In the News

Pamela Samuelson in the news:

Google prevails as jury rebuffs Oracle in code copyright case

Pamela Samuelson quoted in The New York Times, May 26, 2016

The case could go to the Supreme Court, though it was unclear whether the court would rule definitively on copyright, said Pamela Samuelson. … “They don’t usually like to go against what the appeals court established,” she said.

Oracle-Google dispute goes to heart of open-source software

Pamela Samuelson quoted in The New York Times, May 19, 2016

“The open-source community will heave a huge sigh of relief if Google wins, and will be very worried if Oracle wins,” said Pamela Samuelson, professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley. “It will have a chilling effect.”

Colleges shouldn’t have to deal with copyright monitoring

Pamela Samuelson writes for The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 17, 2016

If the overwhelming majority of the university’s uses were fair, it doesn’t make sense to impose substantial and costly compliance measures on it. Colleges, students, faculty members, and academic-book-­chapter authors will win if the publishers lose once again.

Google Book Search helps, not hurts, authors

Pamela Samuelson writes for The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 13, 2016

The Authors Alliance represents authors who want their books to be discoverable and reach new generations of readers. Book Search helps to achieve this goal. It consists largely of nonfiction books written by scholars in the hope that the books would be read by others and contribute to the ongoing progress of knowledge creation and dissemination, in keeping with the constitutional purpose of copyright.

Google’s court victory is good for scholarly authors. Here’s why.

Pamela Samuelson writes for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 27, 2015

The guild argues that the ruling deprives authors of licensing revenues that were sought as a remedy for Google’s use of in-copyright books. But the appellate court was unpersuaded by the guild’s licensing theory, because, it said, what matters for purposes of fair-use analysis is whether snippets displace the market for books, which the court held they do not.

House Judiciary’s planned California roundtables likely to include wider range of copyright issues

Pamela Samuelson quoted in Washington Internet Daily (registration required), Oct. 14, 2015

“I think [House Judiciary] wouldn’t have held so many hearings if it didn’t want to do something legislatively, so it will be interesting to see if that’s on music licensing or fair use issues.”

Supreme Court declines to hear appeal in Google-Oracle copyright fight

Pamela Samuelson quoted in The New York Times, June 29, 2015

“I don’t think this decision will have much effect” on the software industry, said Pamela Samuelson.… “Some of us were hoping for a little more clarity on copyright, but that will come from other courts.”

New guide helps authors get book rights back from publishers

Pamela Samuelson quoted in Imperial Valley News, April 5, 2015

“Most often those books are commercially available for the first few years after they’re published, but then linger on publisher backlists,” Samuelson said. “In later years, when neither the publisher nor the author is making money from the books, the work is no longer promoted, and the public can’t access them. Getting rights back from the publisher is not only feasible, but also necessary to bring the work to a new audience.”

IP professors Q&A: Berkeley’s Pamela Samuelson

Pamela Samuelson interviewed by Law360, October 10, 2014

Patent quality needs to be a much higher priority at the PTO. There are too many “bad” patents out there that have become cudgels with which nonpracticing entities have imposed huge costs on innovative technology firms because of their unwarranted claims of infringement.

Google, law profs join battle over $1.5B Marvell verdict

Pamela Samuelson cited in Litigation Daily, August 12, 2014

Fifteen law professors reinforced that argument in an amicus brief of their own, also filed Monday…. The signatories include Mark Lemley of Stanford Law School and Pamela Samuelson of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

New authors alliance wants to ease some copyright rules

Pamela Samuelson and Molly Van Houweling quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, May 31, 2014

“Copyright law is so strict, stretching up to 95 years from publication in some cases, that without the right to digitize it we are in jeopardy of losing our long-term cultural and intellectual history,” said alliance founding member Pamela Samuelson, a UC Berkeley law professor who filed briefs on Google’s behalf during the eight-year book scanning controversy.

“It’s not only academic writers who are running into problems,” said alliance founding member and UC Berkeley law Professor Molly Van Houweling, “It’s biographers and researchers and journalists and literary writers.”

Are APIs patent or copyright subject matter?

Pamela Samuelson writes for PatentlyO, May 12, 2014

In the most expansive interpretation of software copyright law since Whelan v. Jaslow, Judge O’Malley in Oracle v. Google endorsed dual protection for APIs from both copyright and patent law. This ignored an important statement from that court’s earlier ruling in Atari Games v. Nintendo that “patent and copyright laws protect distinct aspects of a computer program.”

Scribal wars: new authors alliance hits resistance

Pamela Samuelson quoted in California Magazine, May 2014

Samuelson said the purpose of the group is to “empower” writers on a case-by-case basis. “We want to help them achieve their goals for their work,” she said. “Sometimes that means helping them to put their work in the public domain, sometimes it means Creative Commons, and sometimes it means seeking a proprietary license. Each can be an appropriate thing to do depending on the circumstance. We just want to help people understand what their choices are.”

Europe court ruling reboots Web privacy rules for Google, others

Pamela Samuelson quoted in Los Angeles Times, May 13, 2014

“EU data protection rules are much stricter and broader in scope than U.S. privacy rules,” said Pamela Samuelson, a professor at the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. “So the ruling is not all that surprising. But it obviously complicates the task for search engines of giving folks access to content that’s lawful in most jurisdictions.”

In new case, Supreme Court revisits the question of software patents

Pamela Samuelson quoted in The Washington Post, March 28, 2014

The State Street decision seemed to ignore the Supreme Court’s views altogether. Pamela Samuelson … says it’s “not possible” to square the State Street ruling with the Supreme Court’s precedents. In her view: “They didn’t like the ruling, and so they gave it a narrow interpretation. In effect, they overruled it.”

Congress in middle of Hollywood copyright clash with Silicon Valley

Pamela Samuelson quoted in Los Angeles Times, February 17, 2014
Since then, “everything has changed,” said Pamela Samuelson…. “This has become something a lot of people feel strongly about.”

A call to focus on copyright

Pamela Samuelson quoted in Inside Higher Education, October 21, 2013

Many leaders and experts in higher education “want to hide” when people talk about the possibility of Congress reopening copyright legislation. “While it is sensible to be somewhat concerned about what would happen if Congress decided to reopen” the legislation, Samuelson said, “it would be a mistake for higher ed not to say, ‘If we want to do this, these things need to be on the agenda.’ ” Generally, she said, higher education needs to be sure the fair use victories of the courts are preserved.

Abusive patent litigation only getting worse, say Google, Microsoft experts

Pamela Samuelson quoted in Communications Daily, October 10, 2013 (registration required)

Non-practicing entity litigation “wasn’t worrisome five years ago,” said Pamela Samuelson, a UC-Berkeley law professor. Then, such litigation was aimed at big companies such as Google and Microsoft, she said. “But now a lot of the assertions are coming against small companies, and [they’re] having real significant operational impacts.”

Patent trolls’ put brakes on SF transit app

Samuelson clinic cited in San Francisco Chronicle, September 1, 2013(registration required)

This summer, the San Francisco digital rights group and the Samuelson Law, Technology, and Public Policy Clinic at UC Berkeley helped significantly narrow the scope of one key ArrivalStar patent, after filing a request for re-examination.

Apple’s chances on an e-book ruling appeal are lousy, say legal scholars

Pamela Samuelson quoted in AllThingsDigital, July 10, 2013

“Apple may have a tough time getting this ruling reversed because the judge made findings of fact about the antitrust violation that appellate courts typically defer to,” Samuelson told AllThingsD. “Most reversals happen as to interpretations of the law.”