Titanic victory for fair use: appeals court says Google's book-scanning is legal


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2015/10/16/titanic-victory-for-fair-use.html

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals just dropped a bombshell, ruling against the Authors Guild in its bid to force Google to stop scanning books and making them searchable.


A great result, but also more evidence for the emerging reality that titanic victories require titanic defendants…


One counter example: Europe vs Facebook was mostly done and won by one Austrian student.


Nice sentence


Beware of those austrian students…


He’s not a painter, though.


Are they still watermarking scans of public domain books?


Yep, those Austrian students can completely change our world.

Especially when they work together.


It really helps for getting ahead if you can also provide serviceable rationalizations for US trained death squads. But hey, tossing people from helicopters into the sea is a small price to pay for liberty from a democratically elected government trying to create a public pension system.


I don’t think this really such a great victory as a move sideways. It’s the reshuffling of the way companies can own rights, not actually freeing things for the public good. I remain skeptical that beneficial copyright regime can exist so long as intellectual property is treated as another kind of capital, and one that is quickly becoming the most important kind of capital.


I’m always puzzled that American conservatives and libertarians put so much faith in people that probably passed Hitler in the streets of Vienna.

BTW, I think one of the translations of Mein Kampf is about to enter the public domain, I’d like to see a crowdsourced translation because the existing versions are rather muddled.


Yes, 1945 + 70 pma -> Jan 1 2016


“Titanic victory” sounds like it should mean something like “Pyrrhic victory.” A great achievement that is almost immediately scuttled, perhaps.


Delighted with the result. I would only quarrel with the suggestion that the 2nd Circuit tends to favor copyright holders. That’s far more true of the 9th Circuit (the Disney circuit). Judge Pierre Leval is the author of the concept of transformative use - the legal theory that created space for a more robust fair use doctrine.

The NY circuit sees, case by case, how valuable fair use is to publishers. Eventually the Authors Guild may figure that out too.


Who’s been collecting the royalties?


To be fair, they probably don’t have much use for Einstein.


It wasn’t published in English by the Nazis. The time line was something like published in German in 1927 and then an unauthorized translated into English about 1938 and it was quite garbled because the publishers didn’t want to win Hitler any fans, and then the more familiar translation was done after the war. The translations are so different that you can hardly tell it’s the same book. A lot those details are probably wrong, but that’s the general idea. the translations would have their own copyrights,


His work was burned, so was Darwin, Freud was chased out, the universities (which already had very conservative faculty) were purged politically, and the Nazis packed the schools with political crackpots and run by business people (sound familiar?). This led to shortages of engineers by the time the war started.


Seriously though I have found Google books to be very valuable for helping me to decide what books to purchase. It is also extremely handy for tracking down the usage of phrases by different authors - is that a standard phrase used on that field or just something one guy said? Also, it has helped find where one author plagiarizes a couple lines without any citation, which happens all the time.


, named Juan.