Fulfilling the Copyright Social Justice Promise: Digitizing Textual Information
32 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2010
Date Written: December 6, 2010
This article explores the evolving copyright landscape in the Digital Information Age and places the Google Library Project (“Google Books,” “the Project”) and the Google Settlement Agreement within that terrain. We attempt to demonstrate how this initiative - the mass digitization of the nation’s storehouse of printed texts with the goal of making them available to anyone who has access to the Internet - fits squarely within that terrain. Briefly, we contend it does so because it serves copyright law’s central purpose of advancing knowledge and culture, especially through furthering copyright social utility and justice through inclusion of those who have been excluded, and it does this by using an accepted copyright mechanism (a private, court-supervised settlement) to address the novel copyright problems presented by the new technologies, while still preserving the rights of copyright holders. In sum, the incorporation of this new technology and the works generated through it into the copyright regime achieves the social utility balance mandated by the U.S. Constitution and fulfills the social justice promise of copyright law.
Keywords: Copyright, Intellectual Property, Google, Derivative Work, Digital Works, Digital Divide, Internet, Google Books, Social Justice, Social Utility
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