Faculty in the News

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Siva Vaidhyanathan

Robertson Professor in Media Studies
Chair, Department of Media Studies, University of Virginia

Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
B.A., University of Texas at Austin

Siva Vaidhyanathan is a cultural historian and media scholar, and is currently the Robertson Professor in Media Studies at the University of Virginia. From 1999 through the summer of 2007 he worked in the Department of Culture and Communication at New York University. Vaidhyanathan is a frequent contributor on media and cultural issues in various periodicals including the Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Times Magazine, The Nation, and Salon.com, and he maintains a blog, www.googlizationofeverything.com. He is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio and to MSNBC.COM and has appeared in a segment of "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart. Vaidhyanathan is a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities and the Institute for the Future of the Book. In 2011 he was appointed chair of UVA's Department of Media Studies.

In March 2002, Library Journal cited Vaidhyanathan among its “Movers & Shakers” in the library field. In the feature story, Vaidhyanathan lauded librarians for being “on the front lines of copyright battles” and for being “the custodians of our information and cultural commons.” In November 2004 the Chronicle of Higher Education called Vaidhyanathan “one of academe’s best-known scholars of intellectual property and its role in contemporary culture.” He has testified as an expert before the U.S. Copyright Office on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

He is noted for opposing the Google Books scanning project on copyright grounds. He has published the opinion that the project poses a danger for the doctrine of fair use, because the fair use claims are arguably so excessive that it may cause judicial limitation of that right.

Vaidhyanathan was born in Buffalo, N.Y., and attended the University of Texas at Austin, earning both a B.A. in history and a Ph.D. in American studies.


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The Googlization of Everything — and Why We Should Worry (University of California Press, 2011).

Rewiring the Nation: The Place of Technology in American Studies (editor with Carolyn de la Peña) (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007).

The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash Between Freedom and Control Is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System (Basic Books, 2004).

Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How It Threatens Creativity (New York University Press, 2001).

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