US authors and publishers have asked a federal court to postpone an upcoming hearing set to examine its $125m book-scanning settlement with Google, requesting additional time to address Justice Department concerns over the pact. On Friday, the Department of Justice urged the court to reject the pact as written, citing concerns …
Here's what should happen next...
Now that the settlement is dead, the Justice Department should ask Google to stop all scanning of in-copyright works, and place all previously-scanned, in-copyright works that were scanned without express permission of the rights holder, in a dark archive. Google can use them when opt-in permission of the rights-holder is obtained, or when Congress or the Supreme Court resolves copyright infringement issues.
Microsoft is in a group called the Open Content Alliance? You couldn't make it up.
Worried about monopoly
I certainly do not see Google as a bad or grasping company, and I think the two guys behind the company have good intentions. In the fullness of time, good intentions will not count for much in the face of a monopoly on the books.
Google should not be stopped from scanning all the books it wants to, but it must respect copyright and it must not prevent other vendors from doing the same.
It may be the case that we do not have an adequate technological solution to distributing copywritten material while respecting copyright. I think copyright must trump Google's library in that case, at least until someone figures out the tech to support copyright.
Finally, there is a large corpus of books out of copyright. These should not be 'enclosed' by Google, or Sony with it's ebook, nor Yahoo with Kindle, nor anyone else.
Without taking anything off the table, because it's just plain wrong, Google now waits until it can contribute unlimited money directly to the campaigns of the Congress members who will write the copyright policy they want.
This "plan" will be back in a better "political" climate at which the concerns expressed will be "old news"
Call me a bit of a Ludite here
Google are taking, and have taken, without consent the (intellectual) property of others.
They are now trying to reach a settlement with organisations who may have rights to be recognised on behalf of some of the folks who have had their property stolen for profit now and in the future by Google. The court has stepped in and said... 'Hang on a minute...'
In a different world the police have arrested folks for stealing "un-owned" items and then passing them off. The law establishes that you must have rights to an item before you do anything materially with it. Google are attempting, after the fact and at a reduced (gift) rate, to regularise the situation to their benefit. (I believe some of our MPs tried something similar recently when they were found out with their 'expences'!)
What have I missed.
Stop them, prosecute them and if appropriate punish them to a deterent level. A shame, I know, given that their mantra is 'Do no Harm' but the gravy train of private theft has to stop some time, some way. Losers have the privilege of being nice. I don't look to justice systems to be losers.
I would think that Google's actions count as willful copyright violation for profit. I believe several people have been bankrupted for willful copyright violation without intent to profit just a few dozen songs. Google has scanned enough books, that at this point, even with their vast market capitalization, they should be in the poor house. That they aren't just shows that our legal system is a whore.
I have no respect for our legal system, neither congress nor the courts.
Oh, the irony of it all!
"[T]his settlement did not serve the public interest, stifled innovation, and restricted competition."
Hmm...and yet, the Open Content Alliance has Microsoft as a member?!?
Ok, if there's a problem, let's fix it
I see from the comments above that we've heard from the authors.
Perhaps Congress could resolve the problem by reducing copyright terms to a realistic level, like say 20 years - retrospectively, of course, as was the Sonny Bono extension. That way, by the time Google and the publishers have finished arguing, the subject will be moot.
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