Professor Jason SchultzOn December 3, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit heard oral arguments in Authors Guild v. Google, in which the Authors Guild argued that Google had violated copyright laws by digitizing 20 million books and organizing them in a searchable, online database. Following the hearing, several participants and interested parties convened at NYU Law for a post-mortem discussion.

Jeremy Goldman, partner in the Litigation Group and Technology, Digital Media & Privacy Group at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein + Selz, counsel for the Authors Guild; Joseph Gratz, partner at Durie Tangri, counsel for Google; and Fred von Lohmann, legal director for copyright at Google, were direct participants in the case. In addition, Greg Cram, associate director of copyright and information policy at the New York Public Library; Corynne McSherry, Intellectual Property Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Jason Schultz, director of the Law School’s Technology Law & Policy Clinic as well as co-director of NYU Law’s Engelberg Center on Innovation Law and Policy, contributed amicus briefs.

Schultz, who represented a group of digital humanities scholars, supports Google’s efforts in making millions of books digitally accessible. “Digitizing 20 million books led to a lot of scholarly insight,” Schultz explained. “In the same way biologists are able to compare 20 million cell samples or light samples, we are able to conduct research in English Literature.”

Post-mortem gatherings like the one Schultz organized, especially in an academic environment, are rare. Schultz hopes that this is the first of many that will take place at NYU Law. “My goal is to build on the success of this event and have more debriefings immediately following legal proceedings. We’re only a six-minute subway ride from the court house!”

Posted January 16, 2015