Re: S/B class action, but authors should lose
Tell me if you disagree with Google when they say:
"Copyright law is supposed to ensure that authors and publishers have an incentive to create new work, not stop people from finding out that the work exists."
The crux of their argument is that they are only supplying what is necessary to track down and verify a 'snippet' of content; that what they are doing is well within the envelope of fair use.
Re: I read your post three times but couldn't get any sense out of it other than free (at other people's expense)=good.
Agreed. You did not make sense of it. You are even wrong about the part you thought you got right. The fact that you do not understand something, though, is not a proof that it cannot be understood.
Re: Because you seem to have trouble grasping the point: These authors are probably quite cognizant of how to market their works - since said works are already in libraries we can assume a certain level of expertise in the publishing world - and I'm almost certain they have a very good idea of how much good will accrue from this Googlescrape.
Maybe the point eluded my grasp because it is not a valid point. A bald assertion does not a fact or an argument make. I am familiar enough with at least a few authors of published books. As a rule, their knowledge of publishing is not great. Do most authors know much about something like Google books? It is doubtful. I won't presume to speak for Google. They do an excellent job themselves:
"... some in the publishing community question whether any third party should be able to copy and index copyrighted works so that users can search through them, even if all a user sees is the bibliographic information and a few snippets of text, and even if the result is to make those books widely discoverable online..."
I think a fortune 100 company that is in the business of knowing stuff knows a little about this after digitizing more than ten million books.
Re: I imagine most of these works are the kind of reference where if one grabs a Google precis of, say, a famous quote, summary of a philosophy or fact of the physical universe, one won't need to buy the book it was scraped from.
You imagine correctly, you just don't understand what it means. There is a simple word for this that children learn on the playground: fair. The word appears in copyright law as 'fair use'. Google gives billions of people easy access to millions of books. That is hardly a problem and it is not illegitimate. You are simply wrong if you think it is. You can't copyright facts or ideas. You copyright an expression. Except for large chunks of that exact expression, it is fair use; especially in the current context. The example you cite shows a complete lack of understanding of copyright law. Even advocates on your side will tell you that.
Copyright law is a social contract. Fair use is a price you pay for being granted copyright. That price is dirt cheap. The deal is overwhelmingly to the advantage of publishers. You don't want to allow fair use? Fine. By all means, let's cancel the contract. I'm all for it.
Google's case for 'fair use' is excellent and in keeping with both the spirit and the letter of the law.
Re: This isn't hard to intuit from the subtext of the article.
Agreed. It is not hard to intuit. The only one mistaken about this is you. You think you have caught someone breaking the rules. You have not. What you have caught is yourself misunderstanding the rules.
Re:Why is it that supposedly clever people of IT have such a problem working outside their own limited set of interests?
This is ironic since your previous sentence clearly shows that you have no idea what you are talking about. This unmannerly and incorrect generalization about 'people of IT' is typical of bigotry at odds with common sense. Substitute 'color' for IT and put a period after 'working'. Do you see any problem with that pattern?
Re: Maybe I'll Google the answer from someone's textbook on psychology and save myself the cost of the book.
You do that. While you're there, take a look at the other things you mention here. Maybe if you had more respect for the contents of the books rather than the gatekeepers attempting to block access to them we might not be having this conversation.
Re: You should know that "cyberspace" is now considered a clabby term to be avoided at all costs by the clixby set.
Huzzah! Congratulations on your linguistic currency! As of this moment, the single Google return for "clabby term" and "cyberspace" is your comment itself. I certainly cannot compete with you when it comes to the use of the latest inflammatory lingo.
How delightful. Your attack on a tangential aspect of the form of the argument seems a tacit admission that you do not feel confident promoting the substance of your own argument. It is unfortunate that the term 'cyberspace' is not to your liking. Perhaps you can consult the inventors of 'clabby' and 'clixby' for a term that you feel is a little more current the next time they meet in your living room. I am afraid I will have to decline your implicit invitation to join the 'clixby set', so I will not be there.
Re: Coincidentally, it's a term invented by an author who probably has a lot to say on the subject of Googlescraping.
What you are saying is a little muddled. Is the aforementioned author a member of the clixby set?
Re: And where on Earth did you get the ridiculous idea that roads, bridges, power grids etc materialized for free so everyone could use them?
Where did you? What is that? A 'non-sequitor'? A 'straw man'? Who said anything about materialization or self assembly or people working for free? Hint: Not me. Might as well toss leprechauns in there for all the sense it makes. You are the one with the magical thinking. You believe that certain 'special' people who are no longer working on a particular thing or even who did not ever work on it should be paid over and over again, effectively forever, for work already brought to life and essentially bought and paid for. Worse, in the current argument, you are arguing on the side that says that people are not allowed to even know about the work unless advertised by a member of the publishing cartels. They are not just trying to block access to the knowledge itself, they are trying to block access to the fact that it even exists.
Most of us get paid for working. When we stop working we stop getting paid. I am not saying that creative people should not be paid. Having worked with creative people and being something of one myself, I understand that access to the muse is spotty and if we want the magic that comes from otherwise idle incubation we have to somehow pay for the incubation. However, creating a monopoly on the world's wealth that necessarily depends upon effectively destroying that wealth can't be our best solution. It is reasonable that an author make a living. It is reasonable that an excellent author makes a good living. It is *NOT* reasonable that an author like J.K. Rowling makes enough money to become the richest person in her country and then continues to press for advantage over ordinary people using the clearly broken copyright laws.
Re: Do you not understand the concept of taxation?
I do. You clearly do not. Once you pay the taxes for the water delivered to your residence, that transaction is done. Snow clearance, services like sewage and garbage removal, fixing roads, taking care of local parks and keeping the city safe and peaceful require ongoing work. The taxes are to pay for that, not to pay for past work already done. A finished copy righted digitized work no longer requires ongoing maintenance. The only reason money changes hands when someone reads an electronic copy of a book is because rent seekers, by virtue of not having to work for a living, spend their time at the seat of government lobbying for perverse laws that reward them for interfering with people trying to read.
The only marginal cost that goes into creating a digitized work is the digitization itself. That is a cost minimal enough that Google is doing it, en passant, while indexing it for search.