Friday, January 14, 2005

Let a Thousand Googles Bloom

Last month, Google announced a partnership with major research libraries to scan 20 million books for inclusion in Google's search database. For those works in the public domain, the full text will be available. For those works still possibly under copyright, only snippets will be seen. The potential of this project is only beginning to be understood — it is likely to bring about the most dramatic changes in the nature of research and the spread of culture since the birth of Google itself,1,1292618.story


Lisa Close said...

If you are prompted to log in, go to to get a login and password

Lisa Close said...

But the excitement around Google's extraordinary plan has obscured a dirty little secret: It is not at all clear that Google and these libraries have the legal right to do what is proposed. For work in the public domain, the right is clear enough. But for work not in the public domain, Google's right to scan — to copy — whole texts to index is uncertain at best, even if it ultimately makes only snippets available. When permission has been given by the copyright holder, again there's no problem. But when permission has not been secured, the law is essentially uncertain. If lawsuits were filed, and if Google and its partner libraries were found to have violated the law, their legal exposure could reach into the billions.

Aimee Reist said...

This was announced several weeks ago, but I thought it might be interesting to add to this discussion.

Ten major international libraries (including Carnegie Mellon University library and The Library of Congress) have agreed to combine their digitized book collections into a free text-based archive hosted by the not-for-profit Internet Archive.

Article available from Information World review.