Notes on Google Book event

Kevin Donovan, Notes from Georgetown Symposium on Google Book Search Settlement, Blurring Borders, February 27, 2009. Notes on Google and the Future of Higher Education (Washington, D.C., February 27, 2009).

James Grimmelmann:

  • … “Google may become the only game in town for serious online access to many of these works.” …
  • Settlement makes almost no provision for the privacy of readers …
  • All copyright owners are bound by this because of its class-action nature …
  • “This is not the way these types of things should be done in a democracy. We have public institutions to solve gigantic issues, not the courtroom. The courtroom’s adversarial approach is the wrong way to determine the future of information.”
  • But the settlement is still a net positive

Siva Vaidytanathan

  • … Libraries should have done this, especially because they have special rights under copyright …
  • Google needs to still care about this project in ten years.
  • “Why are we betting everything on what may be a fly-by company in the scale of history.” We are sacrificing better options for expediency. …
  • Deeply troubled by lack of user confidentiality …
  • Not convinced we’ve missed the opportunity
    • Outlining the Human Knowledge Project (like Human Genome Project where scientists rejected Venter’s Solera – a private project. The two databases complement each other)
    • Pool resources globally – to preserve and extend the record of human knowledge …

Update. See also Timothy Vollmer’s notes.