Private Ordering in the Shadow of Copyright Law: Google Books as a Blueprint
Politische Vierteljahresschrift (Special Issue on Politik und die Regulierung von Information), Sonderheft 46, 2012, pp 248-272
24 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2011 Last revised: 15 Nov 2013
Date Written: July 28, 2011
The information economy is undergoing a period of fundamental change. These changes concern the ways information goods are owned and traded, and how they are regulated through public and private rules. Prompted by the predominantly juristic discussion on the copyright regime in the information age, this article offers a regulatory perspective on the evolving governance arrangements that shape the market for cultural goods.
Google Books, the unsuccessful but very well documented attempt to re-utilize the vast amount of out-of-print works, serves as an example to illuminate the ongoing transformation of information governance. Embedded in an evolving mode of industry self-regulation, a whole new set of information assets is emerging that implies close monitoring of users and communication practices in order to unfold its economic potential. As the case of Google Books also shows, the contract-based regime involves a redistribution of the rights that used to structure the market for cultural goods.
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