Will Others Now Line Up To Get Paid From Google?

from the bad-precedents dept

I know that many folks disagree with my view that Google’s decision to settle with book authors and publishers was a huge long term strategic mistake, but it appears others are beginning to recognize the issues. Already, we’ve seen Harvard bail out on the deal, since it seems to work at cross purposes to Harvard’s mission, but more importantly, others are realizing the implicit statement behind Google’s caving: information is not free, and those who have information should line up to Google and demand to get paid. In fact, as found on Romenesko, some are wondering when newspaper and magazine execs will realize what the book scanning deal means, and start demanding the same sort of deal from Google. I would suggest it goes even further than that. If Google is setting up a pool to pay authors, and if that leads to them doing a similar thing for newspapers and magazines, why not other websites as well? Google has now set a precedent of being willing to pay in order to display works in its index, and that’s going to backfire badly.

Filed Under: , , , ,
Companies: google

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Will Others Now Line Up To Get Paid From Google?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Rodan says:


if I produce something you’re going to consume and resell, aren’t I entitled to some sort of payment for that?

I consede that you’ve (You = google in this case) built an infrastructure for reselling it so I don’t probably deserve all of it, but if you’re making money on my works, don’t I deserve compensation?

And if I’ve got a really popular resource I’d think I’d be able to negotiate a bigger share since you’re making more money – just my opinion!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Well

Should advertisers pay you too when they advertise for you? oh wait, thats right… you pay them.

Just because someone makes money off of something you did does *not* entitle you to payment. If its something thats innovative, doesn’t hurt you or your sales (in fact, is almost guaranteed to HELP), and its a service you don’t offer… why should you get paid? Does google pay websites to index them? Why is that any different? Its virtually the exact same service except it makes it easier for people to purchase from you.

You don’t need to double dip here. You’re already getting paid with free advertising and traffic… why do you need to get paid for someone to help you?

Ryan (profile) says:

websites are different

The only problem here is that website owners see the value of being listed in google. Almost 50% of my traffic comes from Google on a daily basis – without them I won’t make as much money.

Newspapers and books don’t see the value from Google. Newspapers don’t want to be online as it will lower their advertising value. Publishers want to sell books, and they’ve yet to realize how being in google can do that.

Websites will never demand payment from google as they greatly fear being removed from the index.

chris (profile) says:

paying up is how it's done

cory doctorow talks a lot about how big changes in media and distribution are made by essentially infringing until you are big enough to cut a deal, and then cutting some sort of deal:

YouTube, 2007, bears some passing similarity to Napster, 2001. Founded by a couple guys in a garage, rocketed to popular success, heavily capitalized by a deep-pocketed giant. Its business model? Turn popularity into dollars and offer a share to the rightsholders whose works they’re using. This is an historically sound plan: cable operators got rich by retransmitting broadcasts without permission, and once they were commercial successes, they sat down to negotiate to pay for those copyrights (just as the record companies negotiated with composers after they’d gotten rich selling records bearing those compositions).


even the most hardened pirates like myself realize that some sort of deal has to be reached so that we get unrestricted access to the media that we want while the industries involved get something to pay the rights holders.

i think the fundamental disagreement is at where the bidding starts. the consumers want the bidding to start at free (libre and gratis), and the industries want the bidding to start at the current price structure with a bunch of restrictions.

at some point this will result in some sort of compromise, the question is how much damage will these industries do to themselves and their consumers before an agreement is made.

JJ says:

Umm... I don't get it

“Google has now set a precedent of being willing to pay in order to display works in its index”

No they haven’t. They haven’t done anything like that. Google only links to web sites and news sites; they don’t publish copies and give them away. (Unless you count the cache, but Google has allowed sites to opt out of that for years.) What Google is doing with books (republishing them online without the copyright-holder’s knowledge or permission) is fundamentally different and completely unrelated to what they do with websites (linking to them).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Umm... I don't get it

What Google is doing with books (republishing them online without the copyright-holder’s knowledge or permission) is fundamentally different and completely unrelated to what they do with websites (linking to them).

As I understand it, Google wasn’t making the entire books available, just excerpts. Google’s web search also returns excerpts of web pages so it is similar in that way, not different. Same principle.

Now if Google is agreeing that its book scanning project is wrong in principle, then by that same principle it’s web scanning service is also wrong. Also, Google’s web cache is currently opt-out, not opt-in. If the book scanning should be opt-in, then shouldn’t the web scanning also opt-in? Copyright applies to the web as well as printed books.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...