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The Google Book search settlement: A law and economics analysis

Author

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  • Müller-Langer, Frank
  • Scheufen, Marc

Abstract

Beginning in December 2004 Google has pursued a new project to create a book search engine (Google Book Search). The project has released a storm of controversy around the globe. While the supporters of Google Book Search conceive the project as a first reasonable step towards unlimited access to knowledge in the information age, its opponents fear profound negative effects due to an erosion of copyright law. Our law and economics analysis of the Book Search Project suggests that – from a copyright perspective – the proposed settlement may be beneficial to right holders, consumers, and Google. For instance, it may provide a solution to the still unsolved dilemma of orphan works. From a competition policy perspective, we stress the important aspect that Google’s pricing algorithm for orphan and unclaimed works effectively replicates a competitive Nash-Bertrand market outcome under post-settlement, third-party oversight.

Suggested Citation

  • Müller-Langer, Frank & Scheufen, Marc, 2011. "The Google Book search settlement: A law and economics analysis," MPRA Paper 35705, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:35705
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/35705/1/MPRA_paper_35705.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Motta,Massimo, 2004. "Competition Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521016919, April.
    2. Rainer Kuhlen, 2009. "Buchdigitalisierung durch Google," Wirtschaftsdienst, Springer;German National Library of Economics, vol. 89(9), pages 568-568, September.
    3. Hal R. Varian, 2006. "Copyright term extension and orphan works," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(6), pages 965-980, December.
    4. W. Kip Viscusi & Joseph E. Harrington & John M. Vernon, 2005. "Economics of Regulation and Antitrust, 4th Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 4, volume 1, number 026222075x, January.
    5. Müller-Langer, Frank & Watt, Richard, 2010. "Copyright and Open Access for Academic Works," MPRA Paper 24095, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Landes, William M & Posner, Richard A, 1989. "An Economic Analysis of Copyright Law," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 325-363, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Frank Mueller-Langer, 2014. "Copyright and parallel trade," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Copyright, chapter 16, pages 287-310 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Frank Mueller-Langer & Marc Scheufen, 2013. "Academic publishing and open access," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Digital Creative Economy, chapter 32, pages 365-377 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Book Rights Registry; Competition Policy; Copyright; Fair Use; Google Book Search; Library Program; Orphan Works;

    JEL classification:

    • K20 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - General
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law

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