Google and the Law

Only a few short minutes ago, an email from the IPKat's excellent friend and blog-colleague Aurelio Lopez-Tarruella Martinez arrived, hot and out of breath, all the way from Alicante.  The email was so fresh, you could almost smell the seafood which Alicante's inhabitants are condemned to eat on an almost daily basis as they soak up the sun. Anyway, Aurelio was excitedly announcing the publication of a book which he  edited -- and to which two Kats and a number of other bloggers contributed.  The book, Google and the Law and grandly subtitled "Empirical Approaches to Legal Aspects of Knowledge-Economy Business Models", is published by Springer and is a product of the T. M. C. Asser Press [Merpel is sure that there is an unflattering anagram to be made of 'T. M. C. Asser Press', but that's another matter].  This title is volume 22 of the publisher's Information Technology and Law Series, so it's presumably a collectable.

So what's this book about? According to the web-blurb:
"Google’s has proved to be one of the most successful business models in today’s knowledge economy. Its services and applications have become part of our day-to-day life. However, Google has repeatedly been accused of acting outside the law in the development of services such as Adwords, Googlebooks or YouTube. One of the main purposes of this book is to assess whether those accusations are well-founded. But more important than that, this book provides a deeper reflection: are current legal systems adapted to business models such as that of Google or are they conceived for an industrial economy? Do the various lawsuits involving Google show an evolution of the existing legal framework that might favour the flourishing of other knowledge-economy businesses? Or do they simply reflect that Google has gone too far? What lessons can other knowledge-based businesses learn from all the disputes in which Google has been or is involved? 
This book is valuable reading for legal practitioners and academics in the field of information technologies and intellectual property law, economists interested in knowledge-economy business models and sociologists interested in internet and social networks".
This Kat wrote about Google's AdWord litigation in the Court of Justice of the European Union ("Google AdWords: Trade Mark Law and Liability of Internet Service Providers", to be precise); Annsley the AmeriKat, true to her Stars-and-Stripes, authored "The Viacom v YouTube Litigation and Section 512(c) DMCA: When the Safe Harbour Becomes a Permanent Mooring".  This book was a long time in the making.  Had this project been embarked upon more recently, there might have been more on Google's emerging patent strategy, but the Monster moves so swiftly that it is hard to keep pace with it.

You can download the table of contents
here, and sample pages here.

Bibliographic data
: Hardback, 403 pages. Available in electronic format. ISBN 978-90-6704-845-3. Price £99. Rupture factor: still unknown -- the Kat awaits his copy. Web page here.
Google and the Law Google and the Law Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, March 06, 2012 Rating: 5


  1. are current legal systems adapted to business models such as that of Google

    Can this even be a question? I may be a little naïve, but I thought that business models should be adapted to the law, not the other way around.

    Was the legal system adapted to the undoubtedly successful business models of Pablo Escobar, Al Capone, or Blackbeard?

  2. @Anonymous: you say " I may be a little naïve" and think you may be right on that point, at least.

    The business models of Pablo Escobar, Al Capone and Blackbeard were unlawful from the moment of their inception. Google has worked largely within the law but has produced results which many feel should be susceptible of greater legal control. To move from "lawful" to "unlawful", or at least to "capable of being regulated", requires a shift in the law. In other words, it must adapt.


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