Google Wants to Digitize Every Book. Publishers Say Read the Fine Print First.
By Bob Thompson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 13, 2006; Page D01
STANFORD, Calif. If it is really true that Google is going to digitize the roughly 9 million books in the libraries of Stanford University, then you can be sure that the folks who brought you the world’s most ambitious search engine will come, in due time, for call number E169 D3.
Google workers will pull Lillian Dean’s 1950 travelogue “This Is Our Land” — the story of one family’s “pleasant and soul-satisfying auto journey across our continent” — from a shelf in the second-floor stacks of the Cecil H. Green Library. They will place the slim blue volume on a book cart, wheel it into a Google truck backed up to the library’s loading dock and whisk it a few miles southeast to the Googleplex, the $100 billion-plus company’s sprawling, campuslike headquarters in Mountain View. There, at an undisclosed location, it will be scanned and added to the ever-expanding universe of digitally searchable knowledge.
Because for one thing, in their race to assemble the greatest digital library the world has ever seen, Google’s engineers have developed sophisticated technology they’d prefer their competitors not see.
And for another, perhaps — though Google executives don’t say so directly — the library scanning program already has generated a little too much heat.
To read the full article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/12/AR2006081200886.html
U. of California System’s 100 Libraries Join Google’s Controversial Book-Scanning Project
The University of California system has joined Google’s controversial book-digitization project, and the partnership is expected to convert millions of books from the system’s 100 libraries — even volumes that are protected by copyright — into fully searchable electronic texts. Google officials say they plan to add even more academic libraries to the program in the near future.
The university system is the seventh major participant to join Google’s ambitious effort to add digital versions of books to its popular online search engine, and the first full partner to join since two groups of publishers sued to stop the company from scanning any books still covered by copyright.
“We’re comfortable that the activity is fully respectful of copyright law,” said Daniel Greenstein, executive director of the California Digital Library, a division of the university system.
Other participants in the Google project, which began in December 2004, include Harvard University, the New York Public Library, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Oxford, in England. The Library of Congress is taking part in a pilot stage of the project as well.
Some publishers and authors are challenging the project because the company plans to scan not only books in the public domain but also those on which copyright has not run out. Google has defended the legality of the project, stressing that its search results will offer only short excerpts from copyrighted books unless longer excerpts are authorized by a book’s publisher. Publishers and authors argue that Google must obtain permission before scanning a copyrighted work.
To read the full article, go to:
http://chronicle.com/free/2006/08/2006080901t.htm (accessible only to UI affiliates, or subscribers of the Chronicle of Higher Education)
Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug. 9, 2006
In Defense of Google’s Book-Scanning Project
“The nation’s colleges and universities should support Google’s controversial project to digitize great libraries and offer books online,” writes Richard Ekman, president of the Council of Independent Colleges, in an editorial for The Washington Post. “It has the potential to do a lot of good for higher education in this country.” Google’s endeavor has drawn criticism from publishers, who have argued that the book-scanning project amounts to a violation of copyright law. But Mr. Ekman, who serves on the advisory boards of two university presses, argues that “those of us who are researchers and readers of books and articles ought to be disturbed by the loss of trust among publishers and libraries, which a decade ago embraced technological innovation and collaboration.” Mr. Ekman takes an optimistic view of the digitization project’s impact on scholarship:
Read theWashington Post article:
The Books Google Could Open
The Wired Campus, A service of the Chronicle of Higher Education, Aug.22, 2006
Scholarship and Academic Liraries (and their kin) in the World of Google
The prospect of ubiquitous digitization will not change the fundamental relationships among scholarship, academic libraries, and publication. Collaboration across time and space, which is a principal mechanism of scholarship, ought to be enhanced. Reforms in copyright law will be required if the promise of digitization is to be realized; absent such reform, there is a serious risk that much academically valuable material will become invisible and unused. Ubiquitous digitization will change radically the economics that have supported university–based collections of published material. Scholars and scholarly institutions (including libraries and university presses) must assert vigorously claims of fair use and openness.
To read the full article, go to: http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue11_8/courant/index.html
by Paul N. Courant, First Monday, Volume 11, Number 8 — 7 August 2006