Pam Samuelson on Google Books: It’s Not A Library

Pam Samuelson, UC Berkeley Professor of Law and one of the most respected and cogent voices in the Google Books debate, published a response on Huffington Post to to the New York Times op-ed column by Google’s Sergey Brin.  Samuelson helpfully points out that Brin’s self-made comparison of his company’s efforts to that of famed ancient library of Alexandria are laughable at best.

Samuelson pokes several holes in Brin’s specious argument, including:

  • The Google Book initiative is a for-profit commercial effort, unlike Alexandria or public libraries;
  • Library associations themselves are lining up in opposition to the settlement out of fear of price gouging coming from Google and the proposed Book Rights Registry;
  • The settlement would eliminate the fair use defense and make it realistically impossible for any competitor to do what Google has done;
  • There is a major gap between traditional libraries’ policies on patron privacy vs. what Google has committed to. In fact, Google has opened the door to the possibility of serving ads next to search results for even the institutional subscriptions that research libraries would be forced to buy.

Samuelson’s piece is a great read that should raise significant questions whenever Google professes its desire to create the great 21st century digital library.

  • It is filed under: Uncategorized
  • Tags:

Learn more…

Connect and Follow

Mission

The mass digitization of books promises to bring tremendous value to consumers, libraries, scholars, and students. The Open Book Alliance will work to advance and protect this promise. And, by...

More

What Experts Are Saying About the Settlement…

Important Dates

December 14, 2009
Notice begins

January 28, 2010
Deadline for authors to opt out of the settlement

January 28, 2010
Deadline to file objections and/or amicus briefs

February 4, 2010
Deadline to file notice of intent to appear at Fairness Hearing

February 4, 2010
DOJ response

February 11, 2010
Plaintiffs move for final approval

February 18, 2010
Final Fairness Hearing

March 31, 2011
Deadline to claim Books and Inserts

Archives