In the News

Pamela Samuelson in the news:

Apple says differences in publisher deals belie e-book conspiracy charges

Pamela Samuelson quoted in AllThingsDigital, June 5, 2013

Pam Samuelson … took a similar view. “It is quite possible for antitrust co-conspirators to mask agreements in restraint of trade by adopting differently worded documents,” she said. “Using identical language would make the anticompetitive nature of an agreement too obvious.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook: “The e-book case to me is bizarre”

Pamela Samuelson quoted in AllThingsDigital, June 3, 2013

As Pam Samuelson, director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, told AllThingsD, “The DOJ would not be pursuing this case if they thought they would lose.”

House judiciary committee sets up first hearing on copyright reform

Pamela Samuelson cited in Tech Dirt, May 8, 2013

They’re starting with five witnesses, all of whom participated in the Copyright Principles Project, which we wrote about a few years ago when it came out…. Having Samuelson on the list is the key one, as she was the driving force behind the project and is one of, if not the most, knowledgeable folks concerning copyright issues around.

Aaron Swartz: Opening access to knowledge

Pamela Samuelson writes for San Francisco Chronicle, January 25, 2013

What was Internet activist Aaron Swartz thinking when he downloaded 4 million articles from JSTOR (short for journal storage), a digital library of scholarly articles, in a closet at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology? Because of his suicide this month, we will never know for sure, but one consistent theme ran through his short but brilliant career: The Internet provides amazing opportunities to open more access to knowledge. And he wanted to help that process.

Brewster Kahle’s Internet archive

Pamela Samuelson quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, October 15, 2012

“He has almost evangelistic zeal for promoting better access to information to take advantage of the opportunities that are out there,” said Pamela Samuelson, a professor at UC Berkeley School of Law. Samuelson, a renowned pioneer in digital copyright law, met Kahle about 20 years ago. “If anything, he’s become more of a visionary and more of an evangelist,” she said. “He hasn’t slowed down at all.”

Brewster Kahle’s Internet archive

Pamela Samuelson quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, October 15, 2012

“He has almost evangelistic zeal for promoting better access to information to take advantage of the opportunities that are out there,” said Pamela Samuelson, a professor at UC Berkeley School of Law. Samuelson, a renowned pioneer in digital copyright law, met Kahle about 20 years ago. “If anything, he’s become more of a visionary and more of an evangelist,” she said. “He hasn’t slowed down at all.”

Google’s digital library plan hits another snag

Pamela Samuelson interviewed by National Public Radio, September 18, 2012

UC Berkeley law professor Pam Samuelson says Google is confident enough to keep scanning. “But the sense that I have, from talking to people, is that maybe they have slowed down a little bit.”

Reforming copyright is possible

Pamela Samuelson writes for The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 9, 2012

The fastest way to achieve a more comprehensive digital library is for Congress to create a license so that digital libraries could provide public access to copyrighted works no longer commercially available. This approach would make it unnecessary to engage in costly work-by-work searches for rights holders and would free up orphan works.

US-expert Samuelson: “ACTA should concern us all”

Pamela Samuelson quoted in Der Standard, May 3, 2012 (translated)

As a festival speaker for tomorrow’s opening in parliament, the U.S. American law professor Pamela Samuelson, known for her digitalization and legal expertise, will engage in a conversation about “Recognition of the Significance of Public Domain” to discuss public possession with regard to copyright on the Internet today.

A universal digital library is within reach

Pamela Samuelson writes for Los Angeles Times, May 1, 2012

Digital libraries containing millions of out-of-print and public domain works would vastly expand the scope of research and education worldwide, extending access to millions of people in undeveloped countries who don’t have it now. It would also open up amazing opportunities for discovery of new knowledge.

Serving a public that knows how to copy: orphan works and mass digitization

Pamela Samuelson, Jennifer Urban, Molly van Houweling, Jason Schultz cited in Publishers Weekly, April 14, 2012

-The UC Berkeley Center for Law and Technology (BCLT) is among the most eminent study centers for intellectual property (IP) law. Coordinated by Professor Pamela Samuelson, this last week it pulled together approximately 200 highly accomplished and well-spoken legal scholars, practitioners and librarians in a small conference on orphan works, “Orphan Works and Mass Digitization.”

-Jennifer Urban of BCLT cautioned that we need to evaluate the benefits and costs of diligent search requirements, a likely component of orphan works legislation, against the costs of collective licensing, which is more of a blunt end of the rights hammer, but would obviate the need for individualized search.

-Molly van Houweling observed that we need systems … that actively reward instead of punish efforts that produce information helping to re-unite rightsholders with their works.

-Jason Schultz noted in twitter that the key question was how people and their institutions can be part of this world, and learn to serve publics who know how to copy.

Perils of pay for play

Pamela Samuelson quoted in The Deal Magazine, March 30, 2012

“As enthusiastic as I am about copyright reform, I am not so naïve as to think that there is any realistic chance that a copyright reform effort will be undertaken in the next decade by the Copyright Office, the U.S. Congress, or any other organized group,” wrote Pamela Samuelson, a professor at University of California, Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law and a pioneer in digital-copyright law.

Pamela Samuelson Faults Guild’s Google Books Brief

Publishers Weekly, December 13, 2011 by Andrew Albanese

The brief in support of the motion does not address concerns about adequate class representation raised throughout the settlement process, specifically whether the guild, an organization which represents a sliver of the wide universe of authors, can effectively speak for the varied and divergent interests of “authors” writ large. Critics like UC’s Pam Samuelson, and D.C. attorney and author Scott Gant have argued there should be multiple classes all with different counsel.

Robert Merges, Pamela Samuelson Support First-to-File Patent Law

AllBusiness, September 19, 2011 by Don Sadler

Robert Merges, a professor of law at University of California, Berkeley, noted in a San Francisco Chronicle article that this provision gives inventors one year to hone their inventions after disclosure.

Pamela Samuelson, the director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Law and Technology, agreed: “The ‘little guy’ inventor story that this rule favors big firms is really a myth.”

Robert Merges, Pamela Samuelson Clarify Patent Study Results

Patently-O, August 5, 2011 by Robert Merges, Pam Samuelson, and Ted Sichelman

First, our study only applies to U.S. startup companies. Second, many executives—particularly those in the biotechnology and medical device industries—reported that patents provide strong or moderate incentives to innovate. In the very least, prompt patent grants for these companies would not be “irrelevant” to stimulating innovation. Last, our responses on the role of patents in the innovation process relates to the patent system as it is currently constituted.

Robert Merges, Pamela Samuelson Discuss Patent Survey Findings

-Patently-O, July 19, 2011 by Robert Merges, Pam Samuelson, and Ted Sichelman

The 2008 Berkeley Patent Survey has found that startups are patenting more than previous studies have suggested; that patents are being sought for a variety of reasons, the most prominent of which is to prevent copying of the innovation; and that there are considerable differences among startups in the perceived significance of patents for attaining competitive advantage, with biotech companies rating them as the most important strategy and software companies rating them least important.

-Patently-O, July 20, 2011 by Robert Merges, Pam Samuelson, and Ted Sichelman

Biotechnology companies report that patents provide closer to a “moderate” than a “strong” incentive to engage in the innovation process. Among software companies, the results are even more striking, with them reporting that patents provide less than a “slight” incentive. These findings raise questions about the importance of patents to innovation for entrepreneurs and startups. Indeed, the results have spurred some vigorous debate in the blogosphere.

-Patently-O, July 21, 2011 by Robert Merges, Pam Samuelson, and Ted Sichelman

One possible interpretation is that startup executives are generally unaware of the link between patents and success in the innovative process, which results in financial markets selecting those companies that patent more heavily. Another interpretation is that patents serve important functions not related to the innovation process, such as helping to prevent infringement lawsuits, providing leverage in cross-licensing negotiations, and acting as “signals” of firm competency, which drive investment.

Pamela Samuelson Proposes Alternative to Google Books

The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 29, 2011 by Marc Parry

The system hinges on a collecting society that would negotiate licenses for works owned by both members and nonmembers. Unclaimed money from out-of-print books could be set aside for “a period of years,” Ms. Samuelson suggests. If efforts to find owners during that time were unsuccessful, she writes, “the works should be designated orphans and made available on an open-access basis.”

Pamela Samuelson Thinks Beyond Google Book Case

Publishers Weekly, May 16, 2011 by Calvin Reid

“It’s time to talk about general copyright reform,” Samuelson said. “The [U.S.] Copyright Office is the best entity to find out what the parties want and what may be a good model for legislation. Google is in a strong position on fair use and the publishers are not interested in further litigation. Chin wants a new settlement with an opt-in for out-of-print books.”

Pamela Samuelson Adds to Google Books Debate

The Wire Report, May 6, 2011 by Howard Knopf

For that tiny investment by Google standards, the company would have acquired a remarkable and likely insurmountable lead in the digitization and control of a database of all the world’s useful knowledge in book form, and a virtual monopoly on dealings with orphan works. It would have been relieved of potential liability that Pam Samuelson estimates to be in the trillions of dollars, based upon the statutory minimum damages.

Pamela Samuelson Suggests Solution to Orphan Works Copyright Issue

The Washington Examiner, May 2, 2011 by Nicole Ciandella

Steven Seidenberg suggests that the architects of the failed Google Books settlement may have inadvertently provided a blueprint for a long-awaited congressional solution for orphan works’ publication. He quotes Pamela Samuelson…. “One aspect of the Google Books settlement provides another model Congress might be willing to consider: allowing use of works that may be orphaned as long as the user pays for the use, with some of the funds used to search for the rights owner.”