back to article Internet Archive stares down Google book mine

As part of his ongoing campaign against Google's $125m book-scanning pact, the Internet Archive's Peter Brantley has warned that even if authors opt-out of Google's Book Search service, the web giant will still have the power to mine their book data for use in other services. "There is value in the comprehensiveness [of Google's …

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Coat

What I see...

Is that Google actually made an effort and scanned a metric fuckton of books, with a view to actually doing something (*gasp*) productive with them. And they did all the books, not just the potboiler of the week.

And now the people that have sat on their asses and let really damn good books go out of print, don't like it, because it means they're losing control. Good. I hope Google really reams 'em hard, because they deserve it.

They're caught in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation because no matter what they do, Google will still have its huge pile of books. This is why you don't sit on your butt and let someone else take the initiative.

Mine's the one with the copy of John D. Clark's "Ignition" in the pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

Then sue Google

"even if authors opt-out of Google's Book Search service, the web giant will still have the power to mine their book data for use in other services."

Google has the same right to scan books (i.e. copy them) that I do. That is, no right at all. If Google has scanned Peter Brantley's books without permission he should sue them.

Violating copyright for commercial purposes is a crime in this country. I'm rather surprised it isn't in America.

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Foreign authors?

There's something I don't understand: I'm not an American, and therefore am not a part of the US Authors Guild or the AAP. If my book appears on Google Book Search (and it hasn't yet because it's still being written) why can I not sue the fuck out of them for copyright infringement? (I don't need to worry about money, because as we've been told it's a criminal offence now, so the CPS can handle it.) They can have all the settlements with US publishers that they want. If I'm not with a US publisher, then they don't apply. Also, how is this not against the WTO's international guidelines on copyright infringement?

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Google acquired those books illegally

As the plaintiffs argued when they file their lawsuit four years ago, Google acquired most of these books illegally. What changed the plaintiffs' mind? Well, the proposed Settlement shows Google agreeing to pay up to $30 million to the plaintiffs' attorneys.

It's the broad, international public interest that's at issue, not the interests of pirate-Google fanboys who want the convenience of access by mouse.

It's a book grab, pure and simple, and there's a new website that tries to refocus on the grab itself rather than the intricacies of a convoluted settlement arranged by greedy attorneys who pulled a class-action rabbit out of their hat. Check it out: http://www.book-grab.com/

This is a job for the Antitrust Division, not for some district judge presiding over a civil case.

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Emo
Joke

But will they

have Fly Fishing by J. R. Hartley?

One has to wonder..

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Good idea, Bad company

Rather than tend to their now-near-useless linkfarmphile search algorithm, Google buy 767s and design unpopular phones and featureless browsers to annoy faux friends and foe alike.

Have you seen their scans of out-of-copyright books? Your first thought is "Wow this is neat". Your final thought, while driving to the library for a readable, less rare and not quite appropriate edition is "Too bad it wasn't done by someone who gave a flying f*".

There's no tech at all to enhance fonts or flatten pages, let alone check for 30-degree "whoops" skew, folded corners, etc. Dictionaries, because they rely on typography for brevity, look like out of focus Rorschach tests -- and the OCR (I think the R stands for Random) often reads like the meaningless dialog of a Neil Simon play.

This is the technology that orphaned books will be scanned with.

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Re: Then sue Google

"Violating copyright for commercial purposes is a crime in this country. I'm rather surprised it isn't in America."

As I vaguely recall, there was a class action suit which the plaintiffs settled on behalf of all US authors. Although people (mostly law fetishists) may regard this as a "neat hack" by Google, it raises all suits of issues about class actions and how people can effectively sign away your rights ostensibly on your behalf, even though you may not know anything about it.

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@Re: Then sue Google

"As I vaguely recall, there was a class action suit which the plaintiffs settled on behalf of all US authors. Although people (mostly law fetishists) may regard this as a "neat hack" by Google, it raises all suits of issues about class actions and how people can effectively sign away your rights ostensibly on your behalf, even though you may not know anything about it."

It does indeed. But the settlement has not yet been approved by the judge. And the plaintiffs will be challenged as to whether they really are adequate representatives of the settlement class - among other issues.

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@Foreign authors?

DavCrav - Since your book is still being written, you don't have to worry about the Google Book Settlement. It only affects books published up till 5 January this year.

Of course, if the publishing industry suffers financial damage owing to, eg, piracy, as a result of Google's scanning books and putting them online, it may affect your chance of finding a publisher.

Whether, if your book is published, Google will scan it without your permission is a question that cannot be answered right now. A lot may depend on whether the Settlement goes through, and in what form.

Even though a book hasn't been published by a US publisher, it is copyright in the US under international law. Under the settlement agreement, everyone who has a US copyright is opted into the settlement, regardless of whether they have been published in the US.

Authors who formally opt out of the Google Book Settlement remain free to sue Google for copyright infringement - but I think the case would be heard in the US and I doubt whether the CPS would get involved. Unfortunately.

As for the WTO's rules on copyright infringement: the short answer is that what's happening is against them, but Google, the Authors Guild and the AAP are trying to get round them using the Settlement.

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re: Then sue Google

"Violating copyright for commercial purposes is a crime in this country. I'm rather surprised it isn't in America."

It is. Unfortunately, as I often find myself reminding people, a law means nothing if law enforcement (read: District Attorneys) choose to do nothing about it.

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Grenade

Cat spray & Pidgeon Poo

First monkey sticks twig into anthill and discovers the world's first confectionery.

Should the 2nd monkey pay intellectual property rort (fees) to feed his family too?

At what point do copyright holders take responsibility for holding us all back, or jeopardising our survival, for their arrogant clutching of ther initial advancements?

Codex Alimentarius for brunch anyone?.

Ants are great protein. Here try a line now:

..............................................................................

Tasty, plus they tickle!

Food for thought... Thinking is actually free despite being frowned upon.

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Pirate

Copyright is just utterly broken.

Here's a radical concept..

if you want to have copyright protection, you provide a complete unencumbered copy of your work to the licensing authority in your jurisdiction, in an archive format of their choosing.

At the end of your copyright protection period, which should be something like 15 or 20 years (during which the state will enforce copyright as a criminal matter), the archive copy becomes available to one and all, and enters the public domain.

wouldn't that be refreshing?

As for the last library effect... Google are doing this only because the national libraries have utterly failed in their duty to create a proper cultural archive. Don't bleat about the power being granted to google when they were the only people who could be bothered to do it.

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@emo

You can get Hartley's book at Amazon, although you'd have to pay for it there.

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Door number THREE

"... If it's approved, Google has an enormous amount of control over the future of digital books. And if it's rejected, the company still has an enormous amount of control."

Not necessarily; if it's rejected, the case goes to trial and Google can LOSE.

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Boffin

Re: Copyright is just utterly broken.

"if you want to have copyright protection, you provide a complete unencumbered copy of your work to the licensing authority in your jurisdiction"

You've just described Copyright Libraries, which we already have in this country - there are six of them, which must receive copies of any published books: the British Library, the Bodelian in Oxford, the University Library in Cambridge, the National Library of Scotland, the National Library of Wales and the Library of Trinity College, Dublin.

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