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Comment Re:Fair use (Score 1) 172

It would be fair use only if used infrequently. For example, if you want to quote someone else's article in your article, that's fair use. However, if your entire business is dependent upon making snippets from thousands of articles, that's no longer fair use, it's commercial use.

No, you're wrong.

First, fair use applies to both commercial and non-commercial uses. For example, when Mad Magazine did a movie parody, that would be fair use, even though the magazine us sold for an increasing cheap price and is a commercial venture.

Second, the previous poster didn't really explain it well. Fair use is when a copyrighted work is used without permission in a way that, but for fair use, would be infringing, but which is not infringing because it is in the general purpose of copyright to allow such a use. It's evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and is completely fact dependent. This, any particular use might be a fair use, but not just any use actually is.

There's a test for finding out whether a use is fair or not. It has four factors, though it isn't a matter of adding up how many factors go one way or another, and depending on the case, one factor might be treated as outweighing another. Plus, it's just a tool; other factors can be considered too.

The factors are: 1) the purpose and character of the use, such as whether the use is for profit or not, whether the use would advance the progress of knowledge by resulting in something new or otherwise helpful; 2) the nature of the work being used, such as whether it is fictional and therefore very creative and worth protecting, or factual, and therefore not worth protecting quite so much (how a work presents itself is also often relevant in copyright; if you claim that something is a fact, even though it's made up or is just a hypothesis, others may get to treat it as a fact) as well as whether the work being used has already been published or not; 3) the amount of the work used, and how important to the work that portion is; and 4) whether the use will have a negative effect on the value or market for the work (positive effects are not considered).

Snippets of this type -- in aggregate, mind you -- have repeatedly been found to be fair use in the US because for the first factor, although the use is commercial in nature, it provides a benefit to society in being able to search for this material (which of course requires as much material as possible to be used in constructing the index, even though the index itself, as opposed to the results of a search, is not made available), the second factor may weigh against the use depending on the material being indexed, but it is not treated as being very important, obviously the whole work must be used to make the index for the index to be useful, so the third factor doesn't matter, and for the fourth factor, it doesn't harm the market for news articles to be able to find them and to see in one or two lines why they match your search terms. It doesn't matter if that's the business model.

And if you think this is extreme, look at time shifting, which is bad on all of the first three factors, but is sufficiently successful on the fourth so as to be fair use (in a general way, since again it is highly fact dependent)

Submission + - Malibu Media stay lifted, motion to quash denied

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In the federal court for the Eastern District of New York, where all Malibu Media cases have been stayed for the past year, the Court has lifted the stay and denied the motion to quash in the lead case, thus permitting all 84 cases to move forward. In his 28-page decision (PDF), Magistrate Judge Steven I. Locke accepted the representations of Malibu's expert, one Michael Patzer from a company called Excipio, that in detecting BitTorrent infringement he relies on "direct detection" rather than "indirect detection", and that it is "not possible" for there to be misidentification.

Comment Re: Question (Score 2) 519

Let's face it, there weren't all that many heroines in WWI, or even WWII for that matter. Yes, there were the WACS, but women were kept away form combat.

None the less, many were heroic on the home front, and married the returning doughboys, some of whom were addicted to morphine. Many returning soldiers were indeed addicted to their heroines, and pampered them the rest of their joint lives.

Some of these doughboys were addicted to various forms of opium pain killers taken from their injury, including heroin . . . :)

hawk

Comment Re:Here's an idea (Score 1) 118

I've never blocked anything just for being an ad.

I do block anything that blinks or moves, including those carousals on news sites, and those bouncy-floating sidebars.

The consequence is that I see so few ads that I' surprised when one happens.

On the rare occasion I need a website on my phone, I use ghostly. I'm just plain not a product, and do not want to be tracked.

hawk

Comment Re:Actually 3rd point was agreement with trial jud (Score 1) 23

Actually whoever the new guy is, I don't find the site to be "improved" at all; seems a little crummy. The story was butchered and incorrectly interpreted, and the all important software for interaction seems less interactive.

But what do I know?

As to my absence I've been a bit overwhelmed by work stuff, sorry about that, it's no excuse :)

Comment Actually 3rd point was agreement with trial judge (Score 4, Informative) 23

The story as published implies that the ruling overruled the lower court on the 3 issues. In fact, it was agreeing with the trial court on the third issue -- that the sporadic instances of Vimeo employees making light of copyright law did not amount to adopting a "policy of willful blindness".

Submission + - Appeals court slams record companies on DMCA in Vimeo case

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In the long-simmering appeal in Capitol Records v. Vimeo, the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upheld Vimeo's positions on many points regarding the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. In its 55 page decision (PDF) the Court ruled that (a) the Copyright Office was dead wrong in concluding that pre-1972 sound recordings aren't covered by the DMCA, (b) the judge was wrong to think that Vimeo employees' merely viewing infringing videos was sufficient evidence of "red flag knowledge", and (c) a few sporadic instances of employees being cavalier about copyright law did not amount to a "policy of willful blindness" on the part of the company. The Court seemed to take particular pleasure in eviscerating the Copyright Office's rationales. Amicus curiae briefs in support of Vimeo had been submitted by a host of companies and organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, Public Knowledge, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Microsoft, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter.

Comment Re:Like an opinion article (Score 1) 381

"Starvation mode" has been shown to be a myth. It comes down to basic math, calories in vs. calories out.

If you eat less and work out more, you lose weight. You do the opposite, you gain.

There's no way for the body to "magically" get fat when eating less. That violates the laws of thermodynamics. Sure, the rate of how quickly you gain or lose weight may change (e.g., when you eat less or change your macros to consume less sugar, you may find yourself being more lethargic in the short term until you get used to it, and so you will burn fewer calories). Or, as you lose weight, you need fewer calories (because there isn't as much of you to support).

But a calorie is a calorie and reducing ~3500 calories results in about 1lb of weight loss. Is it exactly 3500? No. Why? Because there are so many other variables at play. But is it closer to 3500 than, say, 500 or 10,000? You bet.

Comment Re:spin (Score 1) 211

Which is the point where you've broken copyright law. Photocopying books is, well, copying them.

Unless you're engaged in a fair use (or fall under certain other exceptions), in which case the copying is perfectly legal under copyright law. Which turns out to have been the case here.

And thanks to Google clearing the trail, it'll be easier for others to do the same thing, if they're inclined.

Comment Re:spin (Score 1) 211

They don't have an exclusive right to scan in books. First, because such a right could only be granted by either copyright holders, as an exclusive license (which would also necessarily mean that scanning the licensed book was not infringing) which wouldn't matter to rivals because the rivals can ignore such a license and rely on fair use per the lower court's decision. Second, because the only other way to have an exclusive would be if there were literally only one copy in existence and the library that owned the copy refused to grant access to anyone else, and that is frankly, pretty unlikely.

The reason that they may have an effective exclusive is simply that it's an expensive pain in the ass to scan all of this stuff in, and there's little money in it, so who else would want to bother. But the disinclination of third parties to compete with Google because it's hard, likely minimally profitable work, is hardly Google's fault.

The point is, they took on a project that violated copyright on a massive scale. They want to claim that it's fair use

No they didn't. Fair use is by definition not a violation of copyright. And so far this has been determined to be fair use, and with the Supreme Court refusing to take up the case, there should be nothing else to say about it.

I think it's only fair the LoC get a full copy of their book index.

That would be nice, but they're under no obligation to give a copy to the Library of Congress if they don't want to.

Frankly, I think its good that such a thing exist in society. But it's not good that a private for-profit company can take it on themselves to do that for their own gain.

Why not? Certainly the government should be doing this sort of thing; as an attorney it always bothers me that there's no public alternative to Lexis and Westlaw. But that the government could do it and should do it doesn't preclude private entities from doing it too, as a general rule.

For instance, the government builds most roads. But nothing stops a private company from building a private, for-profit highway, so long as they can get the land without government assistance and afford to build a safe roadway on it which complies with various regulations. It's just such a hassle that it's rare.

Honestly, it's strange that laws suddenly stopped applying because it was on a computer.

Copyright law applies. Google simply hasn't acted illegally is all. Google books is no different than if someone made analog xeroxes of lots of books, manually compiled a master index of everything in them, and took requests by phone to tell people what books matched various search terms (possibly with a specific sentence or passage read aloud over the phone to lend context to the result).

Computers make this practical, not legal.

Comment Re:spin (Score 1) 211

Suppose an author hated a book they had written earlier. It would be impossible for them to buy and destroy every copy.

Screw 'em.

Competitors who would have to reproduce the electronic archiving, as opposed to having the LoC owning the electronic copies and people competing on search algorithms.

Oh, that's just stupid. I doubt Google has an exclusive that would prevent people from surmounting the same natural barrier to entry. And if the government did scan everything in and make its scans available to third party search engines, that certainly wouldn't prohibit anyone else from doing their own scans either. It would just be a government subsidy of book searching. Perhaps that would be good, but it's not a valid criticism of Google Books.

Comment Re:Dissolve the Berne Convention (Score 1) 211

Creative works are copyrighted by default. The author/artist does not need to take any action for their work to be protected.

Yes, and that's a colossally stupid idea. Copyrights should only be available where authors take action to get them, and only persist where authors regularly take action to maintain them.

This is probably what the earlier poster was complaining about, and I suspect you took him too literally.

Comment Re:Dissolve the Berne Convention (Score 1) 211

something that you didn't create, thus implying it is copyrighted until you can show otherwise

That's a big part of the problem which the earlier poster was alluding to. Works should never be copyrighted unless the copyright is specifically requested by the author, through a registration process that includes placing copyright notices and registration numbers on the work to facilitate checking their copyright status.

This is no great burden for authors, who will either comply if they want copyrights, or ignore it and let their works enter the public domain immediately (indicating that they didn't care about the copyright to begin with). On the other hand, it would be greatly beneficial to the public, who would no longer have to assume that everything is copyrighted until they can prove otherwise.

A requirement to maintain up-to-date information in the registry, lest the copyright be lost, would also help with the orphan works problem you mentioned.

Comment Re:Short-term benefit? (Score 1) 211

As someone else said, this is just Google being greedy - they could have come up with some sort of agreement with the authors that allowed them to do it via a subscription service, or such. Instead, they decided to give away someone else's work for free.

Actually, no, they couldn't. The transactional costs would be so great that neither Google, nor anyone else, would be willing to bother. Plus there would be authors who would refuse to participate, or who would balkanize the market with exclusive arrangements, much as we're seeing with music and video.

It's too knotty a problem to solve, other than by cutting right through.

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