Speed Scholarship Week Day 5: Class Actions and Google Books


And today, the Speed Scholarship Week train rolls to a stop. For dessert, I offer you a pair of posts on two topics that are near and dear to my heart: class-action settlements and Google Books.

Here at the Laboratorium, I have a post on a pending settlement in a privacy class action that uses the same dangerous jujitsu that the Google Books settlement did. Get everyone together in one class, and then use a settlement to force them to bless a program the defendant has yet to launch. This time, instead of a bookstore, its a consumer database, and instead of escaping copyright law, it escapes from the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

And meanwhile, at Publishers Weekly, I have a post on the Google Books fair use ruling. I survey the winners (Google competitors, researchers, readers, the disabled) and the losers (the Authors Guild) and reflect on how we got to this point. The world has changed remarkably since 2005, when the lawsuit was filed, and it has changed remarkably since 2008, when the settlement was announced.

Thanks for joining me this week. I’ve had fun, and hope you did too.

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