The so-called “Google Books Settlement”, a proposed legal settlement agreement between Google and a group of publishers and authors, would allow Google to provide greater access to even more books than at present and to offer some new services.
Yet such a settlement would also have a profound influence on future digitization efforts, the marketplace for books, the role of libraries, scholarly research, and the general user's right to access information and maintain privacy.
It is important for academics, commercial information services, librarians, policy makers, and the public to understand both the opportunities and the risks that may flow from the October scheduled US District Court's fairness hearing in the case.
The School of Information is hosting a one-day conference on August 28th to address major issues arising from the proposed settlement. A series of panels will discuss:
the right of the public to have access to works embraced by such a settlement
the questions of privacy inevitably arising from creating and controlling access to such a collection
the potential for and restrictions on research into the content and use of such a collection
the quality of the content and the metadata surrounding it
This one-day conference will bring together a range of voices and opinions and will, it is hoped, lead to a more informed debate both before and following the court's decision.
Mark Liberman, Trustee Professor of Phonetics in the Department of Linguistics, Professor of Computer and Information Science, and Director of the Linguistic Data Consortium at the University of Pennsylvania