Podcast

PK in the Know Podcast: Raza Returns to Dig Into the Google Books Decision

April 25, 2016 Copyright , Copyright Reform , Fair Use , Google Book Search , Google Books

PK in the Know Podcast: Raza Returns to Dig Into the Google Books Decision

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The Increasing Importance of Digital Fair Use: Reaction to the HathiTrust Decision

October 11, 2012 Fair Use , Google Book Search

Yesterday, a federal district court in New York decided that five universities’ digitizing of their library collections was a fair use, rejecting the Authors Guild’s attempt to halt the efforts. For a good, brief rundown of the decision, see James Grimmelmann’s early post here. Also, see Nancy Sims here, and Kenneth Crews here.

Basically, HathiTrust, a non-profit digital library partnership, and five universities (Michigan, the UC system, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Cornell) partnered with Google to scan books in the university libraries.

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The Importance of Project Gutenberg

September 8, 2011 Google Book Search , Public Domain

Project Gutenberg is one of the Internet’s great resources–the first “digital library,” with thousands of public domain ebooks, and created entirely by volunteers. Its founder, Michael Hart, passed away this week, after founding the project–by typing in a copy of the Declaration of Independence–in 1971. In doing this, Hart invented the ebook, and what became Project Gutenberg release #1 is still available online. Hart’s passing is a sad occasion but a good time to reflect on the importance of his life’s work.

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Google Books Rejection Highlights Need for Orphan Works Reform

March 22, 2011 Google Book Search , Orphan Works

Today Judge Chin released his decision in the Google Books case. This is the biggest development in a while in a saga that has been unfolding since 2004. It’s great the the Judge recognized that Google and the Authors Guild (and the rest of the plaintiffs) were trying to use his court to set public policy, rather than to settle a dispute between parties. Hundreds of authors, academics, librarians, companies, and even foreign governments filed objections to the settlement, and we’re honored that the Judge agreed with us that the agreement, if approved, would give Google monopoly control of orphan works. The public deserves access to these works, but it should come through a change to the law, rather than a private agreement that locks in just one supplier.

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DOJ on Amended Google Books Settlement: Better, but Still Opposed

February 5, 2010 Competition , Fair Use , Google Book Search , Monopoly , Orphan Works

Sherwin posted last week about the amended Google Books settlement and our amicus brief expressing our opposition to the settlement as written and our concern that it would lead to a monopoly on providing access to orphan works. The DOJ's Antitrust Divison has once again weighed in on the settlment (their previous brief is here, with our analysis here). Their conclusions appear to be largely the same as ours: "Although the United States believes the parties have approached this effort in good faith and the [Amended Settlement Agreement (ASA)] is more circumscribed in its sweep than the original Proposed Settlement, the ASA suffers from the same core problem as the original agreement: it is an attempt to use the class action mechanism to implement forward-looking business arrangements that go far beyond the dispute before the Court in this litigation."

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