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Why Not Only Book Lovers Should Understand the Google Book Settlement

 |  February 9, 2010


This month saw the development of two new issues in the Google Book Settlement Case. The Department of Justice in effect, said “nice try” but continued to reject Google’s revised approach to how to deal with copyright and orphan book issues. Stanford University, on the other hand, gave Google a big pat on the back and opened up all of their book archives to google (they had previously scanned over 1.7 million books owned by Stanford, and now plan to scan millions more.

There has been much written about this and there will be much more. On this site, our latest entry in the debate is James Grimmelmann’s article: The Amended Google Books Settlement Is Still Exclusive.

Wherever you choose to research the topic, we urge you to do so. The issues raised in the Google Book Settlement are complex and have aroused strong debate among legal, business, academic, and other scholars and experts. Much of the discussion is technical, legal, and esoteric. However, the end result will not only govern how a student, scholar, or casual reader will be able to browse, read, and reference books in the future. The agreement will also have a wide-ranging impact on how access to all information on a global scale will be protected, controlled, disseminated, and priced. Everyone who reads a book, researches anything online, uses copyright protection for an original work, or uses the internet will be impacted and should understand the debate and its eventual conclusion.