15 of the 40 IP Law Professors Opposing Classics Act Likely Benefitted from Google Funding

Public Knowledge is a well known Google astroturf group. They were also listed in a court document often referred to as “the Google Shill list”. Public Knowledge organized and submitted a letter to the US. Senate urging rejection of copyright reform language that would close the pre-1972 sound recording loophole that allows a small handful of companies to avoid paying royalties to pre-1972 performers. The loophole – if it is a loophole at all- came to public attention in 2012 when a handful of digital broadcaster simultaneously stopped paying royalties older performers (Apple and other “good” tech companies still pay this royalty). The loophole has subsequently been challenged in court. The US congress noting the arbitrariness of the pre-1972 distinction has proposed language to close this loophole.  To bolster their case against the closure of the loophole, Public Knowledge has manufactured an argument that claims a return to the status quo is somehow a copyright term extension. PK then they managed to somehow get their letter  signed by “40 IP law professors.”  That’s right 40 academics have decided to help a handful of tech billionaires to continue to stiff pre-1972 artists. Sadly this type thing has become all too common in academia.

We would like to note that 15 of these professors appear to have benefitted from or continue to benefit from  Google funding.

To be clear.  We are not saying they were all paid directly. But as money is fungible, significant funding from Google to their institution, center or non-profit likely helped support their work and contributed significantly to their academic career.

9 of these professors are named in the Academics Inc report by Google Transparency Project.

6 others work/worked for institutions that are/were significantly funded by Google. And I don’t mean a few dollars here and there. We are talking hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars.

Let’s face it. Opposition to the Classics Act is being coordinated by Public Knowledge and a small group of professors that mostly have Google in common. Someone should ask why is that?  If Google won’t comment ask Michael Beckerman at the Internet Association. I bet he knows.

Here are the 16 professors.

Michael Carrier Rutgers Law School

Michael W. Carroll
American University Washington College of Law

Paul J. Heald
University of Illinois College of Law

Mark A. Lemley Stanford Law School

Mark McKenna
Notre Dame Law School

Aaron Perzanowski
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Matthew Sag
Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Pamela Samuelson
UC Berkeley School of Law

Jason Schultz
New York University School of Law

Lawrence Lessig
Harvard Law School
(Vast sums donated by Google to associated foundations and non-profits)

Jessica Silbey
Northeastern University School of Law
(Berkman affiliated faculty, Berkman receives Google Funding,)

Rebecca Tushnet
Harvard Law School
(Berkman, Berkman receives Google Funding,)

Eric Goldman
Santa Clara University School of Law
(Santa Clara University School of Law received Google Buzz cy pres for Ethics Center )

Brian Love
Santa Clara University School of Law
(Santa Clara University School of Law received Google Buzz cy pres for Ethics Center )

Tyler T. Ochoa
Santa Clara University School of Law
(Santa Clara University School of Law received Google Buzz cy pres for Ethics Center )

About Dr. David C Lowery

Platinum selling singer songwriter for the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven; platinum selling producer; founder of pitch-a-tent records; founder Sound of Music Studios; platinum selling music publisher; angel investor; digital skeptic; college lecturer and founder of the University of Georgia Terry College Artists' Rights Symposium.