Internet Archive Closing National Emergency Library Two Weeks Early, Due To Lawsuit, Despite How Useful It's Been

from the how-depressing dept

Last week, the Internet Archive announced that it was going to close the National Emergency Library two weeks earlier than it had originally planned to do so, because of the disappointing lawsuit against the organization by most of the major publishing houses. As we said when that lawsuit was filed, while the publishers may win (and may force the entire Internet Archive to close), it’s still a blatant attack on culture. And, of course, the lawsuit isn’t just over the National Emergency Library, but the entire concept of Controlled Digital Lending, the underpinning of the Internet Archive’s OpenLibrary, which lets you check out scans of books in a one-to-one relationship with physical books the library holds.

If you came down from space without understanding the history of copyright, there is no way this would make sense to you at all. The publishers are suing a library for making information available to people while they’re stuck at home during a pandemic and all the physical books are locked up. Whether or not it meets the technical boundaries of fair use is one question. Whether or not the lawsuit is an abhorrent attack on access to knowledge and culture is another altogether.

Indeed, in a separate blog post, the Archive made it clear just how impactful the NEL has been. It includes a huge list of testimonials.

Margaret D., Nassau, Bahamas, Educator: Margaret is an educator who uses the NEL for reading books in a classroom setting. ?I use the NEL daily for read-alouds and reading recommendations for students during remote learning, in addition to personal reading as well. It is the best thing to happen for my classwork needs and resources. And [I] couldn?t have functioned without it. The NEL is [a] godsend.?

Benjamin S., Camden, New Jersey, Librarian: Benjamin is a librarian who uses the NEL to help his community. ?I was able to find basic life support manuals (BLS Provider Manual) needed by front line medical workers in the academic medical center I work at. The physical collection was closed due to COVID-19 and the NEL allows me to still make necessary health informational materials available to my hospital patrons. It has also provided anatomy materials for the gross anatomy lab in the medical school. Additionally, the NEL has allowed me to augment the resources provided from paid databases to patrons in their transition to online learning.?

Kathleen M., Santa Clara, California, Professor: Kathleen is a Professor with the Department of Art and Art History at Santa Clara University. ?The Internet Archive has been a godsend for my students at Santa Clara University this quarter?especially with all libraries and interlibrary loan services closed. My students wrote sophisticated research papers on a variety of subjects during spring quarter. The Internet Archive was a major factor in their success. They and I are so grateful that you made the decision to make all books available during COVID-19. Thank you so much!?

Katrina R., Detroit, Michigan, Librarian: Katrina is a librarian using the NEL for research. ?I have used the NEL to help students and researchers access materials that they would otherwise be unable to access or request because of the coronavirus pandemic. Without this access, I believe student success will be negatively impacted as they try to complete their coursework. As an academic librarian working in an area of the country with a high rate of the coronavirus, the NEL has allowed me to continue to support the research needs of the University population while also keeping my colleagues and users safe.?

Christopher D., Baltimore, Maryland, Educator: Christopher is an educator who uses the NEL in a classroom setting for teaching, research, and the completion of his dissertation. ?The NEL has been indispensable. With every library closed and many lending systems either unsuited or crashing due to the tidal influx of users, the NEL?s smart, easy interface has assisted and accelerated my research enormously. I also use the NEL in teaching to pull articles from otherwise unavailable or inaccessible texts.?

Kelly P., Detroit, Michigan, Researcher: Kelly uses the NEL for research purposes for her PhD. ?The NEL has provided access to scholarly monographs that are unavailable during the global pandemic due to library closures. It [NEL] has provided tangible resources allowing me to continue my research work while disconnected from physical networks (office space, library access, institutional support spaces). It has shown the need for free digital resources at all times, not just during the shutdowns due to the global pandemic.?

There are a lot more on that page. I don’t know how the court will rule in the case — and, again, courts often interpret anything having to with copyright in a fairly maximalist manner. But the attempt to kill the Internet Archive for helping people access books that are not available through other means is truly disgusting.

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Comments on “Internet Archive Closing National Emergency Library Two Weeks Early, Due To Lawsuit, Despite How Useful It's Been”

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106 Comments
Samuel Abram (profile) says:

The Publishers are more evil than the RIAA and even the MPA(A)

As evil and mafioso as the MPA(A) are, they were smart enough not to go after a freaking library. The Publishers are are willing to undermine the structure of the internet (including the wayback machine) just to get some money from "lost sales". Those major publishers are truly vile in the extreme.

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Thad (profile) says:

Re: The Publishers are more evil than the RIAA and even the MPA(

I think it’s more that the publishers got there first. All the copyright industries have been gunning for the Internet Archive for years, but this was really their first good chance to go after it — IA’s been very careful about staying within the confines of copyright law, complying with takedown notices, etc. This is the first example I can think of where the IA has done something that clearly puts them on the wrong side of copyright law. (Note that I’m not siding with the publishers here; I think what IA did was morally right and copyright law is morally wrong. Be that as it may, I think IA pretty clearly broke the law in this instance.)

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The Publishers are more evil than the RIAA and e

you mean if the content is over 150 years old, then it’s ‘safe’ to use it?

Nah, the **AA and Publishers still sue over this crap, claiming they ‘reprinted’ the ancient work and thus they have another 150 years of copyright and claim that nobody else can use it (there are cases for exactly this issue, it does happen and it’s a disgusting use of monopoly privilege to try and sue people over using works that are hundreds of years old.

See something in the current environment you would like to use in your ‘project’ well good news due to lifelong + 70 year copyrights, you can use that item in 150 years (roughly) so just put in a request now and your child may be able to finish your project for you…

Samuel Abram (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 The Publishers are more evil than the RIAA a

there are cases for [**AA and Publishers… claiming they ‘reprinted’ the ancient work and thus they have another 150 years of copyright and claim that nobody else can use it], it does happen and it’s a disgusting use of monopoly privilege to try and sue people over using works that are hundreds of years old

…such as? Please cite case law.

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Jeroen Hellingman (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 The Publishers are more evil than the RIAA a

Nonsense. At Project Gutenberg they publish a huge number of classics that are also still in print, all in the public domain in the US. Project Gutenberg has never been sued in the US about this.

That publishers abuse the Google Print system by claiming a PD book is in print, and thus have it reduced to snippet view is another story. In a few cases, publishers have taken Google Print books, made them available Print-on-demand, and then told Google to take down their source — but that is just plain cowardice from Google’s side.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The Publishers are more evil than the RIAA and e

"Not if it’s out of copyright or with a sharable or free license, or for that matter, uploaded with the permission granted by the copyright owner themselves."

You say that as if having a legal licence to distribute something will protect it from false takedown notices…. We all know that’s not true.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 The Publishers are more evil than th

It’s both.

The DMCA calls for no requirement of proof be demanded from the accuser, thus effectively reversing burden of proof.

And the public domain has no paid lawyers to defend it whereas the robber barons have plenty.

Honestly, I stand by my claim that we’d be better off replacing copyright with a right of attribution and a strictly commercial regulation regarding actual sales of copies.

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Thad (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: The Publishers are more evil than the RIAA and even

There’s theory and then there’s caselaw. I think Litman’s made a number of very astute observations about the implications of the DMCA and subsequent enforcement. But be that as it may, the past 25 years have produced a number of cases that give us the shape of how copyright works in the digital age. Whether or not we agree with those rulings, they’re the law of the land as it currently stands.

But there are also untested gray areas. There’s a reason the publishers didn’t go after IA when it was just "loaning" one copy of each book at a time: because they couldn’t be sure how the case would go in court. Once IA started "lending" more than one copy at a time, the publishers had a much clearer case against it.

Which, again, I’m not saying is ethically right; I don’t think it’s ethically right at all. But there’s a lot about modern copyright law that I don’t think is ethically right.

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tp (profile) says:

They must have seen it coming...

Internet archive must have seen the problem while developing their web site. Any service that publishes large amounts of material on the internet has basically two alternatives: 1) either go pirate 2) or remove large sections of their webpage.

This is caused by copyright laws, which is not handling publishing operation of large amounts of content. Every content item must have owner, and if you have large amount of content, your owner pool is so large that negotiating licenses from all of the authors becomes impossible. Even "useful" services like youtube and wikipedia are not immune to these limitations.

Copyright laws have explicit section designed to address this "negotiating licenses" problem. The mechanism works like this: 1) you hire the authors 2) you pay salary to them 3) while authors get the money, you receive copyright ownership to the author’s work 4) this process is automatic, i.e. employment contracts by default assumes that copyright ownership goes to employer.

So what exactly are these services who 1) refuse to hire the authors 2) but still want to publish the material 3) and without obtaining the licenses? These are all just pirate operations.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: They must have seen it coming...

that site has permission to display and distribute the work,

There is no such "automatic licensing of copyighted works" except when dealing with employment contracts. If the publisher cannot show employment contract or written license agreement, then permission simply doesn’t exist. Any sections in web page terms of service that supposedly licenses users copyrighted works is simply invalid and void.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 They must have seen it coming...

"Did you think culture that we built for you is free-for-all when you need money to buy food and housing?"

The culture that was made by people who have been dead for 100+ years and thus no longer need food nor housing? Erm, yes…

Have you paid anything to the creators of the libraries, protocols and other software that your own shitty software utterly depends on yet?

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 They must have seen it coming...

The culture that was made by people who have been dead for 100+ years and thus no longer need food nor housing? Erm, yes…

I’m 100% sure that none of the music gadgets you own is older than 30 years, much less 100+ years. Given that fact, there exists humans at the end of your food chain screaming for compensation — and your position is that RIAA and friends can go to hell simply because one part of their product is older than 100 years…

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 They must have seen it comin

"I’m 100% sure that none of the music gadgets you own is older than 30 years,"

What does that have to do with listening to music from the 1800s, as per the question originally posed to you?

Also, what the fuck does the RIAA have to do with the device I use to listen to public domain music on? Nothing, even a freeloader like you has to admit that.

I do notice you ignored the part where you previously admitted you don’t pay for the things your crap is using, though, and all of that is less than 30 years old. pirate.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 They must have seen it c

What does that have to do with listening to music from the 1800s, as per the question originally posed to you?

RIAA’s product is something much bigger than the song from 1800s. They license their technology to music gadget vendors, to get records playable in current hardware. This kind of activities are costing tons of money and needs compensation.

If you think all of the compensation is in form of device price, you’re mistaken. The business models related to music are similar to the business models of the printer business. The hardware is sold at a loss, and rest of the compensation is received when people license the songs while using the hardware. Printers are selling ink at inflated price, while hardware is sold at a loss. Thus heavy users of the hardware are paying more. Same works in music business, the copyrighted works are where the money needs to be received from heavy users of the music hardware.

if users are pirating the music or assuming that copyright does not apply simply because part of the product is older than your mom, then you haven’t been listening in your business classes.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 They must have seen

"RIAA’s product is something much bigger than the song from 1800s"

…and has nothing to do with the conversation at hand.

"They license their technology to music gadget vendors"

No, they really don’t.

"The hardware is sold at a loss, and rest of the compensation is received when people license the songs while using the hardware"

RIAA members don’t create the playback technology, you raving fool. That’s the problem – they have spent the last couple of decades fighting against the technology. Then, if someone wants to use something like an MP3 player or a Spotify stream to listen to some non-RIAA owned music, the RIAA don’t get a god damned cent because they had nothing to do with any of the things involved.

No,w back to the real issue – have you paid any of the developers of the libraries you admitted to using against their licencing terms because you had a fit over the developers’ chosen terms for their FOSS licencing? Because you did admit to using libraries in violation of their licences.

"if users are pirating the music"

…and if they’re not?

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 They must ha

You admitted to violating those licences a while back when you whined that certain projects did not move the way you wanted them to. Even so, you’re arguing against public domain music here, so if you weren’t such a hypocrite, you’d still pay them even if the licence said you didn’t have to.

So why aren’t you paying those authors for their work in the same way you’re arguing here that people should pay long-dead musicians and companies that didn’t create the tech?

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: They must have seen it coming...

I think the services you are referring to are the MPAA and RIAA (along with most Publishers) who all want to profit off the work (long after the author is dead) without paying the author, and then further excluding the public from the use of the works.

Yep, you caught them, all the middlemen are really pirates, they just got there first so they are the ones in charge and they make the rules (that they don’t bother to follow).

Jeroen Hellingman (profile) says:

Re: They must have seen it coming...

You seem to forget that copyright is for limited times… That those limited times have been stretched to unreasonable lengths through corruption by publishers didn’t change that — and did you realize that those exentsions actually go against the interest of currently active authors that can still produce new works, as they now have to share part of the available funds for works with the heirs or assignees of long dead authors, and are limited in the ways they can be inspired by works of long dead authors.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: They must have seen it coming...

You seem to forget that copyright is for limited times

none of that matters one bit. First we need to establish that copyright exists at all, and only then can we start talking about how to limit its existence.

Current situation is that copyright does not exist yet. The law says it needs to exist, but in practice the goals of copyright is not helping authors to earn living like it was designed to ensure.

Basically the situation is that authors who spend 7 years writing copyrighted works are seeing money amounts around 6 dollars total for the whole effort. This means that copyright isn’t yet even available for the authors and we need stronger copyright enforcement actions to get those money amounts higher.

Can you see the problem with this? The limited time that the copyright is supposed to exist is not a consideration at all while authors cannot earn a living by creating copyrighted works.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: They must have seen it coming...

Basically the situation is that authors who spend 7 years writing copyrighted works are seeing money amounts around 6 dollars total for the whole effort

That is the authors problem, as nothing guarantees that creative work will be paid for after it has been created. A work need to attract an audience for it to make money, and that is a combination of whether it appeals to people, and whether the author, or a publisher can market it to the people it appeals to.

Before the Internet, most authors could not gain a publisher and their works never had any chance of making money. Post Internet, the author can self publish, and try to attract enough of an audience for them to make some money. However doing so requires and ability to connect with people on social media, and that is not achieved by continuously whining that you deserve to be paid for your work/

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 They must have seen it coming...

That is unlikely to make people want to buy your work either.

There are many YouTubers that now make a living creating videos for publication on YouTube. In all cases they started as hobby video creators, started to build a fan base, and importantly listened to their fans and other creators so as to improve the quality of their videos, until they gained the support to go full time. Further, they do not expect to be paid for their past output, but rather they are paid to create new videos, and fully expect that should they stop creating videos, their income will dry up. There is no resting on their laurels, like you and other copyright maximalists want to do.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 They must have seen it coming...

"well, explaining the situation with nice story about mansions didn’t seem to help either, so I’m now trying hard ball."

I’m afraid that there is no reasonable explanation at all which will produce the result you want to produce. The plumber gets paid once, not every time someone flushes the toilet. This will not change even if said plumber tries to make the case that his work is art.

Similarly you could argue a case for right of attribution but any argument for the right to restrict copies of information instantly collides with the actual property rights of…everyone else, really.

Whether said information has been produced by a camera click or by a sweating expert spending ten years to produce it while sacrificing both his children and one of his ears to his muse is completely irrelevant.

Copyright law is nothing more and nothing less than the blatant and odious attempt to take a political-religious censorship tool and turn it into a private industry tool. Until it can be completely abolished by saner minds or collapses on it’s own unrealistic aspirations the moral and ethical thing to do is to circumvent and ignore it.

The only sane replacement is a right of attribution and a strictly commercial regulation on sales of copies. But current copyright has no moral or ethical ground to stand on and has to rely on the false assumption that an idea or set of information is physical property and should be treated as such.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 They must have seen it coming...

Whether said information has been produced by a camera click or by a sweating expert spending ten years to produce it while sacrificing both his children and one of his ears to his muse is completely irrelevant.

even if your product creation process is just clicking camera record button, you’re not going to get 6 milion products available in your web page. Trying even half of that number and quality of the end result is so poor that noone is going to buy the end result.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 They must have seen it coming...

"The plumber gets paid once, not every time someone flushes the toilet"

…and if he demanded that the law be changed so that he was paid that way because he didn’t feel he was making a good enough living from the per-gig payment he’d have his ass laughed out of the room – both by people who would never pay that and the working plumbers who have managed to make a living by working hard.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: They must have seen it coming...

"Basically the situation is that authors who spend 7 years writing copyrighted works are seeing money amounts around 6 dollars total for the whole effort"

So, the question is – are you an incompetent salesman to have sold so little of your work, or is your work just so bad that nobody wants to buy it?

"The limited time that the copyright is supposed to exist is not a consideration at all while authors cannot earn a living by creating copyrighted works."

Very few authors have ever done such a thing. It’s even less likely now that you’re competing with self-published authors as well as professionally employed ones. This has nothing to do with copyright.

tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 They must have seen it coming...

> "Basically the situation is that authors who spend 7 years writing copyrighted works are seeing money amounts around 6 dollars total for the whole effort"

So, the question is – are you an incompetent salesman to have sold so little of your work, or is your work just so bad that nobody wants to buy it?

I think you’re misunderstanding completely how much money is required to make the effort profitable. With the money that we’re seeing coming from the marketplace, we cannot see a way to make the activity profitable. 100%, 200% or 1000% higher money amount is simply not helping with the actual task.

now if you consider that most businesses can only improve their operations less than 20% each year, you understandd that the equation is completely broken. The real problem isn’t in our marketing department or the product quality. The market itself is broken. Copyright is adverticed as a tool to make these activity profitable on average, but it doesn’t seem to be working -> the market is broken beyond repair, and no amount of marketing genius can fix it.

The real problem what is wrong with the market is that there’s flood of free products in the marketplace, and thus potential customers have stopped paying for those products completely. Everyone developing copyrighted works is having the same problem.

So where does the free products come from? They’re all created in projects that are not profitable. The whole market suffers from this phenomenon.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 They must have seen it coming...

I think you’re misunderstanding completely how much money is required to make the effort profitable

"It’s profitable when I decide I’m rich enough", got it.

With the money that we’re seeing coming from the marketplace, we cannot see a way to make the activity profitable. 100%, 200% or 1000% higher money amount is simply not helping with the actual task.

So you’ve confirmed that no amount of money thrown to you is going to make you shut the fuck up. Cities could bankrupt themselves giving you money and you’d still be here bitching about Minecraft mansions.

If the end result is that you still won’t go away, no matter how much money you’re given – why the hell would people choose anything other than the cheaper option?

Copyright is adverticed as a tool to make these activity profitable on average

Copyright isn’t a tool, unlike you. It simply says you can make copies of something you made and attempt to sell them for money.

If copyright made activity "profitable" then why has Star Wars: Return of the Jedi never turned a profit according to Hollywood, bearing in mind this was before popular filesharing tech existed?

So where does the free products come from? They’re all created in projects that are not profitable

By your own admission, Meshpage is free. You created it in a project that by your own definition is unprofitable. You made the "whole market suffer". You spent an entire comment thread demanding that Pixar and their animation tool be destroyed to make way for your trash – and now you want to be paid for ruining the market?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 They must have seen it coming...

"Copyright isn’t a tool"

I would disagree there, it is tool to be used to effectively monetise a work and ensure that further works are created. Used effectively, it can work for good.

What it isn’t is a guarantee that lazy entitled dickheads can just stop working for a living and retire on whatever substandard unsellable crap they decided to foist upon the world.

tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 They must have seen it coming...

lazy entitled dickheads can just stop working for a living

You might find that if you actually worked hard for your product, "stop working" might be alternative that isn’t actually available. Basically humans get used to repeating the same pattern over an over again, and you’d actually need something more powerful to stop working. What happens instead is that other humans do not value all work equally, and some of the repeats are no longer considered "working", even though they were necessary part of person’s job when those repeats were learned.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 They must have seen it coming...

"What happens instead is that other humans do not value all work equally"

Because all work is not equal. Robert Louis Stevenson rattled out Jekyll and Hyde in a few days and it’s an immortal classic that served him and others well (and is now public domain, free for anyone to discover).

Whatever you’ve been whining about wasting years of your life writing is not. I’m sorry you either cannot wrote good material or are incompetent at selling it, but nobody owes you a God damn thing.

tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 They must have seen it comin

Robert Louis Stevenson rattled out Jekyll and Hyde in a few days and it’s an immortal classic that served him and others well

but your trolls forgot all of his other works. He had whole lifetime of training to become a professional writer, and still you only consider one of his few days writing to be valuable one and you’re devaluing all his other works.

tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 They must have seen it coming...

As everybody could write a book, how is copyright meant to make everybody wealthy?

You can put price on the number of letters in the book. Each letter costs some small amount. Thus authors you can churn out more output will get more wealthy…. Copyright is assigned to all the letters equally, so the money should be divided based on output letters.

tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 They must have seen it coming...

What a great idea for filling up the world with trash writing, as it is easy to fill page after page with words

This is the reality already. Most publishers anyway wrap their books in plastic wrapping which prevents looking at the contents of the book before purchase. Then if the book happens to be some bullshit, you’ve already paid for it and the author is happy anyway. Then the only criteria for publishing the collected letter patterns is that the quality needs to be high enough to cut away customers that want their money back. But you can make returning the book more difficult process…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 They must have seen it comin

Then if the book happens to be some bullshit, you’ve already paid for it and the author is happy anyway

Again, your arguments are entirely premised on justifying scams and cons that would make Frank Abagnale blush. Then you wonder why nobody takes you seriously…

tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 They must have s

So you bought it, realized that the book was poor quality,

the sales people in book publishing company must be really desperate to get people buy the book accidentally, if they need to wrap it to plastic. Apparently, if people see that the contents is difficult category theory, they would immediately reject the book. So plastic wrapping tricks these non-mathy people to purchase the book. Then when someone who actually needs the information, the bookstore shelf is already empty and book no longer available.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 They must ha

the sales people in book publishing company must be really desperate to get people buy the book accidentally

And the consumer is going to ask, why should I care? If you’re selling a book that tells me how to kill myself with duct tape, why should your desperation be the tipping point that makes me purchase it?

Then when someone who actually needs the information, the bookstore shelf is already empty and book no longer available

And by your own metrics, all that such desperate scam methods achieve is people who need the information fail to get it. You literally write your own fictional scenarios as failures and expect to get respect out of it. Just like your own trash program, over which you expect Pixar to quit the business so you can shit in their bed.

tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:12 They mus

Just like your own trash program, over which you expect Pixar to quit the business

I can use independent software quality metrics. Google’s pagespeed insights gives score of 86% to my "trash program"? Why should I believe your evaluation instead of google’s? You’re the unreliable vendor in this situation.

tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:16 Re:

how would Google’s test evaluate the user interface the the first guy was mocking you for?

Their web page explains it this way: "noone likes slow web pages".

Fast moving crap is still crap, you know?

yeah, but your evaluation criteria is still missing. Maybe open the keyword "crap" and try to map it to meshpage.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:17 Re:

"Their web page explains it this way: "noone likes slow web pages"

Yes. What does that have to do with the desktop application that every else is talking about?

"Maybe open the keyword "crap" and try to map it to meshpage."

crap1
VULGAR SLANG
noun
noun: crap
1.
something of extremely poor quality.
nonsense.
unwanted articles; rubbish.

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Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re: They must have seen it coming...

none of that matters one bit. First we need to establish that copyright exists at all, and only then can we start talking about how to limit its existence.

Are you serious? Of course copyright exists. The problem is that is lasts too long.

Current situation is that copyright does not exist yet. The law says it needs to exist, but in practice the goals of copyright is not helping authors to earn living like it was designed to ensure.

Are you delusional?! Copyright exists, period. And you have some very serious misconceptions about what the law says. The law was NEVER designed to help authors earn a living.

Basically the situation is that authors who spend 7 years writing copyrighted works are seeing money amounts around 6 dollars total for the whole effort. This means that copyright isn’t yet even available for the authors and we need stronger copyright enforcement actions to get those money amounts higher.

As a content creator your aren’t entitled to a guaranteed income and copyright is definitely available to any creator, suggesting otherwise means your are either dishonest or disingenuous. And I wonder how you think stronger enforcement will lead to higher income for authors? If you are bad at what you do, don’t expect to earn a living – but that requires some self awareness and realistic expectations.

Can you see the problem with this? The limited time that the copyright is supposed to exist is not a consideration at all while authors cannot earn a living by creating copyrighted works.

What problem? Once again, as a content creator you aren’t entitled to a guaranteed income. Copyright was never about guaranteeing an income, it was about control of the works. The time limit was there to guarantee that works could be freely used after a while so other creators could use it to create new works, this is referred to as "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts".

Also, if you can’t monetize your content it’s probably due to a couple a factors: Your content suck, isn’t interesting, you suck at marketing or there are better alternatives.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 They must have seen it coming...

"Also, if you can’t monetize your content it’s probably due to a couple a factors: Your content suck, isn’t interesting, you suck at marketing or there are better alternatives."

The bottom line: most small businesses fail. If you choose to be an artist, you’re a small business with a lot of competition. You can remove some of the risks by signing a contract with a publisher, but you’ll still be on the hook for your advance if your product fails. Copyright makes no difference to any of the above.

If that sounds mercenary, it’s the reason why my career has generally been with employers rather than going it alone freelance or setting up my own business. The rewards could be much greater if I’m successful, but so is the risk, and either way I’m likely to spend a lot more time on the wrong side of the work/life balance.

I have respect for anyone who chooses to go it alone, but there’s nothing worse than someone who thought the market would provide for them then howls about it when they failed. If you didn’t know the risks when you went in, that’s on you, doubly so if your product sucks.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 They must have seen it coming...

And I wonder how you think stronger enforcement will lead to higher income for authors?

Stronger enforcement means that low-quality products that do not implement copyright properly will disappear from the marketplace. This current article is about internet archive disappearing because they got sued by content owners. When pirated products disapper, we don’t need to compete against services that offer 2 million products in their catalog, when we can only implement 70 products in our catalog.

can you see how competition is unfair if some companies get away with selling pirated products?

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 They must have seen it coming...

"Stronger enforcement means that low-quality products that do not implement copyright properly will disappear from the marketplace"

Are there a lot of those? Given that copyright is currently essentially infinite with enforcement that’s removing anything with a claim, valid or not, why is your work still failing?

"When pirated products disapper, we don’t need to compete against services that offer 2 million products in their catalog, when we can only implement 70 products in our catalog."

You’re in for a real shock when you find out how many non-infringing self-published works there are…

"can you see how competition is unfair if some companies get away with selling pirated products?"

Yes, your imaginary world does shield you from reality. You’re not going to like the real world when you look at it…

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 They must have seen it coming...

It’s the people who skip important steps like actually developing the product that is most problematic

Therefore, you’re the problematic one, because you didn’t develop a product worth shit.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 They must have seen it coming...

So, you not only have a problem with reality, you also have a problem with authors who are more prolific than you are.

Sorry dude, the fact that you can only get a book out every 7 years does not mean that Stephen King is infringing when he flings out a book every 6 months.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 They must have seen it coming...

Sorry dude, the fact that you can only get a book out every 7 years does not mean that Stephen King is infringing when he flings out a book every 6 months.

I divided my book to 170 chapters. Hoping to hear how many chapters the competition can actually implement. If stephen king can make a book every 6 months, that’s all ok.

I’m pretty quick at outputting software source code (used the keyboard enough that I had to buy new computer when this one has some broken keys in the keyboard), so i’m looking forward to hear how many lines of code your monkeys can output.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 They must have seen it comin

"I divided my book to 170 chapters"

…which is meaningless. Chapters don’t determine sales numbers. You make a shitty product, you lose sales to the people who didn’t.

"I’m pretty quick at outputting software source code "

So is my cat. That doesn’t mean it’s worth a shit when she’s finished rolling around on the keyboard.

"so i’m looking forward to hear how many lines of code your monkeys can output."

I’m talking about Stephen King turning out a best-selling novel every 6 months with zero infringement, and you’re talking about how you split your shitty work into a silly number of chapters and it didn’t magically result in a higher profit. I’ll let the rest of the audience work out which one is the monkey, but it’s not King.

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 They must have seen it c

So is my cat. That doesn’t mean it’s worth a shit when she’s finished rolling around on the keyboard.

I dont have a real cat, so i need to rely on virtual avatars. here’s image of it http://tpgames.org/cat2.png you can imagine how difficult it is to make this cat rolling on the keyboard. I have had nothing but problems with the cats.

Last time one (real one) conquered my bed, I had to call my brother to carry it away.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:7 They must have seen it comin

e-peen waving detected

It’s funny that you think that the number of lines of code you produce have anything to do with quality. Hearing you it’s almost like a throwback to the days of the IBM-devs KLOC-bragging. I’ve stepped on more than one developer who had that idea to show them the error of their ways.

I haven’t seen your book, I haven’t seen your code so I don’t really care either or,
but the truth is that a shitty book or shitty code will always be shitty regardless of how voluminous they are.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:3 They must have seen it coming...

Stronger enforcement means that low-quality products that do not implement copyright properly will disappear from the marketplace.

I’m curious what you mean by stronger enforcement. Copyright law is clear on what constitutes infringement – if someone infringes your copyright you have several tools available to you to remedy the situation. You have the DMCA for example, and if that’s not enough you can always sue. But if you think stronger enforcement is needed, I have to counter with that copyright needs a stronger enforcement of faulty claims, where the claimant has to pay the full cost of handling the claim plus damages for each item claimed equal to what the defendant would have paid if found guilty. Isn’t that fair? After all, isn’t claiming the copyright of someone else’s work a copyright infringement.

When pirated products disapper, we don’t need to compete against services that offer 2 million products in their catalog, when we can only implement 70 products in our catalog.

can you see how competition is unfair if some companies get away with selling pirated products?

So why aren’t these companies sued for infringement? Selling pirated products are against the law which means the law already provide you with the tools you need to resolve it.

Reading between the lines, what you want is an extra-judicial way to point at a site saying that’s a pirate-site – I want it gone.

And that works so well, doesn’t it? Just look at how the DMCA and copyright-strikes are never used wrongly or in a retaliatory fashion. /s

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tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 They must have seen it coming...

I’m curious what you mean by stronger enforcement. Copyright law is clear on what constitutes infringement – if someone infringes your copyright you have several tools available to you to remedy the situation.

This is a good question. Stronger enorcement woul mean things like trying to find illegal practises that slurp customers from legit vendors. Things like lying their user counters, slowing down web page response times to make it appear that more users are using the site, "copyright not intended" -labels in youtube, sending two million web requests to get user counters up, flooding marketing materials to people’s email boxes, some seo practises that cause damage like overtaking popular keywords, twitter’s marketing bots that keep spamming channels with noise, ddos attacks, virus infections, publishing invalid information about your competitors, binary-patching other people’s executables with marketing splashscreens, making half the world’s web sites carry advertisements without any idea how to remove flickering and blinking ad banners from view of people who can’t stand those banners…

i.e. there’s tons of semi-illegal practices in the internet that can be further controlled. All of them don’t even need to be related to copyrights.

tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 They must have seen it coming...

So why aren’t these companies sued for infringement?

Well, they’re more efficient, when they can implement 1.3 million products in their shop, so our poor 70 item shop have trouble competing against them.

So the market considers these pirates to be successful because they can attract huge amount of people to consume the products.

Lets look at the numbers. Their operation is 18571 times more efficient than my poor web page. So they either have 18571 people working full time to produce the material, or they are working 18571 times more working hours than I can do, or they have silver bullet that makes them 18571 times more efficient…

Even if you consider combinations of these possible alternatives, it still requires way too efficient operation. That level of efficiency would be illegal even without considering copyright issues, it’s simply not allowed to make humans work that efficiently without violating bunch of human rights regulations. Copyright laws just make this absolutely clear which regulation they’re actually violating.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:5 They must have seen it coming...

Well, they’re more efficient, when they can implement 1.3 million products in their shop, so our poor 70 item shop have trouble competing against them.

I’ll ask again, if they are selling pirated goods why are they not dragged into court?

Even if you consider combinations of these possible alternatives, it still requires way too efficient operation. That level of efficiency would be illegal even without considering copyright issues, it’s simply not allowed to make humans work that efficiently without violating bunch of human rights regulations.

You think that being too efficient is illegal? Because that means you are violating human rights? The amount of mental leaps to come to that conclusion is astonishing.

From the above I can only conclude you don’t know how things work in the real world. This can be illustrated by a simple question: Do for example Amazon produce everything they sell on their site, which offer millions of times more products than your "shop"?

Copyright laws just make this absolutely clear which regulation they’re actually violating.

Then cite just what they are violating. I’ll wait.

tp (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 They must have seen it coming...

why are they not dragged into court?

the whole article is about they being dragged to court and their service shutting down as a result.

You think that being too efficient is illegal?

yes. if your operation plans to be more efficient than what humans can do, you need to apply for a permission from the government and they will sell you some safety gadgets that prevents humans from burnouts in case they need to substitute some of your robots temporarily. The gadgets are kinda expensive, designed for multi-million euro projects. without purchasing the safety gear, you wont get permission to implement such things.

Do for example Amazon produce everything they sell on their site

afaik amazon has huge organisation and logistics operation ongoing, so they are actually adding value to the products.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 They must have seen it comin

So, who are you complaining about, YouTube and similar self publication sites? What they do is offer the tools, and let their users build pages using the tools that they offer. That is they are the market place, and not the stalls set out in that market place.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:7 They must have seen it comin

the whole article is about they being dragged to court and their service shutting down as a result.

It’s a frigging library, it’s for the public good. But when copyright is involved these days the public good always have to give way for someone who wants to make a buck or two.

I hope that you have NEVER used a public library, because then you aren’t also a giant hypocrite at least.

Anonymous Coward says:

Copyright law recognises some material can be used for educational purposes,
All research paid for by schools and the taxpayer should be published on open access websites,
It should be in the public domain. The problem is
the Internet archive lifted the limits on the no of users who can read a book since normal library’s are
closed
The Internet archive is a great resource for the public and it has a lot of material that has no commercial value, txt, audio. video.
That is not available in any library
It would be a disaster if it closed because it
sued.
It would be useful if it was backed up and its data
copied for instance to servers in Canada
it would only cost a few million dollars but the funding is not there.
For instance it has copy’s of old out of print books and magazines which will be of great interest to
researchers in the future
Even when normal library’s are open the archive is
still useful as it’s available to anyone who has a phone or a laptop with an Internet connection

anymouse says:

Public Library LIcense to IA

I think the IA should work on formatting and drafting a public library/IA shared licensing policy that would allow the libraries to lend out books and materials that the IA has and allow the IA to lend out copies of books the libraries currently have on their shelves.

I’m sure a large amount of public libraries would be willing to sign on to this ‘free, open, shared licensing’ deal. IA gets the benefit of millions of copies of all books on all shelves sitting unused in public libraries, and public libraries get the benefit of an amazingly expanded scope of products to offer electronically through their libraries.

We already have ‘inter-library’ loan systems that work this way for physical books (library A doesn’t have the book but Library B does, so they ship it to A until it’s not needed). Same concept but digital and immediate, with a master tracking database to keep track of the Cyber Inter-library Loans.

Easy peasy, lemon sqeezy… and it would be ‘licensed’ so the Publishers could go pound sand…

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Year Zero

Well, it doesn’t address copyright of Monkie Selfies, which is the subject of my graduate work here at the University of WFC (Who Fucking Cares). That’s a hairy subject. Even Techdirt failed to clearly side with the monkie, who suffered long lasting emotional scars from the total lack of support. Where do you stand regarding Monkie Selfies? I’m not sure about Alien Selfies, oh, wait, are they selfies? Or alien written works of alien music?

Aliens, monkies, man ‘o man, you’ve got everything good here. I’ve got a PhD, would you like to hire me? Work’s been a little tough since the Pandemic. Well, since before that, really. But I think I could fit in here with the monkies and the aliens and the subject of copyright.

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