris court to fine Google for infringement when books by the publishers were digitized.

Amazon is also fighting the deal in courts to prevent Google from digitizing books. Amazon has a stake in the deal because a free digital Google library could put a crimp in sales from the Amazon digital bookstore.

A court document filed by Amazon stated, "[The Google Books deal] is unfair to authors, publishers, and others whose works would be the subject of a compulsory license for the life of the copyright in favor of Google and the newly created Book Rights Registry. [It] represents an unprecedented rewriting of copyright law through judicial action."



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Everyone has their hand out....
By qdemn7 on 11/16/2009 1:40:28 PM , Rating: 2
So now, thanks to the machinations of authors, their relatives, and their representatives, copyright is practically forever. Nothing will ever enter the public domain, and certain people will have a perpetual source of income. Just another way our Constitution has been warped. IMO, all Copyright and Patents should be for a single 25 year term without any possibility of renewal.




RE: Everyone has their hand out....
By HotFoot on 11/16/2009 1:52:15 PM , Rating: 2
I would argue shorter than that... I believe the research into the optimal in terms of motivating investment in technology (for patents), it was more like 11 years. The point of all this IP law is to motivate investment by providing protection for the payoff phase. It's not about the idea that someone who came up with something owning it and that being some kind of right. It's just about providing an environment of incentive to invest in creative things.

In any case, 25 years without extension would be fantastic compared to what we're heading towards now.


RE: Everyone has their hand out....
By ipay on 11/16/2009 2:23:13 PM , Rating: 2
The original (Copyright Act of 1790) was 14 years, plus an optional 14 year extension if the copyright holder was still alive. You needed to actively register your work, too, and probably pay a small fee, so people didn't just have an implicit monopoly on production for 100 years by publishing something once.

A much better system than we have now. How do we educate the public to reform these laws?


RE: Everyone has their hand out....
By Hieyeck on 11/16/2009 2:58:29 PM , Rating: 2
I would argue that at least add creator's spouse (assuming a private entity) to that, but by and large, needs to go back to laws people can actually understand.


By seamonkey79 on 11/17/2009 12:30:34 AM , Rating: 2
no


Copyright IS a monopoly
By ipay on 11/16/2009 2:16:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
its share of allegations that it has a monopoly in the online search/advertising world


Uhhh... copyright IS a monopoly. It always has been. The copyright holder can charge whatever they want for reproducing a work, and they can choose to, for instance, enter into an exclusive contract with a single publisher to publish it in book form. "Oh noes, it's a monopoly!" Uh... yes. That's the whole point.




RE: Copyright IS a monopoly
By amanojaku on 11/16/2009 2:36:05 PM , Rating: 2
Copyright is NOT a monopoly. A monopoly is industry-wide, where the sale of goods or services are controlled by a single entity. Intel's sale of the Xeon is not a monopoly, despite the fact that only Intel makes and sells it. There is a choice of CPUs, after all.

Prince, douche bag that he is, has exercised his right to remove songs from YouTube because they violated his copyright. You can still get music from other sources, even if they aren't his songs, so Prince does not have a monopoly on music.


Copy protection for books
By HotFoot on 11/16/2009 1:46:31 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe if books had something like a 'do not copy' label on them and came in a cover that had a message saying 'by opening this package you are agreeing to the terms of use (ie. no copying)' these authors could appeal to the DMCA...

I'm just pointing out the absurdity of all this. Large companies can make digital copies of others' works, but it's illegal for me to rip a DVD to my hard drive because the DVD includes an incredibly ineffective CSS scheme?

In the next few years I'm expecting that at all border crossings my digital devices will be subject to potential search for copyrighted materials. How exactly am I supposed to prove that I bought and paid for my mp3 collection, when the CDs I bought have been sitting on the shelf for, what, up to 20 years by now and of course I don't carry around 2000 receipts with me (or even have them at home after all this time).

Are we going to be having a 'war on copyright infringement' that's as big and useless as the 'war on drugs'?




451
By CityZen on 11/17/2009 4:26:41 PM , Rating: 2
"Google" + "Microsoft/Apple" in article's title = 100+ comments
"Google" + "Books" in article's title = 9 comments

Sad times indeed ...




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