back to article DoJ urges court to reject (unedited) Googlebooks pact

The US Department of Justice has advised a federal court to reject Google's $125m book-scanning settlement with American authors and publishers, citing concerns over class action, copyright, and antitrust law. But in the same legal breath, it urged the parties involved in the case to continue discussions intended to alleviate …

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Anonymous Coward

Copyright THEFT

It's copyright THEFT, they take something that is mine (my copyright) and transfer it to someone else (the publishers organisation). I lose, they gain.

So you own the copyright to a book in the world, it was also sold in the US. You now have to contact this book publishers organization urgently with your current contact details and claim your books because if you don't, your work gets transferred to this crappy publishers organization.

What business is my copyright of theirs?

Orphaned simply means that THEY, this organisation you have never dealt with and don't represent you, don't have your contact details, hence your work in orphaned in their minds.

There is no compromise to this, either the US respects copyright or it doesn't, grabbing control of copyright in the US by default with an opt out is a flat out trade violation and that agreement should be binned! The EU should not sit by while this happens. This covers EU works distributed in the US too.

FFS, if the Registers pages have been published by anyone in the US that would be a copyright violation. If Google scans that book of elReg musing, then that becomes controlled by the publishers organisation. Both are crooks violating copyright, but one has the veneer of court approval to hide behind.

Also consider how it is to a publisher. If Google scans it, then they are a big commercial target to go after. The publisher can go after them in the court. This 'settlement' takes away that right to protect their copyright!

Enough, in no sense is there any way, a class action settlement should steal copyright from the publishers and transfer it to a fake representative organisation!

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This does not give Google any copyrights.

Anybody can take any book Google puts up and reprint it in any way they want without fear of action by Google.

As for people who don't want Google reprinting their stuff, fine, come forward, Google will *pay* you to tell them to stop using your stuff under this deal. Probably a lot more money than anything considered an orphaned work is worth too.

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@This does not give Google any copyrights

"As for people who don't want Google reprinting their stuff, fine, come forward, Google will *pay* you to tell them to stop using your stuff under this deal. Probably a lot more money than anything considered an orphaned work is worth too."

Sorry Corrine, but you are way off mark.

i) Under the settlement agreement as it currently stands,if Google have already digitized an author's books and they choose to opt in to the settlement the company will pay them some money, yes: $60 a book, approx £36 in UK money. Not exactly a fortune. If they are a non-US author, I understand that to receive the money they will have to have a taxpayer ID from the US government; in order to arrange that they have to obtain an apostille from a notary. I believe that this will cost them at least £70: and obviously there will also be the cost of sending this valuable document to the US by insured airmail letter.

Then if the book is still under license to a publisher, the whole £36 will be paid to the publisher, not the author, and it will be up to the publisher and the author to agree what share the author gets (and imagine who has the power in that situation).

ii) Under the settlement agreement as it stands now, authors of single-authored volumes are permitted to tell Google to stop displaying/selling their books - if they can track down the entries for them in Google's ropy database. Writers in short forms - poems, short stories, essays - whose work appears in multi-authored volumes cannot not do this: they may ask not to have their work displayed, but they cannot stop Google selling it. Maybe you think this doesn't matter? It matters if you are a poet or short story writer.

iii) Your remark about 'orphaned works' is muddled. An 'orphan work' is a work whose copyright owner cannot be traced. No one who owns the rights to a true 'orphan work' is likely to come forward, for the simple reason that they either don't know or can't easily prove what rights they own.

Orphan works are not the same as out-of-print works. The ownership of most out-of-print works is fairly easily established, for those who go through the proper channels. You would be wrong if you assumed that because a book has gone out of print the rights to it aren't likely to be worth very much. It is quite usual for books to go out of print for a while and then be reprinted. And there are various ways in which the rights to an out-of-print book may acquire value: for instance, if it is a non-fiction book on a subject that suddenly becomes topical, or an earlier novel by an author who wins a major literary award, or who writes a best-seller.

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FAIL

@Corrine

The problem is that I shouldn't have to tell Google to stop publishing my work. They also shouldn't be arrogant enough to think that because they don't know who owns it, nobody does.

I shouldn't have to, as you put it, "come forward". The thieving pricks should ask my permission before they start. It's their responsibility to get permission from the copyright holder, not the the other way round.

I have no idea who actually owns the owns the copyright on the last album torrent I downloaded. Does that make it legal?

If you don't know whose copyright it is, that doesn't give you the right to appropriate it.

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Bronze badge
Stop

The Scientific Method

Try to duplicate the work of any Biology or Chemistry patent and you will immediately see the problem. Computer programs can be reverse engineered - that is a game of perfect information - but Nature, by and large is not so kind in this regard. Business Secrets are routinely kept by omission. Then of course there are the Personal Privacy issues.

My concern is that if Google can publish in this manner, it is an invitation to make them the Mother of All Blackmailers.

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Pirate

@Corrine

So when I sit at home downloading tons of movies and music, I can just lean back and expect each and every rights holder to explicitely tell _me_ that I'm not allowed to download their IP. That's usually not how copyright law works is it?

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Stop

Stop Google

While I'd like as many books as possible available freely online, my gut instinct tells me google is very very wrong.

(Why? Well, let's just say what if I am a fledgling author trying to survive on royalties, and google does this to me...Do unto others)

By all means, scan all the PD or lapsed copyright stuff but leave contentious material alone, some people may actually depend on it for a living.

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Grenade

Stating the obvious

Most books have a page stating ISBN, copyright etc. Would a simple "This book may not be scanned (by google) without the express permission of the author" or similar be sufficient to let google know that they cannot pirate the book.

Not much use to books already published, but for reprints new publications.

Just my 2¢ (€ of course)

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Anonymous Coward

makes me wonder

if you couold put some sort of disclaimer in the information in this book, ie i explicitly do not give my permission for google to publish this book, if they do so they agree to pay me the sum of £10,000 per online viewing, the act of pubishing this work on their site signals their agreement to abide by these terms.

If, as i suspect, they have a fully automated scanning system which puts everything up, and relys on complaints to take things down again. You should be able to make areasonable claim against them

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Alert

@AC 12:31 - Already in place

US Law (Title 17, Chapter 1, § 101) states that " “Copies” are material objects, other than phonorecords, in which a work is fixed by any method now known or later developed, and from which the work can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. " This includes (as pertains here) everything from PDF and text files in Google's database, to the HTML page pulled up when accessing the book in Google's reader.

This means that if permission is not obtained, then this is a violation of US copyright law. If the copyright owner is not available, then permission may not be obtained. The reason this agreement might be allowed is because the Association of American Publishers and the US Authors Guild are supposed to represent all professionally published authors (at least within the US), by contract for publishing in the US. To do this, Google must first prove that the publisher of an orphan work was/is a member of one or both of the other entities of the agreement. If it cannot do that, republishing or archiving should not be allowed.

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