On Friday May 8th, I attended The Google Book Search Project and Canada: Cross-Border Perspective Conference at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. It was a chance to learn about the controversial Google Book Project in general, and the proposed settlement reached by Google and the plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed Most of the debate. The conference brought together various players and stakeholders to speak first from the American experience and then to consider possible Canadian solutions for the copyright challenges presented by the mass digitization and reuse of works. The event was great.
The speakers and presentations really opened my eyes to the issues related to Google’s plan to digitize the world. Not black, nor white, I realized, the debate on the pros and cons are incredibly complicated!
I was most inspired by the ideas presented by Lateef Mtima at the Google Books Settlement talks.
He told captivated attendees, mostly lawyers and a few librarians that “Copyright is a social justice issue.The fundamental misunderstanding of copyright law is that it is there solely to protect the rights of the author. Many of us have forgotten that it is also strongly based in the idea that open access to ideas advance culture and creative expression.”
The program and details about the event can be found here.