|Supreme Court Screws Writers, Photographers, Artists
||[Apr. 18th, 2016|10:42 pm]
Some years back, Google and a group of university libraries colluded to infringe writers' copyrights under the guise of making orphan works available to the public by digitizing books out of copyright. Just as the Gutenberg Project had been doing, only--being Google--they wanted to digitize everything in a bunch of libraries and eventually monetize their big private bunch of stuff. As they went at it--they and the libraries--they paid no attention to whether the works in question were in copyright or out of it, in print or out of it, already available to the public in bookstores, or not. They just digitized everything, without contacting authors or publishers or bothering their heads about copyright violation. Because, Google insisted, they were Serving Humanity and writers and artists and photographers were on the menu. We don't count.
It was a crime. But they just got away with it forever, because they're a big rich company with very deep pockets, and the writers, artists, and photographers whose rights they infringed are individuals who don't have deep pockets even if they belong to writers' organizations like SFWA. Although the first suit against Google succeeded, with a judgment in favor of the facts: that Google did indeed infring copyright and was wrong to do so--they won an appeal, and the Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal of that appeal.
I am angry and disgusted.