Oct 6, 2009

Pamela Samuelson and the Google Books Controversy

From the New York Times

In E-Books, It’s an Army vs. Google

By Miguel Helft

SAN FRANCISCO — Whenever it can, Google likes to have programmers solve its problems. But now it faces a dispute that even its ranks of lawyers and lobbyists are finding hard to smooth over.

A broad array of authors, academics, librarians and public interest groups are fighting the company’s plan to create a huge digital library and bookstore. Their complaints reached the ears of regulators at the Justice Department, which last month helped derail the plan by asking a court to reject the class-action settlement that spawned it.

That request led to a last-minute decision by Google and its partners, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, to redraft the agreement. A federal court hearing in New York on Wednesday will shed light on their progress....

Even before the agreement was signed last October, however, opposition began to brew. Harvard University, which along with a few other libraries had been invited to participate in some of the negotiations, withdrew. A few months later, Robert Darnton, head of the university’s library system, wrote an impassioned attack on the deal in The New York Review of Books.

Around the same time, Pamela Samuelson, a respected Internet law and copyright expert at the [Schools of Information and Law at the] University of California, Berkeley, convened a meeting of concerned scholars who began spreading the word at universities.


Last updated: October 4, 2016