Google to EMI: Stop me before I infringe again!

Just in case you were wondering whether it’s over the top to criticize the Veoh decisions for perpetuating the “catch me if you can” business model–here it is again.

EMI Music Publishing has reportedly opted out of the Google Books settlement. But wait, you say–isn’t EMI Music Publishing a music publisher? Hence the name?

Why yes, says I. You would be quite right. But thanks to the sovereignly immune librarians full of sanctimony and righteousness, sheet music and–the ever popular LYRICS–got included in the descriptions of material covered by the Google Books settlement. How strange!

Now–if there are book authors who didn’t realize that their rights were being crushed to a pulp by the Leviathan of Mountain View, imagine the surprise of songwriters?

I personally had several music pubishers laugh in my face at the idea that Google had the right to scan their sheet music because the publishers had never given Google a license.

Now THAT was funny.

My response was to reconsider who you are talking about here. And also whether the sovereignly immune were given a budget to go add as much sheet music to their holdings as possible so that the scanning could be even more complete and difficult to stop.

So here’s what Google wants those opting out to do–give them a list of the works that they want to opt out because Google seems to think that if a title is NOT ON THE LIST, Google gets to infringe to their little Googler hearts content.

Which means that even though a copyright owner did not ask to be put in this situation, even though they did not give permission for scanning, and especially if they DON’T WANT THE DEAL, the copyright owner has to bear the cost of providing Google with a list of the works that Google has scanned that the copyright owner doesn’t want Google to exploit.

In other words–stop me before I infringe again.

And based on the copyright law in the Temporary Autonomous Zone known as the courtroom of Jeremy Fogel, the copyright owner also likely must engage counsel to determine if there is a fair use defense available to the infringer before the copyright owner tries to take down the work concerned.

If you don’t feel like you just stepped through the looking glass, try reading the opinions again. I’m really not stretching anything. And if you don’t think that this is going to happen, then you may also think that the sun rises in the West.

EMI on the other hand, seems to have had just about enough of the whole process. According to reports, EMI’s opt out letter to Google said that “Requiring EMI, a music publisher that owns or controls over one million copyrights written by thousands of different songwriters and licensed for use in thousands of different publications, to endeavor to determine each and every publication that may include music or lyrics owned or controlled by EMI… just so that it may tell Google not to infringe on them… would be prohibitively burdensome and costly, and at odds with well-settled principles of copyright law [you moronic freetard].”

Stay tuned, the kiddies from Stanford are just getting warmed up. Tell the truth–does this whole deal not have the stench of Lessig all over it?

2 thoughts on “Google to EMI: Stop me before I infringe again!

  1. That's rediculous. I totally agree with you. I love free stuff. But only when the creator is giving it away for free. Even then, I send a donation that I can afford.

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