The Printing Press to the Internet
14. Copyright, New Technologies & Trademark
C H A P T E R F O U R T E E N Copyright, New Technologies & Trademark CONTROVERSY: In 2004, Google Inc. launched a campaign to scan all the books in the world and make them available on the Web via its search engine. Google has plans to create the largest library ever—or bookstore, some argued. University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman said the project, now known as Google Books, “can, and will, change the world” because it takes “the corpus of human knowledge and puts it in the hands of anyone who wants it.”1 But the reality of copyright law soon intruded. In 2005, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers brought a class action lawsuit against Google, charging it with massive copyright infringement. Google was scanning and uploading the content of books from libraries without getting permis- sion from authors, including books known as “orphan works.” Orphan works—they num- ber in the millions—are out-of-print copyrighted works whose copyright holders cannot be located or are unknown. Yet, under copyright law, such holders retain their rights until their copyrights expire. Under the terms of a settlement between the Guild and Google announced in 2008, orphan works copyright holders would lose their rights if they failed to opt out of the settlement. In 2011, a federal judge rejected the settlement on a number of grounds, including a concern about Google’s copying of orphan and other copyrighted works. The settle- ment’s terms deprive...
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