back to article Google book scanners apologize to Chinese scribes

Google has publicly apologized to the Chinese Writers Association for inadequate communication with local writers over its Google Book Search project, an effort to digitize millions of texts inside various research libraries. But contrary to multiple press reports from the likes of Bloomberg and IDG News Service, the web giant …

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Coat

Time for yet another lawsuit ...

Also the judge should also toss out any settlement and go after Google here in the US. Also set an injunction to stop Google from continuing to copy any book that still has a valid copyright but may be out of print unless they have the expressed consent of the author their heirs.

The fact that Google continues to disregard the copyright system, shows a willful intent of violating the copyright and intellectual laws. Can you say massive punitive damages?

Sorry Google fanbois, when you do the crime, you must do the time or pay the fine.

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Boffin

(untitled)

"Sorry Google fanbois, when you do the crime, you must do the time or pay the fine."

I think Google plans on paying the fine and then making shltloads of money on those books. Take this how you wish...

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Bronze badge
WTF?

Carjacking

Google uses your books for its own purpose and then, when you complain about it, turns around and says "oh, well, now that you've told me not to, I won't scan your books any more" and (tries to) walk away.

Let's re-arrange that sentence a bit, shall we?

Joe Blogg uses your car for his own purpose and then, when you complain about it, turns around and say "oh, well, now that you've told me not to, I won't use your car any more" and (tries to) walk away.

Surprisingly enough, we wouldn't even bat an eyelid if the cops grabbed Joe Blogg and charged him with Grand Theft Auto (or TWOC in the UK, right?). But Google expects the authors to just accept the "whoops, won't do it again" defence?

Bottom line: Google (or Joe Blogg) should acquire permission *before* using the IP (car).

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FAIL

Copyright Infringement is not Theft

Until the MPAA and RIAA get their way, copyright infringement is not theft. It is a violation of the use of someone's protected text (music or whatever), that was enshrined in law to allow the author to make money from selling their works for a reasonable amount of time. After that time it would pass into the public domain for the good of all. In the Carjacking example, this would equate anyone being able to use the car after you its value depreciated to 0 after 12 to 20 years, thus serving the public good with it's free and open use. The example fails though because you can't just copy cars lock stock and barrel by shoving them in a little machine, so the penalty for using it without permission is much more severe (and criminal).

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WTF?

Chinese objecting to copyright violations?

I thought they didn't have copyright law, or at least didn't bother with it much. Not when it involves copying non-Chinese stuff, anyway. Or (genuinely) have I misunderstood?

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Happy

This could backfire...

..The Chinese goverment is taking more of a stance against copyright theft and Google need to learn very quikly this is a two way street. If the writers get the Chinese gov on side, unlike the wet goverments we have, they won't f**k around with 5 years of talks asking them nicely to stop, they will simply block access to Google, not THAT will hurt them.

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Silver badge

"This is an unusual step for Google"

Ain't it so ? Usually they make loads of money BEFORE being caught on some technicality.

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WTF?

Re: Copyright Infringement is not Theft

It does not matter if it's "theft" on some technicality or not. It is a crime according to law. If Google does not like the law it should work on getting it changed, not just flout it while anybody else doing the same thing would be sued, jailed etc.

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Alert

The chinese do not appear to enjoy

their own medicine! Hopefully this will bring them around to western ways of thinking about IP and astonishingly Google will have done no evil!!!!

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Silver badge

Google have not opted out

I have decided to start a 24 hour service and have assumed that every IT company at Mountain View will want my service. It costs US$10,000 per hour for the service to be on stand-by and US$100,000 per hour if the service is used plus a US$1,000,000 bonus for every problem solved, not matter how small.

Google have not opted out of my service.

I have been running this service now for 3 years.

To whom should I address the bill?

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Alert

@Eq, and everyone who calls copyright violation: this was and remains legal

Lots of "copyright violation" sentiments, but how does copyright law work in China? I personally had no idea of their laws on the issue, so I looked it up - http://www.chinaiprlaw.com/english/laws/laws10.htm was fairly useful.

Any competent lawyer will be able to point out that Google didn't violate Chinese national copyright laws, thanks to the text in section 4, article 22, point 8:

"Article 22 -- In the following cases, a work may be exploited without permission from, and without payment of remuneration to, the copyright owner, provided that the name of the author and the title of the work shall be mentioned and the other rights enjoyed by the copyright owner by virtue of this Law shall not be prejudiced:

"(8) reproduction of a work in its collections by a library, archive, memorial hall, museum, art gallery or any similar institution, for the purposes of the display, or preservation of a copy, of the work;"

Given googles archival purpose (regardless of their real intentions, that is the state intention), they're in the clear, and this is simple a problem of some people feeling treated unfairly. Sadly, the law doesn't cover fair, so: tough.

Of course, this sucks if you're a Chinese author, but there you have it - given China's copyright law, nothing unlawful actually occurred, and Google doesn't have to ask permission OR financially compensate anyone for what they've done. Not even after people cried foul.

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Alert

That Google Stink

Whenever this story comes up I just can't help but wonder which part of: "no part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system" Google didn't understand, but then I remember - stupid me - they understood it all perfectly well.

Dear Reg, after several years of them making tons of cash off the back of other people's hard work, the evil Google icon is now long overdue.

(No need to include a saint Google icon, it won't be needed.)

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Not too familiar with the intricacies

... of copyright law, but basically Google seems to be flying "Nap of the Earth" with the Fair Use parts of various copyright laws.

Legal minutae aside, morally speaking, I'm 100% for them. Intellectual "property" IMO long has an extremely weak justification of its existence as a concept, and is more exploited by large companies in the vain hope of maximizing profit these days than anything else.

Its main justification of existence is its utilitarian necessity to guarantee some income for creators. But that has to be balanced against the other utilitarian imperatives of greater data distribution.

If you prefer deontological ethics, not only is intellectual "property" difficult to substantiate there,but the restrictions of intellectual property law is actually against the virtue, for example, of free flow of information, equality ... etc. I don't see why morally speaking intellectual property should have priority here...

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WTF?

Just co-incidence?

With the recent development in China ("Google may exit China after 'highly targeted' attack") Google probably has more than a copyright problem with the friendly folks down there? It is quite weird to see two odd PR statements from the chocolate factory requiring discussions with the Chinese regime.

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