Progress, Innovation and Technology: A Delicate 'Google' Balance

26 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2011

Date Written: 2011


This article presents observations, questions, and commentary focusing on present and future copyright and patent paradigms. Part I addresses the expansion of substantive content rights, the dramatic extension of term duration of copyright, and the revolutionary expansion of new technologies that are core to fundamental objectives and benefits of copyright. It notes the escalating fixation of Congress and the courts on protection of intellectual, “property,” rights when often it appears in contravention of constitutional purpose. Part II addresses the tension created by Google’s adventures in information technologies, particularly those at the fringe of private rights and constitutional purpose. While Google’s search engine, data collection, use of data, presentation of data, forays in operating systems, and smart devices present copyright, patent, privacy, and social issues, the catalyst for a copyright paradigm shift is likely inherent in Google's Book project and litigation stemming from their growing stable of smart devices built on the Android Operating System. The tension is created by Google’s global presence, ubiquity, and incessant technological innovation, factors collectively setting the stage for a fundamental shift in the distribution, and use of intellectual content. These activities are consistent in purpose with constitutional purpose but, in current contexts, incompatible with and, “rivalrous,” to exclusive rights granted under current copyright and patent regimes.

Keywords: Google, Copyright, Reward, Innovation, Coincident, Myth, Public benefit, Challenge, Scan

Suggested Citation

Reis, Robert I., Progress, Innovation and Technology: A Delicate 'Google' Balance (2011). Buffalo Intellectual Property Law Journal, Forthcoming, Buffalo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-02, Available at SSRN:

Robert I. Reis (Contact Author)

SUNY Buffalo Law School ( email )

School of Law
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260
United States

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