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IP-Watch Summer Interns

IP-Watch interns talk about their Geneva experience in summer 2013. 2:42.

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2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

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5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

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    Fate Of Google Book Search Still To Come, Expert Says

    Published on 8 February 2013 @ 1:02 am

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    A few years ago, internet giant Google had the idea to digitise tens of millions of the world’s books and ran into legal trouble with the publishers and authors of some of them. The cases have moved through many stages, but the ultimate fate of the massive amounts of knowledge it could have made available to the public is still to come, says a Washington, DC lawyer who has followed the case closely for years.

    A look at the status of the project was given by Jonathan Band of policybandwidth.com in Washington, DC. He spoke at the Yale Law School Information Society Project on 6 February. (Band graduated from Yale Law School before working for a large law firm in Washington for many years, and now has his own firm.)

    Originally, the Google Book Search started in about 2004 would allow books to be searched online, and would display three short snippets of the text. It would scan some 25 -30 million books borrowed from major U.S. research libraries, some 80 percent of which were still under copyright.

    Google said displaying a small portion is fair use, but authors and publishers did not see the advantage and sued for infringement in autumn of 2005. One involved five publishers, the other the Authors’ Guild association, in a class action suit.

    In 2008, a complicated 200-page (plus appendices and attachments) settlement was announced between Google, publishers and authors. The settlement would have let Google sell whole books, offered a subscription service for libraries or others to access the full database, and would allow up to 20 percent of the book to be viewed for free.

    But some writers, especially foreign ones, were worried about this arrangement, as were some lawyers who saw problems with using a class action settlement to allow Google to offer commercial services not at issue in the original litigation. The US Copyright Office said it might violate international treaty obligations, and the Justice Department raised antitrust concerns.

    So the settlement was revised, and a fairness hearing was held in 2010. Then in 2011, Judge Chin rejected the settlement, essentially on the basis that many class members opposed it, Band said.

    Meanwhile, Google gave its partner libraries digital copies of the books they had lent it. Under the settlement, the libraries were able to put their copies together to form HathiTrust, managed by the University of Michigan library. It would create a separate database of all the books, but with strong limits on what could be done with them.

    After Judge Chin rejected the settlement in 2011, HathiTrust had to decide what to do with the database. Google, for its part, continued to do what it had always been doing (scanning and displaying three snippets).

    With the rejection of the settlement, the two original lawsuits against Google (by the publishers and the Authors Guild) resumed. Additionally, the Authors Guild and several associations of foreign writers sued HathiTrust.

    The five publishers settled their litigation with Google in October 2012. It is unclear whether any other publishers might emerge to sue Google, but Band thought it unlikely. Among other reasons: e-books have become widely available and popular, and it has become apparent that the Google scan and snippet does not hurt them, and may even help.

    In the Authors Guild suit against Google, Judge Chin in May 2012 certified a class of authors whose copyrights Google allegedly infringed. Band observed that Chin’s certification of the class seems contradictory to his rejection of the settlement on the grounds that the interests of authors were too diverse. Google appealed the author class certification to the Second Circuit, and a ruling is pending.

    In the Authors Guild suit against HathiTrust, Judge Baer in October 2012 found that HathiTrust was a fair use. The Authors Guild has indicated that it will appeal that decision to the Second Circuit.

    Band said the Google Book Search may not be indicative of the overall state of knowledge access, but rather is a somewhat unique situation focusing on search. But he said that the question of making available the full text of the scanned material is still not solved. It is not available unless they are HathiTrust members or print-disabled readers. For non-members, HathiTrust displays even less than Google – not even the snippets.

    Meanwhile, libraries still have their archived material, and there are a variety of digitisation projects going on worldwide.

    Another case that is being very closely watched involves Georgia State University’s e-reserves. Judge Evans found they are fair use, and the publishers have appealed.

    Overall, copyright is still a “really big problem” for mass digitisation and educational uses, Band said. And even the Justice Department may weigh in on the side of rights holders in the Georgia State case.

    He offered little hope for the US Congress to solve the problem. “As dysfunctional as Congress is about budget matters, it is even more dysfunctional about copyright,” he said.

    So for now, the process is going to have to be litigation.

    He did question the approach of the publishers, who are in effect suing their content creators and their customers. In the Georgia State case, the judge found that only five out of 99 excerpts were infringing, and so awarded the university attorney’s fees.

    Finally, Band called attention to the apparent inconsistency that academics publish their works with strongly proprietary scholarly publishers, rather than publishing their works in an open access format. He proposed that academic institutions should encourage academics to publish open access.

    William New may be reached at wnew@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. Hiram Jones says:

      The author skirts around the essential core of the cases, that Google’s actions were massive criminal and civil copyright infringement. As were those of the Hathi Trust, essentially a puppet and co-conspirator of Google.supremacy ikshiphe

    2. john e miller says:

      As Counselor Band was also a principal author of an Amicus brief filed on behalf of the American Library Association (ALA) in the Authors Guild v HathiTrust case (now on appeal with filings due end of this month} in support of the Defendants, he can hardly be considered an impartial observer on the related issues.

      Many of the opinions offered in that Amicus document are the subject of the appeal especially those related to persons with a print disability.

      http://www.librarycopyrightalliance.org/bm~doc/lca_hathitrustamicus06july12.pdf

    3. William New says:

      @john e miller: I agree that Band’s role in the case should have been made clear in the story. We will be more careful to clarify in future. William New, IP-Watch editor


    Leave a Reply

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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