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Comment Re:VPNs FTW? (Score 1) 450

I've canceled my Netflix and gone back to torrents. It was the total lack of screeners on Netflix that turned be off. Hell, screeners are great -- it's just like being at the theater. If I can't see the heads of those in front and hear cellphones ringing two rows back then it's not a true movie experience.

Damn you Netflix! :-)

Comment Re:Raspberry Pi & OSMC (Score 1) 226

Absolutely Exodus is crazy-good on the RP2 with Kodi.

The only problem is the need to occasionally reflash the microSD because something happens to the database and it screws up 1Channel, Exodus, SALTS and all the other video plug-ins. Bit of a pain in the backside but worth the irritation when you consider the results you get.

Comment Re:Sadly, it's true (Score 2) 246

Yet, strangely enough, Google allows its YouTube service to only tacitly deal with copyright infringements through that service.

This is why Swift, McCartney and a bunch of other recording artists are pushing for a change to the DMCA that would prevent YouTube from effectively leveraging their music for profit without adequate compensation:

http://fortune.com/2016/06/20/taylor-swift-youtube/

Google only censors that which does not stand to make it a profit.

What I find interesting is that when you file a copyright violation complaint with YouTube (when, for instance, someone has uploaded one of your own videos to their own channel and monetized it), they often take their own sweet time to take it down. In fact, there are channels on YT that consist of nothing more than content leached from other channels. As someone who earns his living from his YT channels, I find it annoying that sometimes you have to flle a dozen or more notices against another channel carrying your videos, before YT will act.

What I also want to know is...

Where does the ad-revenue generated by those unauthorised uploads/views go?

I bet that YT doesn't refund the money to the advertisers -- but t hey sure as hell don't pass it on to the original owner of the copyright.

You can be pretty sure that this money goes straight into Google's pockets -- which explains why they're not at all interested in acting quickly to take-down such channels -- because its revenue without the need to share.

Do no evil?

Yeah, right!

Comment Sadly, it's true (Score 5, Interesting) 246

I noticed the "google censor" effect just the other day when I went searching for some info on a piece of software that is probably considered to be "evil" because it helps aid the circumvention of copyright.

This is a *very* popular bit of software but oddly enough, Google's search returned almost no results.

Censorship?

I think it's pretty obvious.

Comment Re:I don't (Score 2) 507

"While the Pi solution the writer posed would work, it won't have Netflix"

And that's important why?

I've been using KODI (more recently the TVMC image) with 1Channel, SALTS, Phoenix or Genesis on my RP for a long time and I watch all the Netflix content -- albeit I'm not burdened with a monthly subscription for doing so :-)

If Netflix want to make a plug-in for KODI available I'll subscribe. If they don't then it's no skin off my nose but in the meantime I'm not switching to Android or a PC just to pay them money.

Comment Re:Get ready everyone with anything (Score 3, Insightful) 189

But what constitutes a "cost"?

Is it the lease on your building? Yep
Is it the power to run your shop's lights? Yep
Is it the cost of attending a "widget" conference in Las Vegas for a week? Um...
Is it the cost of the new Porsche you purchased which gets used for business use 5% of the time? Errr...
Is it the boozy lunches you regularly hold for your "friends" in the widget industry? Hmm...

Most of those 15,000 pages are probably to do with defining what constitutes an acceptable expense and what doesn't.

The problem is immensely more complex than you might think -- which is why business gets away with "avoiding" tax so much more effectively than wage-slaves do.

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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