Monday Google launched Google eBooks, its ambitious e-bookselling venture, but now nearly 10 months since its February approval hearing, the Google Book Settlement, the search giant’s other major book project, remains in legal limbo. That of course, could change any time with a ruling by the court—and when it does, the New York Law School Law Review will have perhaps the most comprehensive analysis of the legal issues at work, publishing a full issue dedicated to the settlement.
The seven essays in the issue were derived from the D Is for Digitize conference, organized by NYLS professor James Grimmelmann, who along with his students also created the Public Interest Book Search Initiative (PIBSI) in the spring of 2009 to give the public a voice in the digitization debate. Grimmelmann said that when he first organized D Is for Digitize, a conference on book scanning and the Google settlement for October, 2009 his main concern was whether a quick decision to approve or reject the settlement would make the event an afterthought. Turns out he needn’t have worried. In fact, with the settlement still up in the air, the issues covered in the New York Law School Review may turn out to be right on time.
“I hope this volume will give people useful perspective,” Grimmelmann told PW, “to help them know what to make of the decision when it comes.” Of course, it remains anybody’s guess, he noted when that decision will come.