Fulfilling the Copyright Social Justice Promise: Digitizing Textual Information

32 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2010  

Lateef Mtima

Howard University School of Law

Steven D. Jamar

Howard University School of Law; Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice (IIPSJ)

Date Written: December 6, 2010

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Mtima, Lateef and Jamar, Steven D., Fulfilling the Copyright Social Justice Promise: Digitizing Textual Information (December 6, 2010). New York Law School Law Review, Vol. 55, No. 1, p. 77, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1721058

Lateef Mtima

Howard University School of Law ( email )

2900 Van Ness St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
United States

Steven D. Jamar (Contact Author)

Howard University School of Law ( email )

2900 Van Ness Street NW
Washington, DC 20008
United States

HOME PAGE: http://iipsj.com/SDJ/

Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice (IIPSJ) ( email )

MD
United States

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