The Conversation Continues: Key Voices 2009

Publishers Weekly


Pamela Samuelson

University of California, Berkeley, law professor Pamela Samuelson has raised critical issues with the settlement—and her filings with the court could prove to be influential. “Let's start with two givens,” Samuelson recently wrote in the Nation. “First, Google is an outstandingly innovative company. Second, Google is no more above the law than any other company, no matter how much social benefit its projects would arguably bestow on society.” Samuelson's criticism captures the conflict at the heart of this deal: should the parties be allowed to possibly bend the law because of the settlement's potential cultural benefits? No, Samuelson insists. “Arguments that the settlement is in the public interest should be directed to Congress, not the courts,” she writes. “The GBS class action settlement would set a dangerous precedent and undermine democratic values.”