Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version


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Case: 13-4829 Document: 149 Page: 1 07/10/2014 1268003 56


Amici are over 150 professors and scholars who teach, write, and research in computer science, the digital humanities, linguistics or law, and two associations that represent Digital Humanities scholars generally.2 Amici have an interest in this case because of its potential impact on their ability to discover and understand, through automated means, the data in and relationships among textual works. Legal Scholar Amici also have an interest in the sound development of intellectual property law. Resolution of the legal issue of copying for non-expressive uses has far-reaching implications for the scope of copyright protection, a subject germane to Amici’s professional interests and one about which they have great expertise. Amici speak only to the issue of copying for non-expressive uses. A complete list of individual Amici is attached as Appendix A.

Mass digitization is a key enabler of socially valuable computational and statistical research (often called “data mining” or “text mining”). While the practice of data mining has been used for several decades in traditional scientific disciplines such as astrophysics and in social sciences such as economics, it has only recently become technologically and economically feasible within the humanities. This has led to a revolution, dubbed “Digital Humanities,” ranging across subjects such as literature and linguistics to history and philosophy. New scholarly endeavors enabled by Digital Humanities advancements are still in their infancy but have enormous potential to contribute to our collective understanding of the cultural, political, and economic relationships among various collections (or corpora) of works—including copyrighted works—and with society. The Court’s ruling in this case on the legality of mass digitization could dramatically affect the future of work in the Digital Humanities.