Jonathan Rochkind wrote:
> Both the law and the real world situation is unclear.
> Clearly, publishers own the intellectual property of a cover graphic.
> Could using thumbnail images of lots of covers in aggregate be
> considered fair use? Maybe, the law is not clear (there is some case
> law to suggest it could be, but it's hardly settled).
> Would publishers mind if you are using their intellectual property
> like this? It's not clear. On the one hand, these days everyone thinks
> they should be getting paid if you are using their IP for anything. On
> the other hand, _some_ publishers are giving thumbnails for free to
> Internet Archive. Maybe publishers realize giving you this 'property'
> to, after all, let you advertise their wares for them, is a good
> thing. Of course Bowker/Syndetics (and I think Ingram has a cover
> service too?) don't like free covers because they make money from it.
> I am very very curious as to what terms Bowker has with the
> publishers; does Bowker have an _exclusive_ license with the
> publishers to do certain things? How much, if any, do the publishers
> get paid for Bowker's use of their cover images? Very curious what the
> business situation is, because that helps us guess how various actors
> will behave.
> If you use Bowker/Syndetics images in a way not covered by the
> license, that's a license issue. Amazon licenses from Bowker, and in
> turn licenses the end-user, so there are various parties there that
> could be violating licenses. Google also licenses either from Bowker
> or Ingram or someone else, not sure who, but I'm pretty sure they've
> gotten cover images by license.
> The LibraryThing archive was not obtained by license. It was obtained
> by individual users scanning and uploading. So the only license
> involved is one between LibraryThing and the end-users of the images,
> there is no license violation with any provider of the image possible.
> Just possibly a copyright violation.
> Lars Aronsson wrote:
>> Tim Spalding wrote:
>>> I really hope this—or more probably what comes of this—ends the
>>> selling of covers to libraries.
>> Probably not, with all the restrictions you attached.
>> Still, this is a most interesting experiment. Commercial sellers
>> supposedly have a legal backing from contracts with publishers, which
>> you don't? How long will that last? If it does last, it is indeed a
>> big win.
>> In the blog entry, you wrote: "Publishers and authors want libraries
>> and bookstores to show their covers." -- I'm not so sure. I think
>> publishers want copyright to make it hard to use out-of-print books,
>> so people buy new books instead. Back in 1932, Aldous Huxley wrote:
>> "We don't want people to be attracted by old things. We want them to
>> like the new ones."
Karen Coyle / Digital Library Consultant
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