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Google Gives Up Fair-Use Defense, Settles Book-Scanning Lawsuit With Publishers 18

Posted by Soulskill
from the information-wants-to-be-copyrighted-and-privatized dept.
thomst writes "David Kravets of Wired's Threat Level blog reports that McGraw-Hill, Pearson Education, Penguin Group, John Wiley & Sons and Simon & Shuster have struck a deal to end those companies' lawsuit against Google for copyright infringement over its Google Books search service. Kravets reports that Andi Sporkin, a spokesperson for the publishers, has said they've 'agreed to disagree' on Google's assertion that its scanning of books in university libraries (and making up to 20% of the scanned content available in search results) was protected by the fair use defense against copyright infringement. The terms of the deal are secret, but the result is that the companies in question have dropped their lawsuit against Google. However, the Authors Guild lawsuit against Google on the same grounds is still stuck in the appeals process, after U.S. District Judge Denny Chin rejected a proposed settlement of the suit in 2011, on the grounds that its treatment of so-called 'orphaned works' amounted to making new copyright law — a power he insisted only Congress could exercise."
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Google Gives Up Fair-Use Defense, Settles Book-Scanning Lawsuit With Publishers

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  • C'mon guys (Score:3, Informative)

    by fustakrakich (1673220) on Friday October 05, 2012 @09:31AM (#41557927) Journal

    Helllloooo [slashdot.org]...

  • Making a digital copy of an entire book and re-publishing it online for profit doesn't seem like "fair" use to me. So, while I'll be the first to point out that copyright law is flawed, I'm pleased to see that Google is going to comply with it just like every other company (and individual) has to.
    • by tilante (2547392)

      Making a digital copy of an entire book and re-publishing it online for profit doesn't seem like "fair" use to me. So, while I'll be the first to point out that copyright law is flawed, I'm pleased to see that Google is going to comply with it just like every other company (and individual) has to.

      Sure, but Google wasn't ever doing that, and never had any intention to.

      (1) They weren't ever re-publishing the entire book online, except for books that were either out of copyright, or no longer in-print and not available at reasonable prices. (See more about this below.) Only up to 20% of it, and they were choosing that 20% in a way that made it more useful for determining whether a book had information you wanted, but less useful for actually getting that information (e.g., table of contents was alwa

  • Soon only google will be allowed to do these things with these agreements while other competitor will be shut out. A nonruling on this matter will leave the landscape fragmented and behind the curve for decades. Which is a shame, I found way more books via google books than any other way. Usually doing research. Without the content search, I would never have found the books or bothered buying them - afterall my budget is only so large and I cannot chase after every book that might or might not have what

  • Folks,

    3 or 4 post in as I write this and already the naifs discussing complete abolition of copyright have sprung up. What will be lost in all of this, as always in these discussions, is that google could have damn well gone to the publishers / copyrightholders in advance and negotiate a fee for publishing such 'abandoned' works. Im sure the publishers would have been amenable to even quite modest renumeration and a fair arrangement could have been reached. this is how copyright is SUPPOSED to work.

    Inste

    • don't forget folks -there is an option that is neither "insanely shortsighted abolition of all copyright" nor "information that cannot be used because it is locked down"

      That's what we have now, and has enabled what you described.

    • by cduffy (652)

      1. had there been a strong punative element to the settlement, then perhaps others would be less brazen about such willful copyright violation as google had engaged in. and let's be clear - that's exactly what it was.

      I disagree -- the fair-use argument seems clear.

      Yes, it was commercial. However, it was structured in such a way as to increase rather than diminish the value of the works so copied (sharing a subset calculated to advertise the value of the work while still leaving its market value intact) -- a

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