Saturday, March 16, 2019

Scraping Your Face... Your Works

On March 12th, Eric Carter for NBC News revealed that IBM, and possibly others, are scraping social media sites for faces... to help Watson (presumably) to get really good at recognizing those faces.

If you have a Flickr account, your face may have been scraped.  Visit the NBC link to use their search tool to find out.

There's a small detail in the piece that caught my attention. Apparently, some academics think that they can freely use photographs that are released under Creative Commons. According to this writer's understanding of the Creative Commons system, Creative Commons licensed works (or photos) may be freely used but only on condition that full and proper written attribution is published with the works or photos.

Scraping works (and apparently encouraging users to "Upload")  is Ebook.Bike a seemingly scurrilous pirate site that has found a new host. It calls itself a "library", but libraries purchase the books that they loan out, and they pay for licenses to loan out ebooks. Libraries do not rip off authors, publishers and everyone in the writing and publishing ecosystem.

Members of the Authors Guild can use this form to send a takedown notice. Non-guild members might want to use this Google form to request that the links to their books are removed.

Another apparently bad actor is Open Library which tries to validate its behavior by making up a "premise" (CDL  aka "Controlled Digital Lending") even though other operations that have tried to apply first sale rights to digital works have lost in court, such as ReDigi.

All the best,

Rowena Cherry

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