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davidbetterman's avatar

What do you think about Google getting sued by The American Society of Media Photographers?

Asked by davidbetterman (7545points) April 7th, 2010


(U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D.N.Y., Apr. 7, 2010) – The American Society of Media Photographers, a photographers’ trade association, filed a class action copyright infringement lawsuit against Google today, charging the search engine with failing to obtain legal authorization from the group’s member photographers before scanning, reproducing, and storing their work on Google’s Library Project.

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4 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I deal with this all the time. I learned quickly that there is absolutely nothing I can do to prevent someone from stealing my photos off the web. It is virtually impossible to track down. So, I let it be, knowing that the images are not high enough resolution for printing, and only viewable from the web.

But, to address the problem, I make sure to watermark every posted image with my name and website. I now consider the theft as free marketing. I will not waste time trying to fight it. It has not affected my business whatsoever.

We live in an era where copyright laws deserve consideration for overhaul. The old establishment of media mogul is dying off fast. Along with that comes responsibility for considering change.

I’m not sure I feel right about exclusively owning my artwork any longer. If you want a web resolution image of mine, then if it pleases you, please take it. It does not give you the right or ability to sell it, or make a profit from my labors. I still control that.

But if you use my images to promote your cause, your business, your platform, then I may indeed have a problem with that if you don’t first ask permission. Every image has my contact info on it, so there are no excuses for not asking.

netgrrl's avatar

I understand that Google is only scanning out-of-print books.

That still does not give them the right to sell digital copies.

Mamradpivo's avatar

I understand the argument that content creators are making, but I disagree with their motives. Google has the potential to bring so many more people to their content than ever would before. If they’re making something with an expired copyright available online for free, won’t that just make more people aware of the photographers in question?

That’s what I think anyway.

netgrrl's avatar

These are not books in the public domain, simply out of print. Being out of print does not expire the copyright.

If it generates a revenue stream for the authors and photographers in question, no problem. But Google just wants to scan these out-of-print books and sell them.

If Google were actually reprinting the books to sell and keep any profit, everyone would understand the problem.

The fact that it’s an e-book doesn’t make it any different.

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