In the less than half a decade that it has existed, Google Book Search has been anything but boring. The service, that allows users to search millions of texts that Google has scanned, has revolutionized the digital information landscape. However, the viability of the service was challenged nearly immediately by authors and publishers who believed it infringed their copyright. Now, after nearly a year of commentary on the resulting settlement between Google and the Authors Guild/Association of American Publishers, the court has received nearly 400 submissions from the public that range from strong support to deep dissatisfaction.
The Google Book Search settlement runs hundreds of pages and can be confusing to the most expert of legal minds, but, in either its current or a modified form, it will have profound effects on how students around the world interact with knowledge. In the interest of better informing students about the settlement, Students for Free Culture has solicited the thoughts of a variety of experts who, over the coming days, will provide guest posts reflecting on how the settlement will likely impact students.
In the meantime, we encourage you to check out the official Google website explaining the settlement and the Public Index, an initiative of New York Law School that has an authoritative collection of information ranging from briefs to forums.