Controversy Still Surrounds Google Book Project

21 08 2009

September 4 marks the deadline for authors and publishers to opt out of a proposed settlement allowing Google, Inc. to move forward with its plan to scan millions of books and make them available on an online database.

The settlement, reached last October after two years of negotiations, would involve lawsuits filed against Google for copyright infringement by requiring it to establish a system of identifying and compensating copyright holders.

However, as the September 4 deadline draws near, more and more opponents of the deal are speaking up. Recently, organizations such as the National Writers Union and entertainment agency William Morris Endeavor have come out against it. The controversy is likely to continue as few appear to understand all the details of the over 300-page settlement document.

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Kenneth Crews criticizes lack of options for authors in Google Books Settlement

18 08 2009

Google Books Settlement and Author Rights

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The Google Books Settlement is like an archeological adventure. Move another stone in the wall and you find another dark and mysterious passage. Consider Section 3.5(a) of the settlement agreement. It is one important step in a series of opportunities for authors and rightsholders to wiggle free of the settlement terms. Unfortunately, each opportunity is limited and maybe even illusory. Choice is good, and the settlement agreement appears to give considerable flexibility to rightsholders, but appearances often do not match reality. The lack of real choice leaves authors and rightsholders in a long-term, and sometimes involuntary, relationship with the Google Books Search project.

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AP to Public: Don’t rewrite!

17 08 2009

Dear Rich: I am working on a book presentation and was researching an article on MSNBC. At the bottom of the article, it read: “This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.” What do they mean when they say it can’t be rewritten?

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Court rules copying your own DVD’s is illegal

16 08 2009

A federal court has found a DVD copying company’s software violates U.S. copyright law. What is more, the court held copying DVD’s (including ones you’ve purchased and legally own) is illegal.

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WTO Ruling a Possible Boon to U.S. Copyright Holders

13 08 2009

We haven’t read the World Trade Organization’s big ruling, handed down Wednesday, ordering China to be stop forcing U.S. companies to deal with the Chinese government when they want to distribute their copyrighted works. The ruling is 460 pages (460 pages!?). Maybe, if the action from Hazeltine proves less than entirely compelling this weekend, we’ll digest it and get back it to you. For now, LBers, you’ll have to deal with our shiftlessness and accept our news-coverage roundup.

The dealio: The ruling, according to the WSJ, represents a stinging blow to China — “it’s biggest defeat yet” — in the long-running battle over how American books, movies and music are distributed in China. According to the WSJ, the ruling could help break open the tight controls that have crippled the ability of filmmakers, musicians, videogame designers and other artists to widely market their creations at reasonable prices. Click here for the NYT article;

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Updates on Perfect 10 v Google

12 08 2009

http://news.justia.com/cases/featured/california/cacdce/2:2004cv09484/167815/#20090809


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RealNetworks court loss a reminder about limits of “fair use”

12 08 2009

RealNetworks suffered a serious blow late Tuesday night in its ongoing DMCA drama with the movie studios. Judge Marilyn Patel granted a temporary injunction against the company, barring it from selling its RealDVD copying software thanks to language in Real’s license with the DVD Copy Control Association (DVD CCA). Patel did not directly include the issue of fair use as part of her ruling, though she did make an observation about its relevance to the DMCA, asserting that it can’t be used as a defense against DMCA circumvention violations.

This case addresses both RealDVD (a software package) and, to a lesser extent, a prototype hardware product that would have ripped DVDs directly to a hard drive and hosted the files as a media server. Real originally tried to launch RealDVD in September of 2008 as a product which could rip DVDs to a user’s hard drive and play them back, while leaving CSS encryption intact. The software did not modify or change the files, and—unlike similar software packages—Real had even obtained an official license from the DVD CCA to do so. Sounds like everything was on track, right? Wrong.

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More on educational fair use — from an unexpected source

9 08 2009

When last I was heard from in this space, I was bemoaning the lack of any solid case law supporting what, at some level, we all know the be true: that the educational enterprise has a special place in the scheme of copyright law, and that – in particular – educational uses (both commercial and non-commercial) deserve special deference in fair use analysis. See Educational fair use: a provocation“. Since then, I’ve become aware of a development that seems worth commenting on, even though to do so puts me in a strangely divided position.

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Google Book Settlement letters to the court

7 08 2009

Letters to the court supporting and opposing the settlement http://news.justia.com/cases/featured/new-york/nysdce/1:2005cv08136/273913/#20090807


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Website Copying Case Not Tossed, Tough Lessons Learned

7 08 2009

A federal appeals court has refused to toss a lawsuit by a 50-lawyer personal injury law firm that claims another two-lawyer law firm used its copyrighted website content.

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