Sunday, October 18, 2015

Seizing "Snippets" And World Civilization

The Authors' Guild is disappointed that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals did not view as infringement Google's activities in copying books without permission, and publishing and distributing those permissionless copies to libraries, and publishing and distributing significant chunks of those books to all the world without permission or compensation.

I wonder why no greater sink was raised about the definition of "Snippet". Surely there ought to be a legal definition.  In my opinion, four consecutive pages is no "snippet". It could be the bulk of an author's explanation of or insights into a topic.

In an earlier blog post, I recounted what I found when I tried to do my daughter's homework reading assignment from "World Civilization" without buying particular edition of the book that was the course requirement.

Most of what I needed was on Google Books. The rest, and indeed the entire edition of World Civ was available for free thanks to linked Google Searches that led me to a Russian pirate url.

Some musicians support the Authors' Guild, as they should. What would happen if all "snippets" of any copyrighted work are free to seize and monetize?  What if it were legal and transformative for Google to host a site that allows anyone to study "snippets" of the world's music to see if it contained "information" relevant to their needs ?  Is that YouTube?

Why are judges today so easily persuaded that art, literature, music, photography, movies and more ought to be seized and shared?

My best,
Rowena Cherry

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