How Has Larry Page Avoided Prison?
Roland is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
It’s a question asked by authors and artists around the world, especially technical authors. It is also a question that should be asked by anyone using AdWords for marketing, but, most are unaware of what Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is doing.
Haven’t we all been told since childhood that the “justification” for massive CEO compensation packages was the fact they sat in the big chair? If ANY criminal activity was engaged in by the corporation, THEY were supposed to be the ones held accountable by the Justice Department. So why hasn’t the Justice Department handed out any accountability?
Serving primarily as an office of record, the Copyright Office is not charged with enforcing the law it administers. Copyright infringement is generally a civil matter, which the copyright owner must pursue in federal court. Under certain circumstances, the infringement may also constitute a criminal misdemeanor or felony, which would be prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Thankfully at least one Federal Judge was looking out for the authors of the world when they tossed out wretched “settlement” the Author’s Guild had the audacity to think they could force on the world. They certainly don’t represent myself or thousands of other Indy authors around the world. They have no right to negotiate a settlement on “our” part.
Let’s be frank. This was theft. It was done with malice of forethought.
In legal terms, Google has the most to lose from the settlement's failure. Because it defiantly kept scanning throughout the legal process, those scans now loom as millions of potential infringements, with some observers estimating Google's total exposure at over $3.6 trillion.
No one should underestimate Google's ability to come up with a creative solution. In the meantime, however, most expect Google's legal team to play a delaying game until the Washington office hires enough lobbyists to pave the way for a legislative solution.
Any “fair use” claims Google may and has been tossing to the press is simply smoke past a lower bodily orifice. This was done for one reason and one reason only: advertising dollars. Google wanted to push all other content providers out of the market by offering YOUR commercial content for free so they could sell advertising.
Why don’t you visit Google books and choose a word that will get you a manageable number of responses, such as OpenVMS?
See all of that advertising on the far right and in that highlighted stop section of the browser window? That’s the reason Google did it and kept doing it.
If a cable or satellite TV channel went to a library and checked out all of their movies, then aired those movies selling commercial advertising space every 10-15 minutes, the people behind it would be in prison right now. This is exactly what Google Books did.
Not only did they broadcast without permission, they made it easy to “record the broadcast.” If you were unfortunate enough to get one of your technical books scanned by Google, the minimum viewable percentage they allow is 20%. Several years ago I received a rather presumptuously worded email from an Indian IT worker who had gathered seven friends and once they had the table of contents, continued to do searches that allowed them to get the entire book. What was presumptuous is that he demanded I send him the entire book in Word format so he could host it on his company’s server for printing and distribution. I kid you not.
I have been told by more than one Indian-based technical recruiter that they have seen photocopied versions of The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer for sale by street vendors for as little as $2 a copy. They say they see a lot of “book vendors” along the streets selling photocopied technical books for less than $5 per copy. The pirates don’t even reimburse their employers for the copy paper or binders, but Google got to sell advertising. So what if technical authors lose tens of thousands of sales.