Category Archives: Digitization

Publisher/Author Settlement Agreement with Google Opens Door for Full Online Access to Millions of Books

A settlement has been reached in the class action lawsuit against Google over access to copyrighted material in Google Books.
From the AP:

According to a statement issued Tuesday by the Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers and Google, the agreement “will expand online access to millions of in-copyright books and other written materials in the U.S. from the collections of a number of major U.S. libraries participating in Google Book Search.”

Under the deal, Google will pay $125 million to establish a Book Rights Registry to resolve royalty claims.
Google suggests how this might change things…

Until now, we’ve only been able to show a few snippets of text for most of the in-copyright books we’ve scanned through our Library Project. Since the vast majority of these books are out of print, to actually read them you’d have to hunt them down at a library or a used bookstore….
This agreement will create new options for reading entire books (which is, after all, what books are there for).

  • Online access – Once this agreement has been approved, you’ll be able to purchase full online access to millions of books. This means you can read an entire book from any Internet-connected computer, simply by logging in to your Book Search account, and it will remain on your electronic bookshelf, so you can come back and access it whenever you want in the future.
  • Library and university access – We’ll also be offering libraries, universities and other organizations the ability to purchase institutional subscriptions, which will give users access to the complete text of millions of titles while compensating authors and publishers for the service. Students and researchers will have access to an electronic library that combines the collections from many of the top universities across the country. Public and university libraries in the U.S. will also be able to offer terminals where readers can access the full text of millions of out-of-print books for free.

See the Google Book Press Center for the text of the agreement and other related documents, including the Library Opportunities from Google’s agreement with Authors and Publishers.

Future of the Legal Course Book

Seattlepi reports on a the Workshop on the Future of the Legal Course Book at Seattle University Law School.

Traditional publishers are confused about what professors want and where the industry is going….
Teachers want more flexibility, such as the ability to add their own information to text, insert audio files and provide links. They also want more ways to engage students and sought digital copies of textbooks that can be sorted and searched.

See also coverage from the Chronicle of Higher Education, Legal Times and the National Law Journal.

Printing Public Domain Books on Demand

Tom Mighell over at Inter Alia reports on a cool service called PublicDomainReprints.org whereby you can order a reprint of a book in the public domain. Here’s how it works:
1. You request any public domain book from the Internet Archive or Google Books.
2. The book is processed and submitted to Lulu, a no upfront fee print on demand company.
3. You can order the printed book from Lulu at $1 over cost.
Printed reprints currently are priced between $4.99 and $18.99 depending on the number of pages, and in soft cover, perfect binding. Shipping costs extra.

Differing Perspectives on Book Digitization

A couple interesting stories on book digitization crossed my path this week. The first is an article in EdTech about UW Madison’s involvement in the Google Book project.

Google this spring began scanning 500,000 of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s 7.9 million library holdings, including collections on American and Wisconsin history, medicine, engineering and genealogical materials. Once the materials are scanned, people can read the university’s public domain books online for free. For copyrighted books, Google will show a few lines of text and provide links to find the material in libraries or for purchase in online stores.

UW-Madison is among 27 university and public libraries, including Harvard, Stanford and the New York Public Library, that allow Google to digitize parts or all of their collections. Other libraries, however, have chosen not to jump on board with Google or Microsoft, which also runs a digitization project.
According to an article in the New York Times

Several major research libraries have rebuffed offers from Google and Microsoft to scan their books into computer databases, saying they are put off by restrictions these companies want to place on the new digital collections.
The research libraries, including a large consortium in the Boston area, are instead signing on with the Open Content Alliance, a nonprofit effort aimed at making their materials broadly available.
Libraries that agree to work with Google must agree to a set of terms, which include making the material unavailable to other commercial search services. Microsoft places a similar restriction on the books it converts to electronic form. The Open Content Alliance, by contrast, is making the material available to any search service…
“There are two opposed pathways being mapped out,” said Paul Duguid, an adjunct professor at the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. “One is shaped by commercial concerns, the other by a commitment to openness, and which one will win is not clear.”