Feeds

back to article Google turns up nose at ebook monopoly claims

Stop! I think I see where we are getting confused. When you said "orphan," did you mean "orphan" - a person who has lost his parents - or "often," frequently? - The Pirates of Penzance When the voices howl that Google is weeks away from securing a digital monopoly around orphaned books, Google doesn't quite hear what they're …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Starting a new project.

There is no need to start your own project to scan books, just swipe all of Google's hard work (they have no copyright themselves). Google has actually *lowered* the cost of entry to its competitors.

And while competition is certainly better, are you people seriously so paranoid about Google that you'd rather not have the service exist at all?

0
0
Thumb Up

To hell with the publishers...

When they let old (but still good) books disappear and aren't willing to reprint them, they shouldn't whine when someone else does.

I want my P.C. Hodgell books, John Clark's "Ignition", Bilstein's "Stages to Saturn", and Hall's "History of the Apollo Guidance Computer" to name just a few.

If they won't reprint them, I hope Google bends 'em over and drives, if you know what I mean...

0
0
Alert

This HAS to be wrong...

Surely this must be a misprint. I thought the only company whose name could appear in the same sentence as "monopoly" was Microsoft. I'm 100% sure that no other IT-related company on the planet could possibly have anything even remotely close to a monopoly over anything. Here, let me get the topic back on track: Microsoft is a monopoly. Microsoft is evil. Windows is the worst thing ever.

Now, enough of this nonsense about Google. Because, as all Reg readers know (or, more specifically, all Reg commenters know), the only company worth making negative comments about is Microsoft.

I demand you immediately remove this article and adjust your content filters so the only proper noun that can appear in an article about monopoly is Microsoft.

0
0

Stealing

Many works are in the public domain. If Google manages to obtain a NEW copyright on those works that are in the public domain, then that is theft, pure and simple. If, however, Google is simply providing those works in a different form without expecting to own copyright, then I say good for them.

0
0
Thumb Down

eh?

I'm not sure I was able to follow the logic in this article..

There are a bunch of books that are still copyrighted, but no one is publishing them because they won't make any money.

Google is securing a deal to publish them online unless/until the author/copyright holder comes forward.

This deal is evil because Google might make some money from these works, and will not have to share that money or allow other organizations to take their work and make some money off it themselves.. If it does make money...

That's it?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

@ eh?

The deal is evil because Google is the only one who can publish the orphans. It's illegal for anyone else to try. Please, do try to read the article.

0
0

The Google Book Settlement, in a nutshell

As a result of some very fancy legal footwork, and with the co-operation of a US authors' organisation and the Association of American Publishers (these bodies were last heard of suing Google for copyright infringement!) Google is trying to change the legal rights and modify the contracts of virtually every author, literary estate and publisher in the world, without their explicit agreement, to award itself unprecedented rights to reproduce their work in the United States.

The stuff about 'orphans' is mostly smokescreen. Most of the books whose rights-holders really can't be traced are of very little interest to anyone. The real truth is that clearing copyrights individually with the rights-holders in the time-honoured (and legal) way is too expensive and time-consuming for Google. Google is hungry for great quantities of free or cheap content against which to post ads. I think that that is what this is mainly about, at least from Google's point of view.

Authors (and their heirs or executors) have till 5 September to opt out of the Google Book Settlement; otherwise, assuming the court accepts the settlement agreement, they will find themselves bound in what amounts to a perpetual contract of great length and mind-numbing complexity, containing many clauses favourable to Google.

After 5 September, if the settlement goes through, they will have to register with a new outfit called the Book Rights Registry in order to keep control of their US rights. In the case of those who fail to do so (most likely because they have not understood what is happening) any money earned by the use of their work will be divided between Google, the Book Rights Registry and the rights-holders who have registered. (Some may trickle down to charities.) The proposal to give rights-holders who sign up a share of the money earned by the books of rights-holders who haven't is one of a number of features of the scheme that has attracted criticism.

But the root evil of the scheme is the universal opt-in of all owners (or licensers) of copyrights. This is against international law and agreements on intellectual property.

I may add that even authors who have never published in the States are being caught in this net. Google is digitising indiscriminately, and plans to go on doing so.

0
0
Silver badge
Flame

So there are "orphans" for which *someone* *may* still claim copyright?

And that is a problem?

This is retarded. Just limit the copyright statutes so that the potential right owners do not get so old that they forget that they own the right to said book in the first place. Like to 25 years from first publication date. No "orphans".

Yeah, yeah the author's rights must be *respected* and whatnot (heartstring ping). Guess what? The rights are not with the authors but with the publishing house, in general.

0
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Grenade

So sue me

"And in eye-opening fashion, it also gives Google a unique license to digitize and sell and post ads against so-called "orphan works," books whose rights are controlled by authors and publishers who have yet to come forward."

Or what? Who's going to sue you if you digitize and sell and post ads against an orphan work? Neither of the parties to this agreement, they don't hold the copyright - or the work wouldn't be an orphan. Possibly the actual owner might come forward and sue you. All this does is give some protection to Google being sued by the Guild and Association. And if the original publisher/author wasn't a member of either then Google is probably still back in court.

0
0
Paris Hilton

@This HAS to be wrong...

What about Apple and their iPlods?

Surely you didnt forget about that fire storm.

0
0

@this has to be wrong

You're forgetting Intel, Apple, Cisco and Google - Which are all essentially monopoly players in their respective IT fields...

0
0
Anonymous Coward

lol

First new industry to spring up aruond this "orphan book right finders" Find an owner, then sue! I can see a group of lawyers liking this idea.

0
0

So there are "orphans" for which *someone* *may* still claim copyright? #

"Guess what? The rights are not with the authors but with the publishing house, in general."

That is nonsense. You are writing out of ignorance.

A 25-year copyright term? - well, go ahead and plug the idea, if you are prepared to see veteran authors starving on the streets in their old age...

The copyright term can be changed by legislation, if there is a need. What is happening in the case of the Google Book Settlement is private law-making by means of a civil law-case to the benefit of a wealthy corporation, Google.

0
0

@ So sue me #

"All this does is give some protection to Google being sued by the Guild and Association. And if the original publisher/author wasn't a member of either then Google is probably still back in court."

Unfortunately, this is not the case.The agreement purports to bind virtually all authors and publishers worldwide, whether they are members of the Guild or the Association or not, and whether or not they even know about the law-suit: they are all defined as members of the 'settlement class'.

In addition, it gives Google the right to greatly extend the uses it is making of the books it has scanned, with or without the consent of the rights-holders. Consent is to be presumed, if they don't opt out in time (and time is getting short).

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Just stop one moment, please.

A Mr Murdoch has just announced that soon there will be a charge for "free" news. How long do you think it will be before a "monopolist" decides that searching content in 'orphaned' books it has acquired elecronic copies of will cost the searcher/user? It will still be possible - if libraries exist (ho ho ho, given UK Governments digital embrace) - to loan copies but the digital access cost will be pitched at such a level that all but the richest, independent and persistant will pay the monopolists digital toll.

That this can be seen by Government and accepted as the future akes me wonder were they really are taking us and why? Who has their hands were?

0
0
Bronze badge
Stop

WTO -- can we have a w00t!?

So as this is clearly against the Berne Convention, can we assume that the EU (in the event of the settlement being cleared) will be raising this as a trade dispute? Can we have a referendum on what remedies we take?

I put my vote down for removing trademark protection on all US goods. Let's make "Coke", "MacDonalds" and "Domino's Pizza" into generic terms. And while we're at it, let's re-establish a geographical origin mark on "Budweiser" and ban Arheuser-Busch's banal brew from Europe.

0
0
Flame

@Google Book Settlement in a Nutshell

Arcadian pegged it.

Just because a book is out of print doesn't give anyone but publisher and/or author the right to assume that they can do whatever they like with the content. Google didn't write it or pay the author, the editors, proof readers, typesetters, printers & binders, sales reps etc. It's tantamount to someone raiding your shed in the depths of winter and saying, 'But you haven't used it in ages,' as they roll away with your lawn mower.

0
0
Thumb Up

sod publishers

have you ever had to get a specialist recommended text? especially ones that are recommended texts across the country for a very narrow subject. oh no its out of print you say, publisher will take orders for more and print when it has enough orders sitting. you need it by next week you say even if that means buying a 20 year old 2nd hand copy for 5 times its new print cost.

ive had to order books from all over the world to get them (including australia) for books that are published in the same city i live in because they are to stupid to print them in advance of students needing them.

i say if publishers dont give a crap about the books and are not printing them they should become public domain and google can show them fro free if they like, better yet they loose copyright and then project gutenberg should get a copy

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.