----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
> For the record, I don't always agree with Friedman, but he's got some
> righter than the powers that be who make policy. One thing he's right
> is that certain trends, among them the trends that feed and nourish
> corporations," are unstoppable. Whether we like it or not.
> Now, that said, see today's Wall St. Journal editorial page and last
> episode of "On the Media" ( for some insight into what
> Google is about to run into with this "Google Print" project.
> I happen to agree with one of the guests on "On the Media" that our
> copyright laws are dysfunctional and hopelessly out-dated, but the fact
> remains that Google is not above the law just because it's new and
> different. They may be about to be taught a hard lesson.
> Also, just to clarify, I was not proposing violating any copyrights with
> investigating a "Google Sound" type mega-archive. I was proposing that -- 
> perhaps, or some other place online that's liable to stay
> for the foreseeable -- would be a great home to things like interviews,
> sound-journals, non-commercial live recordings, etc. From lurking on this
> list and piping up more recently, I get the impression that most of the
> material most of us work with is non-commercial (or old enough to be in
> PD) but of great interest to history and of some or great entertainment to
> certain people out there who don't have access to it now. If these
> hurricanes (just the latest history-wrecking disasters) taught us
> it should be that many copies in many places is a great strategy, and we
> live in a time where that should be easier than ever.
> Anyway, as usual, one man's opinion, etc.
Placing a digital sound (or any kind of) file onto some kind of storage
device, be it your property or a firm set up for such a purpose, is not
a violation of copyright per se...regardless of whether the copyright(s)
on the file(s) are active or not.

You only violate copyright when you make the file available, in a
usable and accessible form, to one or more users. Effectively, hiring
a data storage provider for a copyrighted digital file is like putting
books or phonorecords onto storage lockers.

In Google's case, they are proposing to make the contents of the
reference works (etc.) they are archiving to others...I'm not sure
if this would include anyone with a computer and net access or
paying subscribers. In any case, the only way they can offer this
(or any type of) access to copyrighted material is with the
express permission of the copyright holder(s). As I understand
it, it would be the users, not Google, who would be violating least this is how it works with 51-year-old
recordings, which are off copyright in Canada but not in the US!

OTOH, I'm not a copyright lawyer...

Steven C. Barr