Why Is the Google Book Search Settlement So Controversial?

Mira Dontcheva   Pamela Samuelson, UC Berkeley School of Information

    pamat signischool.berkeley.edu

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University October 30, 200
9, 12:50pm, Gates B01

Last October Google announced it had reached an agreement to settle two lawsuits brought against it for copyright infringement based on its scanning of in-copyright books for purposes of indexing their contents and making snippets available.  The settlement claims that the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers (AAP) represent the class of all persons or entities that have U.S. copyright interests in one or more books.  If approved, the settlement will give Google a right to commercialize all out-of-print books (unless the rights holder opts out of the commercialization scheme) and to make non-display uses of in-print books (e.g., testing algorithms on the corpus of millions of books).  The settlement also envisions the establishment of a Book Rights Registry which is tasked with finding rights holders, signing them up, and then paying out revenues from Google's commercialization of the books to the appropriate rights holders.  This talk will consider the implications of the settlement for academic authors and researchers and will assess the likelihood of the settlement being approved.


Pamela Samuelson is the Richard M. Sherman ’74 Distinguished Professor of Law and Information at the University of California at Berkeley and a Director of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology.  She teaches courses on intellectual property, cyberlaw, and information privacy.  She has written and spoken extensively about the challenges that new information technologies pose for traditional legal regimes, especially for intellectual property law.  She is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), a Contributing Editor of Communications of the ACM, a past Fellow of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and an Honorary Professor of the University of Amsterdam.  She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as well as a member of the Advisory Boards for the Electronic Privacy Information Center and Public Knowledge. 

A 1971 graduate of the University of Hawaii and a 1976 graduate of Yale Law School, Samuelson practiced law as a litigation associate with the New York law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher before turning to academic pursuits.  From 1981 through June 1996 she was a member of the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh Law School, from which she visited at Columbia, Cornell, and Emory Law Schools.  She has been a member of the Berkeley faculty since 1996 and was a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School during the fall term 2007.

The talks are open to the public. They are in the Gates Building, Room B01 in the basement. The nearest public parking is in the structure at Campus Drive and Roth Way.

View this talk on line at CS547 on Stanford OnLine.

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