[kwlug-disc] Google book deal

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Sat Jan 23 20:53:02 EST 2010

So ... under appropriate circumstances, it's not ok to steal google 
code (China), but it is OK to steal copyright.

Granted - not clear, and not black and white. e.g. I expect there are 
author compensation issues, and issues wrt how hard google has to 
search to find the copyright holder.

But, again, corporations want to play both sides of the fence, 
depending upon when which is convenient or advantageous to them.

If the FOSS model is, essentially, everyone should write free code and 
try to make money on the support back end, how does that work for 
authors? There is no support back end.

Yet we all seem to want to berate those who want to have an idea, and 
make tons of money on it such that they never have to work again.

As if consultants are expected to earn their daily bread, until the 
day they die. They're berated for wanting to win the lottery, as it 
were, and be able to retire early.


Just irritated, sometimes. Probably inappropriately so. And probably 
misinformed. No right answers for everyone in all circumstances.

Bob (Day) - you're an author ... have you been following this google 
book / copyright stuff? Even if not, your particular thoughts, as an 

Paul Nijjar wrote, On 01/23/2010 7:51 PM:
> On Sat, Jan 23, 2010 at 05:42:24PM -0500, Lori Paniak wrote:
>> Does anyone know the details of Google's foray into book digitization?
>> Taking control from "those who write it" doesn't sound very
>> FLOS-friendly.  Or is this last-minute posturing by certain writers for 
>> a bigger slice of pie? 
>> http://www.cbc.ca/arts/books/story/2010/01/23/leguin-petition-google.html
> I have not been following this closely, but I have been running into
> backlash against the Google Books approach for years now. 
> As far as I can tell, the key element is that Google wants to digitize
> and distribute books even when they cannot find the copyright holder
> of the work. That does not apply to Le Guin; it does apply to many
> other very old works under which copyright still holds (thanks
> Disney!). Copyright is broken, but the gripe appears to be that it
> still remains in effect, and Google is ignoring that at its
> convenience. 
> I could be missing something here. I do not know what the compensation
> for known authors is. My impression is that authors can tell Google
> that they do not want their digitized work distributed (which is what
> the petition is about). 
> Here is a blog post with useful comments: 
> http://www.ditchwalk.com/2009/12/24/ursula-k-le-guin-resigns/
> I would be interested in hearing from those who have more knowledge
> about how this all works.

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