Pamela Samuelson

New authors alliance wants to ease some copyright rules

Pamela Samuelson and Molly Van Houweling quoted in San Francisco Chronicle, May 31, 2014

“Copyright law is so strict, stretching up to 95 years from publication in some cases, that without the right to digitize it we are in jeopardy of losing our long-term cultural and intellectual history,” said alliance founding member Pamela Samuelson, a UC Berkeley law professor who filed briefs on Google’s behalf during the eight-year book scanning controversy.

“It’s not only academic writers who are running into problems,” said alliance founding member and UC Berkeley law Professor Molly Van Houweling, “It’s biographers and researchers and journalists and literary writers.”

Are APIs patent or copyright subject matter?

Pamela Samuelson writes for PatentlyO, May 12, 2014

In the most expansive interpretation of software copyright law since Whelan v. Jaslow, Judge O’Malley in Oracle v. Google endorsed dual protection for APIs from both copyright and patent law. This ignored an important statement from that court’s earlier ruling in Atari Games v. Nintendo that “patent and copyright laws protect distinct aspects of a computer program.”

Scribal wars: new authors alliance hits resistance

Pamela Samuelson quoted in California Magazine, May 2014

Samuelson said the purpose of the group is to “empower” writers on a case-by-case basis. “We want to help them achieve their goals for their work,” she said. “Sometimes that means helping them to put their work in the public domain, sometimes it means Creative Commons, and sometimes it means seeking a proprietary license. Each can be an appropriate thing to do depending on the circumstance. We just want to help people understand what their choices are.”

Europe court ruling reboots Web privacy rules for Google, others

Pamela Samuelson quoted in Los Angeles Times, May 13, 2014

“EU data protection rules are much stricter and broader in scope than U.S. privacy rules,” said Pamela Samuelson, a professor at the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. “So the ruling is not all that surprising. But it obviously complicates the task for search engines of giving folks access to content that’s lawful in most jurisdictions.”

In new case, Supreme Court revisits the question of software patents

Pamela Samuelson quoted in The Washington Post, March 28, 2014

The State Street decision seemed to ignore the Supreme Court’s views altogether. Pamela Samuelson … says it’s “not possible” to square the State Street ruling with the Supreme Court’s precedents. In her view: “They didn’t like the ruling, and so they gave it a narrow interpretation. In effect, they overruled it.”

A call to focus on copyright

Pamela Samuelson quoted in Inside Higher Education, October 21, 2013

Many leaders and experts in higher education “want to hide” when people talk about the possibility of Congress reopening copyright legislation. “While it is sensible to be somewhat concerned about what would happen if Congress decided to reopen” the legislation, Samuelson said, “it would be a mistake for higher ed not to say, ‘If we want to do this, these things need to be on the agenda.’ ” Generally, she said, higher education needs to be sure the fair use victories of the courts are preserved.

Abusive patent litigation only getting worse, say Google, Microsoft experts

Pamela Samuelson quoted in Communications Daily, October 10, 2013 (registration required)

Non-practicing entity litigation “wasn’t worrisome five years ago,” said Pamela Samuelson, a UC-Berkeley law professor. Then, such litigation was aimed at big companies such as Google and Microsoft, she said. “But now a lot of the assertions are coming against small companies, and [they’re] having real significant operational impacts.”

Patent trolls’ put brakes on SF transit app

Samuelson clinic cited in San Francisco Chronicle, September 1, 2013(registration required)

This summer, the San Francisco digital rights group and the Samuelson Law, Technology, and Public Policy Clinic at UC Berkeley helped significantly narrow the scope of one key ArrivalStar patent, after filing a request for re-examination.