Friday, July 24, 2009
Pamela Samuelson, UC Berkeley School of Law, has published "Legally Speaking: The Dead Souls of the Google Booksearch Settlement," in volume 52 of Communications of the ACM (July 2009). Here is the abstract.
This short article argues that the proposed settlement of the Authors Guild v. Google lawsuit is a privately negotiated compulsory license primarily designed to monetize millions of orphan works. It will benefit Google and certain authors and publishers, but it is questionable whether the authors of most books in the corpus (the “dead souls” to which the title refers) would agree that the settling authors and publishers will truly represent their interests when setting terms for access to the Book Search corpus.
Download the article from SSRN here.