Thursday, May 07, 2009

New York Law School's Google Book Settlement Web Site

Publisher's Weekly writes that New York Law School is planning a web site both to cover changes to and to affect the Google Book Settlement. Interestingly, it is funded by Microsoft.

will include discussion forums, a comprehensive archive of settlement documents and related commentary, and a tool for users to insert their own analyses and commentary on individual paragraphs of the proposed settlement. The project, dubbed “the Public Index,” is part of the Public Interest Book Search Initiative overseen by NYLS professor James Grimmelmann, an expert who has written extensively about the deal. The effort will be staffed by NYLS students and is being underwritten with a grant from Google competitor Microsoft.

A major part of the project’s goal is to solicit and display broad input on the deal directly from the public. Public interest thus far has been channeled through various groups, including the library community, who earlier this week filed comments on the deal, penned by another expert, Washington-based attorney Jonathan Band, author of A Guide for the Perplexed: Libraries and the Google Library Project Settlement.

Grimmelmann said the Public Index will respond to “the enormous public interest in the lawsuit,” offering both authoritative information and analysis as well as “a forum for the public to make their own voices heard.” That effort will include “open source amicus brief,” a wiki that will give users the opportunity to "edit and discuss" a draft of the NYLS’s comments on the deal, to be submitted to the court by September 4.

In addition, the law school will host a conference on "the law and policy of book scanning," from Thursday, October 8, to Saturday, October 10, 2009. The conference will coincide with the rescheduled fairness hearing in the Google Book Search case, now set for Wednesday, October 7, in New York City. The conference will feature a range of speakers who will discuss the public policy issues raised by the proposed settlement and its long-term implications for publishing and for copyright law, including “a series of tutorial sessions that will explain the provisions of the proposed settlement and their associated legal issues in detail.” The New York Law School Law Review will also publish a volume of essays from the panelists at the conference.
Here is a press release from New York Law School's web page, dated 5/5/2009. So far, there is no link for Public Index; the release says "later this May."

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