Re: Google Accused of Copyright Infringement Fwd:


Subject: Re: Google Accused of Copyright Infringement Fwd:
From: Dennis Bathory-Kitsz (bathory@maltedmedia.com)
Date: Wed Sep 21 2005 - 10:01:08 EDT


At 02:24 PM 9/21/05 +0100, Richard Wentk wrote:
>At 02:37 21/09/2005, you wrote:
>>>Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 21:26:51 -0400
>>>From: Harold Isaac <i_isaac@alcor.concordia.ca>
>>>Subject: Google Accused of Copyright Infringement
>>>
>>>Check out this article:
>>>http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050920/ap_on_hi_te/google_scanning_books
>
>Isn't this called File Sharing when it's done to music?

Sort of. :)

I really believe that the narrow view of copyright and commerce can be a
bad thing. Set aside for the moment the idea of both techical rights and
free-market theocracy, and think instead of libraries and the social place
they have earned over the years (even if the Internet seems to have dimmed
that place in recent times). They are always granted a special
consideration, and partnering with a commercial organization should not
automatically taint that consideration.

Google's work with libraries to digitize material into a great,
indestructible library of bits is a contribution to the cataloging and
preservation of and access to creative work ... not only for its simple
preservation and storage, but for its indexing/database capabilities, for
its ability to snapshot a collection, and not least for its precedent in
pressuring publishers to move forward in their own sluggish move toward
maintaining their catalogs. Publishers are notorious in removing books from
the active list or even destroying them en masse for a few pennies in tax
advantages.

Remember MP3.com? At its height, this was the greatest single repository of
musical content in the history of humanity -- and it was sold, dismantled,
and destroyed in the stroke of a pen (virtual or not), resulting in a
musical diaspora. The reasons were management and lawsuits, but ultimately
a commercial operation was attacked for building a significant library of
human creativity and enhancing access to music. Maybe the Internet as a
whole is that library now, but the old barriers of access return (though
again Google and other good search engines help). MP3.com's destruction was
a loss.

Lawsuits are easy. Complaining is easy. But imagining a project of this
size into existence, and then carrying through with enormous investment,
seems to me to place an obligation on the complainers to show what is wrong
on balance, not on technical detail. It seems to me that this kind of
complaint is among the contributing factors to the wholesale disaffection
with (and ignoring of) copyright protection in the public eye ... equating
it with onerous copy protection features. Just look at Switchfoot's
decision to show how to get around Sony's copy protection
(http://forums1.sonymusic.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/716102313/m/5201067064).

For me, the question is: Again, on balance, is what the Google-library
partnership a good thing? If it is, how can it be encouraged to everyone's
benefit, whether that requires changing the laws or simply interpreting
them in a more generous manner?

Dennis



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