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The Google Book search settlement: A law and economics analysis

  • Müller-Langer, Frank
  • Scheufen, Marc

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.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/35705/1/MPRA_paper_35705.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 35705.

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Date of creation: 15 Jun 2011
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Publication status: Published in Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues 1.8(2011): pp. 7-50
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:35705
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Web page: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

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  1. 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, June.
  2. 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 325-63, June.
  3. Müller-Langer, Frank & Watt, Richard, 2010. "Copyright and Open Access for Academic Works," MPRA Paper 24095, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521816632 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521016919 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Hal R. Varian, 2006. "Copyright term extension and orphan works," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(6), pages 965-980, December.
  7. Rainer Kuhlen, 2009. "Buchdigitalisierung durch Google," Wirtschaftsdienst, Springer, vol. 89(9), pages 568-568, September.
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