Balkinization  

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Public Index Opens

JB

Over at The Laboratorium, James Grimmelmann announces The Public Index, a site devoted to discussing (and understanding) the complicated proposed Google Book Search settlement. Gimmelmann explains:

The groundbreaking proposed settlement in the Google Book Search case is so complex that controversy has outpaced conversation and questions have outnumbered answers. We aim to help close these gaps. The Public Index is a website featuring a collection of tools and resources for those wishing to learn about the settlement or to express opinions about it.

The centerpiece of the site is an interactive version of the proposed settlement. Users can search freely, browse by section, or read through it in a hierarchical view that retains the settlement’s indentation structure. Hyperlinks allow users to look up any defined term or cross-reference with a single click. A paragraph-by-paragraph commenting system allows them to annotate individual portions of the settlement with their own commentary. To encourage further discussion, the site also provides a full set of bulletin-board forums.

In addition, the Public Index offers a reading room of essential settlement-related documents:

* a complete, categorized set of filings from the lawsuit
* Google’s agreements with cooperating libraries
* scholarly and popular essays from all points of view
* a timeline with links to news about the lawsuits and settlement
* links to a wide range of commentary on blogs

The Public Index also includes an open-source version of the New York Law School amicus brief to the court. The site includes a draft of the brief in a user-editable wiki; Public Index users are invited to mark it up with their corrections, criticisms, and suggestions. Changes from the Public Index will be incorporated into the brief before it is filed in September. Visitors are also encouraged to use the wiki to collaborate on their own, alternative amicus briefs.




Home