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Google Piracy, Thievery, Infringement...More News
Old 11-29-2006, 02:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Google has profited to the tune of billions of dollars by display without permission of copyrighted materials. Here is one of the latest reported developments...

===================

BRUSSELS — The judge in the Belgian copyright case against Google Inc. said she will deliver her verdict after the Christmas break.
The announcement coincided with Google’s settlement with two of five groups that seek to prevent Mountain View, Calif.-based Google from linking to Belgian newspaper articles.

The case is being looked at closely by numerous adult webmasters who, like the Belgian papers, say they are being infringed upon because the search engine giant displays their content without paying them or asking their permission.

What’s more, many webmasters complain that most search engines do not make it clear to searchers that the images they find are not public domain property, leaving images vulnerable to theft.

In a similar suit in the U.S., adult content publisher Norman Zada, who owns Perfect 10 magazine and its sister website, charges that Google’s Image Search violates U.S. copyright law because it allows the search engine and other companies to profit from the use of his content without permission. That case is currently before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

In the Belgian case, Google failed to appear at an earlier court date that saw a judge order Google to remove newspaper content from its news index, threatening daily fines of $1.3 million until it complied with the ruling. A judge for the Tribunal des Referes in Brussels later agreed to give Google another hearing.

Attorneys for Copiepresse, which represents 17 newspapers, claimed Google hurt the rights of authors because it effectively gave away free archived articles they sell on a subscription basis.

But Google counsel accused the newspapers of protectionism, insisting the company hadn’t broken copyright law by showing headlines, text, photos, and other material without permission of the copyright owners.

Google also has run into trouble in Scandinavia, where it launched several weeks ago. It delayed the introduction of the news service in Denmark after publishers there objected to having to opt out if they didn’t want their content displayed on Google’s website. Also, a publishing group in Norway has protested the use of its photographs, which it says is not permitted under Norwegian copyright law.

Copyright experts have claimed for years that Google's business model is based on massive infringement. In response to searches, Google displays text and photos without permission of the owners, while selling advertising exposure and click-throughs to the traffic generated by such display.
 
 
Apparent duplicate post ...
Old 11-29-2006, 03:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Why did you post the same post twice? That seems sort of like spamming.
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Last edited by R_Fredrick_Smith; 11-30-2006 at 01:56 AM.. Reason: update the title
 
More News on Google Use-Without-Permission of Creative Work
Old 12-07-2006, 02:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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A search of two discloses that Google is being sued by an astonishing number of people including Noble prize winners, former Poet Laureates, major publishers, and a whole bunch of "plain ol' victims." The article below is especially interesting in light of Google's attempt to make huge numbers of protected books available through Google, for Google's profit, without any permission from the copyright owners. As described below, Google also has agreements with several major libraries to copy and distribute books in their collection WITHOUT permission of the copyright owners.

Other articles, from business magazines, indicate Google may have set aside from $500 million to $1 billion dollars to fight infringement suits and settle with plaintiffs.

One of the most interesting comments was made by a judge during a hearing in a suit. Google's attorneys complained that following [copyright required] procedures of obtaining permission before using other peoples' intellectual property would "...threaten Google's very business model...that is was unfeasible to seek permission..." The court commented, "Since it appears the business model rests on misappropriation of intellectual property, perhaps Google should develop a different business model." I especially noticed the comment because it mirrored a similar court comment I heard in a case involving an infringer who compared himself to Google and said "If Google can do it, why are you going after me?"

A few of my colleagues on this august forum took issue with me characterizing Google's use without permission, for profit, of other people's intellectual property as "theft." I hope that those critics will consider the information from the author's guild to be suitable in tone for their tastes.



================================================== =

Authors Guild Sues Google, Citing “Massive Copyright Infringement”
www.authorsguild.org

NEW YORK — The Authors Guild and a Lincoln biographer, a children's book author, and a former Poet Laureate of the United States filed a class action suit today in federal court in Manhattan against Google over its unauthorized scanning and copying of books through its Google Library program. The suit alleges that the $90 billion search engine and advertising juggernaut is engaging in massive copyright infringement at the expense of the rights of individual writers.

Through its Library program, Google is reproducing works still under the protection of copyright as well as public domain works from the collection of the University of Michigan's library.

“This is a plain and brazen violation of copyright law,” said Authors Guild president Nick Taylor. “It's not up to Google or anyone other than the authors, the rightful owners of these copyrights, to decide whether and how their works will be copied.”

The individual plaintiffs are Herbert Mitgang, a former New York Times editorial writer and the author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including “The Fiery Trial: A Life of Lincoln,” published by Viking Press; Betty Miles, the award-winning author of many works for children and young adults, and the co-author of “Just Think,” published by Alfred A. Knopf; and Daniel Hoffman, the author and editor of many volumes of poetry, translation, and literary criticism, including “Barbarous Knowledge: Myth in the Poetry of Yeats, Graves and Muir” and “Striking the Stones,” both published by Oxford University Press. Mr. Hoffman was the 1973-74 Poet Laureate of the United States.

Google has agreements with four academic libraries — those of Stanford, Harvard, Oxford and the University of Michigan — and with the New York Public Library to create digital copies of substantial parts of their collections and to make those collections available for searching online. Google has not sought the approval of the authors of these works for this program.

The complaint seeks damages and an injunction to halt further infringements.

The Authors Guild (www.authorsguild.org), the largest society of published writers in the United States, represents more than 8,000 authors.

The Authors Guild is the nation's largest and oldest society of published authors and the leading writers' advocate for fair compensation, effective copyright protection, and free expression.
 
 
Re: Google Piracy, Thievery, Infringement...More News
Old 12-07-2006, 03:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Just an amusng side note. I regularly correspond with several internatioinally known authors (one is a best selling author with over 50 books currently in print). In a recent email, this author wanted me to help him break the password to a locked PDF document so he could print it out. The document was an ebook he had bought, and wanted to print. Of course the author of that ebook owned the copyright and had decided to market the book as an ebook only and had every right to limit its use and not allow it to be printed.

Amusing, isn't it?

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Re: Google Piracy, Thievery, Infringement...More News
Old 12-07-2006, 06:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Not everyone agrees that Google is bad for busines...

Publishers: Google Plan Actually Helps Book Sales


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Re: Google Piracy, Thievery, Infringement...More News
Old 12-08-2006, 05:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As the brief article pointed out, the only beneficiaries of Google's (purportedly infringing scanning and dissemination without permission) seem to be extremely small and/or specialized publishers.

The facts in the article also indicate that major publishers regard Google's activity as infringing and harmful, and have ordered Google to leave their books alone. The fact that Google IS obeying such orders also indicates that Google knows its actions are extremely questionable. How could Google not harm the rightful owners, if Google offers, for free, what the publishers are trying to sell?

My gentle colleagues should remember that it is a FUNDAMENTAL tenet of copyright black letter law AND case law AND other legal authority, that a would-be user MUST obtain permission from the copyright rights-holder BEFORE making such use of another person's property. Google's claim that is somehow is so "useful" that it may freely copy until warned off, attempts to turn settled copyright law -- and common sense -- on its head.

I looked into my crystal ball, and now predict that Google will continue to pay off major plaintiffs, to avoid binding legal precedents that the Google business model is, indeed, based on infringement. I also predict that Google will crush with paperwork and deliberate obstruction, "little guy" plaintiffs who are foolish enough to try to protect their work from such a behemoth.
 
 
Re: Google Piracy, Thievery, Infringement...More News
Old 12-08-2006, 09:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glamourpics View Post
My gentle colleagues should remember that it is a FUNDAMENTAL tenet of copyright black letter law AND case law AND other legal authority, that a would-be user MUST obtain permission from the copyright rights-holder BEFORE making such use of another person's property.
I haven't followed the details of the Google Library program, what it offers and under what conditions, so I am not going to comment on it directly. I am not a Google fanboy and I don't automatically assume that everything that they do is perfect. That being said...

Your quote above completely fails to mention "fair use", a well established component of copyright law. With regard to your previous postings about Google's image search, lower court cases in the US have gone both ways about Google's activities and appeals are in process. This is usually a sign that the subject is one about which reasonable people can disagree. You, apparently, have an axe to grind:

Quote:
Originally Posted by glamourpics View Post
Google has agreements with four academic libraries — those of Stanford, Harvard, Oxford and the University of Michigan — and with the New York Public Library to create digital copies of substantial parts of their collections and to make those collections available for searching online.
You will freely use charged words like "piracy" and "thieves" with regard to Google's actions, yet they could not move forward without the cooperation of these august libraries. Since I know of no way that Google could put a gun to their collective heads, and that the libraries are in no doubt accruing some benefit from the arrangements, I would think that you would want to tar them with the same brush, yet you are silent on the subject of librarian's being pirates and thieves as they merrily violate the copyrights of the books in their collections. Why is Google alone the focused subject of your ire?

Quote:
Originally Posted by glamourpics View Post
The fact that Google IS obeying such orders also indicates that Google knows its actions are extremely questionable.
Google, like every lawyer as well as anyone who has tried to do anything new that pushes the limits, knows that the following is true: It is always better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.
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Re: Google Piracy, Thievery, Infringement...More News
Old 12-11-2006, 01:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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A learned colleague said:

"Your quote above completely fails to mention "fair use", a well established component of copyright law. "

--I believe I have mentioned it in passing. I am familiar with the "fair use" exemption, and the various elements to be weighed in deciding whether the doctrine applies. Most experts, as well as myself, consider Google's claim of fair use to be baseless.



Our learned colleague also said:

"...You, apparently, have an axe to grind."

-- My only "axe" is photographers' rights to control and profit from their own work. As well as the rights of other victims. I have no other interest in Google, or Google's profiteering from other people's creative work.


Our learned colleague also said:

"You will freely use charged words like "piracy" and "thieves" with regard to Google's actions, yet they could not move forward without the cooperation of these august libraries. Since I know of no way that Google could put a gun to their collective heads, and that the libraries are in no doubt accruing some benefit from the arrangements, I would think that you would want to tar them with the same brush, yet you are silent on the subject of librarian's being pirates and thieves as they merrily violate the copyrights of the books in their collections. Why is Google alone the focused subject of your ire?"

-- An intelligent remark, pointing out my oversight. The libraries may well be infringers, technically "co-conspirators" or "enabling infringers." They absolutely are at fault, and should face copyright civil lawsuit(s) and any criminal charges along with Google and its operators. Google, however, is the kingpin, organizing and running the entire operation, and by comparison the libraries are small fry.



Our learned colleague also said:

"Google, like every lawyer as well as anyone who has tried to do anything new that pushes the limits, knows that the following is true: It is always better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission."

-- One's reaction to the quotation depends on whether one is a criminal, or a victim.
 
 
Re: Google Piracy, Thievery, Infringement...More News
Old 12-11-2006, 02:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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And let us not forget Googles eagerness after 9/11 to cooperate with the Feds regardless of constitutional correctness.

Bottom line - make the Feds happy. Money. Take without asking then settle. Money. Google = Money.
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Re: Google Piracy, Thievery, Infringement...More News
Old 12-11-2006, 02:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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A learned colleague said:

"...Money. Take without asking then settle. Money. Google = Money."

I was chatting w/ an intellectual property lawyer two days ago and we came around to several ways that Google could easily behave more honestly, and more respectfully of other people's rights:

1. They could rig their system to automatically respect Digimarc watermarking, and not copy, display, etc., watermarked photos. But Google doesn't do this;

2. In creating thumbnails, Google could easily degrade the quality of the thumbnails, or put some sort of slug across them, that would remove the economic value of the thumbnails. But Google doesn't do this;

3. Google could easily distribute info on simple ways to keep Google from illicit use. But Google doesn't do this;

4. Google could automatically notify website contacts that Google is taking stuff from the websites. But Google doesn't do this;

In fact, Google's whole intent from the beginning (and in fairness that of many other companies with similar business models) was to massively profit from OTHER people's creative work, without seeking permission, and without paying to use that work.
 
 
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