GBS: The (103-page-) Long and Winding Road

Jonathan Band has been closely following the Google Books lawsuit and settlement since very early on. He wrote the invaluable Guide for the Perplexed series of papers, drafted filings on behalf of the library associations, gave the opening tutorial at D is for Digitize, and has been a tireless commentator on the settlement at panels and events far and wide. He’s been doing real yeoman’s work in facilitating informed public discussion.

Well, now he’s topped it all, with his remarkable, truly comprehensive The Long and Winding Road to the Google Books Settlement in the John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law. The painstaking, meticulous, heavily-footnoted, and unbelievably long law review format is horrible overkill for many kinds of scholarship, but there are some topics for which it’s ideally suited. This is one of them. Band’s 103-page article sports 937 footnotes, making it comparable in length to the settlement itself. But it’s much clearer, and this kind of encyclopedic length lets Band discuss almost every significant issue the settlement has presented. This is the place to start reading for anyone who wants to get deeply into the settlement, and an invaluable reference for anyone who’s already waist-deep into it and trying to keep track of all the details.