Monthly Archives: June 2011

University of Michigan to Make Orphan Works Available


By [Thursday, June 23rd, 2011] at 12:32 pm

University of Michigan to Make Orphan Works Available

The University of Michigan has been studying which of the digitized books it holds are orphans. That project is described here, including the workflow process:

Note that two different people follow the same workflow for each volume, which is a built-in protection against making errors. We attempt to make contact with the potential copyright holder via two (and sometimes three) different ways. If we make contact with a potential rights holder and they assert that they are still in fact the rights holder for the work, it is not an orphan. If we can not make contact with a potential rights holder or the potential rights holder does not assert that she holds the rights, then only at that time do we consider the work an orphan.

Of special note is the fact that a list of potential orphans will be made available for 90 days before they are opened. If, at any time, a legitimate copyright holder approaches us we will remove their work from our pool of potential orphans (as it is no longer an orphan). In addition, if at any time after a work has been identified as an orphan and made readable to the U-M scholarly community a legitimate copyright holder approaches us, we will remove the copyright holder’s work from the program.

Now, for those books that have passed through this process and been categorized as “orphan,” the University library will make them available to University users and campus visitors:

Access to orphan works will be limited to U-M authenticated users and visitors to the campus libraries in Ann Arbor, and to works that the library holds in its print collection. In other words, the same population that can check out these works from the library’s print collection now will be able to read the digital copies from other locations.

According to John Wilkin, associate university librarian and executive director of HathiTrust, other institutions among the HathiTrust’s more than 50 partners, including the University of Wisconsin, are moving forward with similar plans to share digitized orphan works from their own collections.

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Antitrust Chronicle Special Issue on the Decision


By [Thursday, June 23rd, 2011] at 11:51 am

Antitrust Chronicle Special Issue on the Decision

The CPI Antitrust Chronicle has a new issue mostly devoted to the Google Books decision. Although the full text of the six articles is only available to subscribers, here are the titles and abstracts:

Timothy Brennan, Revise or Start Anew? Pondering the Google Books Rejection

Why the objectors to Google in the settlement need not be on the side of competition.

Isabel Davies and Holly Strube, Online Distribution of Copyright Works: Judge Chin Rejects Google Books Settlement

Multinational co-operation will not be easily achieved, but this process must begin without delay.

Gina Durham, The Google Book Settlement & the Uncertain Future of Copyright

The rejection of the Amended Settlement for the Google Book Project underscores the frustrated dichotomy between old laws and new media.

Ian Forrester, Google Books: Game and Set to the Sceptics; the Match Continues

The judgment is interesting, easy to read, rich in the voices of ordinary people, and very severe.

Mark Giangrande, The Rejection of the Amended Google Book Settlement Agreement: A Librarian’s Perspective

The point that often seems secondary, the actual content of the scanned books, is, from a librarian’s perspective, very important.

Randal Picker, After Google Book Search: Rebooting the Digital Library

We should want the ecosystem containing digital libraries to be rich and teeming.

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Pamela Samuelson: Overcoming Copyright Obstacles in a Post-Google Book Settlement World


By [Monday, June 20th, 2011] at 7:56 pm

Pamela Samuelson: Overcoming Copyright Obstacles in a Post-Google Book Settlement World

Professor Samuelson has written prolifically about the settlement and its significance for larger debates about the copyright system. Her new guest post for the Center for Democracy and Technology, Overcoming Copyright Obstacles in a Post-Google Book Settlement World, provides an overview of the state of affairs after Judge Chin’s opinion, including a short and succinct version of the arguments she develops at length in her forthcoming article Legislative Alternatives to the Google Book Settlement. Here is her conclusion:

Many, even if not all, of the social benefits that would have flowed from approval of the GBS settlement can be achieved in other ways. Some reforms can perhaps be done through private ordering (e.g., professors making their books available on an open access basis), some through fair use (e.g., scanning to index contents), and some through legislation. We should not let the failure of the GBS settlement stand in the way of finding new ways to make cultural heritage more widely available.

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Google Books Affiliate Program Launches


By [Monday, June 20th, 2011] at 7:51 pm

Google Books Affiliate Program Launches

Google has integrated Google Books into its other affiliate advertising programs. Here is the official blog post announcement.

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GW Roundtable on June 15


By [Sunday, June 5th, 2011] at 11:56 pm

GW Roundtable on June 15

George Washington University Law School will hold a roundtable on June 15 with the provocative title. “Can the Google Book Settlement Be Fixed?: A Roundtable Discussion Among Experts”:

This conference will explore what options are available to the parties that would retain the principal benefits of the rejected deal, but might satisfy the judge and some of the objectors. After an initial presentation of options, a moderator will pose questions to the discussants, who are experts in the three main areas where the judge identified problems: copyright, class actions, and antitrust.

The event is free, but reservations are required.

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Next Status Conference Scheduled for July 19


By [Wednesday, June 1st, 2011] at 4:46 pm

Next Status Conference Scheduled for July 19

Today’s status conference lasted five minutes. The parties requested more time to discuss their options, and Judge Chin agreed, scheduling the next status conference for Tuesday, July 19, at 10:00 AM.

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