OK, so why aren't those 54 companies suing Lodsys for fraud? Presumably the contract they signed for patent rights (or to keep from being sued) includes a proviso that they give up their right to sue later on. But a clear case of fraud obviates the terms of the contract, if they can prove that Lodsys fraudulently obtained their signatures by their fraudulent patent claims. While they're at it, they should see if they can sue for punitive damages.
Comcast will attempt to implement such a policy, claiming that their terms of service allow them to cut people off for three accusations of impropriety.
The first lawsuits based on "internet as a common necessity in modern life" will be filed immediately, claiming that the so-called contractual agreement does not trump legal due process for a basic need.
It will be fun to watch the fireworks -- and now's the time for a legal startup specializing in suing the RIAA for legal costs, as a business model.
Publishing is in total confusion as to the best way to survive the upcoming changeover; that is, from shipping objects, to distributing data streams. The publishing industry is not as greedy and evil as the music industry, but they're just as confused.
Lots of VP's will have to retire or be fired or go down with sinking companies before their replacements take over and craft a reasonable approach. Meanwhile, it's anybody's guess what the right price should be for an e-book -- the Publishers Don't Know, and argue among themselves. I'm not making this up.
Anyone who is interested in what's actually going on should subscribe to two free daily newsletters: the one put out by PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, and Michael Cader's PUBLISHERS LUNCH.
And... follow Teleread.org for a daily insight from the trenches.
There are many more sources, but these three will cover the story pretty completely.
bowerbird! hey, where you been, buddy? Great to see you're still raising a ruckus.
OK, back to work: Are there specific examples of Kessinger, for example, causing a book to be removed from Full View because of a claimed copyright, or is it just folklore? So far we're long on fears and short on examples.
I love what Google is doing in making rare volumes available for easy download, but am continually dismayed by the erratic way in which they do it: missing or distorted pages, broken sets, and volumes which are clearly in the PD in all countries but not available in Full View.
It's that last consideration we're talking about here.
Kessinger's been doing PD reprints for years. In the early days they photocopied the pages and provided hard copy reprints of books that were difficult to find.
With Google and others providing usable electronic texts, it's gotten easier for Kessinger to find source material. In a lot of cases, I suspect, the physical books don't even exist until someone buys a copy -- and at that point the copy is printed off and sent to the buyers.
The two key issues are:
(1) Is Kessinger claiming a bogus copyright? -- and if so, what are the penalties?
(2) Is Google actually keeping a PD book out of Full View because someone like Kessinger claims a copyright, or is it just poor management at the Google project?
Regarding (2), Google has a history of screwing up the titles and descriptions (aka metadata) so that it can be impossible to find, e.g. all the volumes in a series. Some volumes may have variant titles; some may be in Full View while others are just not available, though already scanned; and some may simply be missing.
The Goog needs to hire a few hundred librarians just to figure out what they already do have.
On their behalf I will now add that trying to figure out which books can be read in Full View, in which countries, has to be a nightmare of awesome proportions.