Economic Impact of Mass Digitization Projects on Copyright Holders
The article, Estimating the Economic Impact of Mass Digitization Projects on Copyright Holders: Evidence from the Google Book Search Litigation, is available on the Social Science Research Network.
"Google Book Search (GBS) has captured the attention of many commentators and government officials, but even as they vigorously debate its legality, few of them have marshaled new facts to estimate its likely effects on publishing and other information markets. This Article challenges the conventional wisdom propounded by the U.S. and German governments, as well as Microsoft and other competitors of Google, concerning the likely economic impact of mass book-digitization projects. Originally advanced by publishing industry lobbying groups, the prevailing account of mass book-digitization projects is that they will devastate authors and publishers, just as Napster and its heirs have supposedly devastated musicians and music labels. Using the impact of GBS on the revenues and operating incomes of U.S. publishers believing themselves to be the most-affected by it, this Article finds no evidence of a negative impact upon them. To the contrary, it provides some evidence of a positive impact, and proposes further empirical research to identify the mechanisms of digitization’s economic impact."Earlier Library Boy posts about the Google Books Settlement include:
"The debate surrounding the GBS settlement is important to students, writers, researchers, and the general public, as it may decide whether a federal appellate court or even the U.S. Supreme Court allows the best research tool ever designed to survive. If the theory of Microsoft and some publishing trade associations is accepted, the courts may enjoin and destroy GBS, just as Napster was shut down a decade ago."
"The Article aims at a preliminary estimate of the economic impact of mass digitization projects, using GBS as a case in point. It finds little support for the much-discussed hypothesis of the Association of American Publishers and Google’s competitors that the mass digitization of major U.S. libraries will reduce the revenues and profits of the most-affected publishers. In fact, the revenues and profits of the publishers who believe themselves to be most aggrieved by GBS, as measured by their willingness to file suit against Google for copyright infringement, increased at a faster rate after the project began, as compared to before its commencement. The rate of growth by publishers most affected by GBS is greater than the growth of the overall U.S. economy or of retail sales. Thus, the very publishers that have sued Google have seen their revenues grow faster than retail sales or the U.S. economy as a whole (measured by gross domestic product). This finding parallels some of the research that has been done since the Napster case on the economic impact of peer-to-peer file sharing on sales of recorded music. Future studies may provide a more granular estimate of the economic impact of frequent downloads or displays of pages of particular books on the sales of such books."
- Google Settles Lawsuit With U.S. Authors and Publishers (October 28, 2008)
- Google Book Scanning Project Settlement: More Reaction and Analysis (February 23, 2009)
- Association of American Publishers on Recent Google Book Project Settlement (February 24, 2009)
- Controversy Heats Up Over Google Book Search Settlement (August 24, 2009)
- Google Book Search Bibliography (September 14, 2009)
- American Library Associations Publish Summary of Google Books Litigation Court Filings (October 6, 2009)
- American Library Association Website on Google Book Settlement (October 26, 2009)
- Guide to the Amended Google Book Settlement (November 30, 2009)
- Canadian Authors Launch Petition Against Google Book Settlement (January 5, 2010)
- Coverage of Last Week's Google Books Settlement NYC Court Hearing (February 22, 2010)
- New Version of Google Books Bibliography (April 12, 2010)