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Friday, November 22, 2013

Google Undermines Writers, Publishers, & Copyright Laws



Google vs. Authors 
Google Inc. showed that authors and publishers have no say in how their copyrighted works are used or compensated. A recent US Circuit Court ruling against creative artist ownership of content is a disgrace.

Google, without the permission of authors, scanned 20 million books this past decade. It uses them to help people search for books based on specific words and content. The way Google profits from this is it sells ads on searches that take place for these books. The writers are not compensated. Further, the writers’ content, in bits and pieces, is freely floating around the Internet, allowing anyone free access to portions of their book.

Would Amazon try to do something like this? Or worse, make bigger chunks of text available for free? How can one protect their works if someone can just copy them, without permission or compensation? It goes beyond the “fair use” doctrine.

For some reason, society makes allowances for things it didn’t used to, solely because the matter involves the Internet. We live with piracy, with cybercrime, cyberbullies, privacy violations, anonymous reviews, hacking, malicious sites, sales of illegal items, untaxed sales, etc. All because it takes place online as if the digital world is not the same as the real world. 

Well guess what? We live in one world and rules should apply for everyone, everywhere – day or night, home or work, on vacation or in school, online or in the physical form. 

Google, you’ve done great things, but this is your greatest blunder.

Snapchat

The Wall Street Journal recently criticized Facebook for offering $3 billion to Snapchat. True, Snapchat seems too small and worthless to invest in, but look at how society already overpays for tech stuff. Twitter, which hasn’t turned a profit, is now worth tens of billions. Amazon stock is worth tens of billions, earns no profit. See a pattern?

The WSJ wrote: “News the social media giant offered nearly $3 billion for photo-messaging service Snapchat prompted renewed cries of a bubble in mobile-focused social media. How could Snapchat, which has no revenue, pass up such a sum?”

What’s Important

USA Today recently published a survey that asked people what’s most important. They said:

     76% to be happy
     19% to be successful
     4% to be rich
     1% to be famous

Interestingly, it seems like there is overlap here. Wouldn’t those who are rich be happy or those that are famous be successful? Maybe not. Maybe people just want to be something, such as rich and famous, even if they are miserable.

How does one define “success?” Many think it’s to accumulate wealth or to obtain a title, but one can even be poor and be successful. Further, one can be famous for the wrong reason – scandal, crime, sex videos, or something embarrassing. Is fame worth the sacrifice of dignity, friendships, or even liberty?

Writers want to be all of the above – rich, famous, happy, and successful – but they want something else. They want to be heard/read and acknowledged as being talented. It’s an insatiable ego-driven desire to feel wanted, desired, and appreciated. Writers are word models – we want to seduce others and to be seen as intellectually voluptuous.

What’s really important? I didn’t see the choice that said “to be loved” or “to be charitable” or “to be a good friend and family member.” As Thanksgiving Day fast approaches, we should rethink what we really want – and how we see ourselves.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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