Digital Humanities and Legal Scholars in Authors Guild v. Google filed

On Thursday this week, we filed a brief on behalf over 150 researchers, scholars and educators in Authors Guild v. Google, currently on appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Brief of Digital Humanities and Legal Scholars argues that Copyright law is not, and should not be, an obstacle to the computational analysis of text. Copyright law has long recognized the distinction between protecting an author’s original expression and the public’s right to access the facts and ideas contained within that expression.
We are confident that the Second Circuit will vote to maintain that distinction in the digital age so that library digitization, internet search and related non-expressive uses of written works remain legal.
The final version of the brief is available on the free online repository at this link address:
We are grateful for the support of so many wonderful scholars in this important case and we are even more grateful for all the fascinating research that these computer scientists, english professors, historians, linguists, and all those working in the digital humanities do to enrich our lives.
We would also like to thank The Association for Computers and the Humanities and the Canadian Society of Digital Humanities/Société canadienne des humanités numériques for their support as institutions.
Matthew Jockers
Matthew Sag
Jason Schultz

Copyright Trolling Data, Updated to June 30 2014

Copyright Trolls, Pornography, Statutory Damages…

[Revised at 5:43pm to account for an idiotic mistake in Excel – Just going to show that you should not use excel for even the most simple things]

The gifts that keep on giving.

I have updated my data on copyright trolling to include cases filed up to June 30, 2014. The  data is now available to anyone interested in replication. I have also revised my paper  Copyright Trolling, An Empirical Study (download the full paper from ssrn) with the following table that shows the phenomenal influence of Malibu Media.

Bottom line: Malibu Media accounted for 10% of all copyright suits filed in 2012, 27% in 2013 and 40% in the first half of 2014.

Copyright Suits Filed in U.S. District Courts – 2001 to June 30 2014

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The top section of the table shows how many cases were filed under the 820 code for Copyright in U.S. Federal District Courts in the years 2003 to 2014. The bottom section of the table translates the same information into percentages. The “Copyright – All” category includes all copyright cases. “Copyright –John Doe” includes all copyright cases where the defendant was a John Doe, without differentiating as to the underlying subject matter of the compliant. “Copyright – John Doe (Porn)” is a subset of the previous category and includes all cases identified as relating to pornography. The final category, “Malibu Media v. Doe(s)” includes every case filed by Malibu Media against one or more John Does.