Tuesday, 8th August 2006
Books from University of California Libraries Will Now Be Scanned by Google and Microsoft
Before reading on, a quick comment.
+ How about some cooperation between the various scanning projects? Nice idea but this is business, folks. Does a book need to be scanned twice or more? Couldn't more books be scanned in a shorter amount of time with some cooperation between these and other scanning projects? Who decides and what criteria will be used as books move from the stacks to the scanner? Who will decide what company scans which books and when?
Now, the news...
As first hinted at in an LA Times story last week, Google has added the University of California Libraries from ten campuses to its book digitization project.
As the news story correctly points out, and as we noted last week, the UC Libraries are also part of the digitization efforts from the Open Content Alliance and Windows Live Book Search.
This is some very interesting maneuvering by all involved in the Google v. Microsoft search war. Yahoo is also part of the Open Content Alliance.
As we also mentioned last week, it was two months to the day that Microsoft announced that they were very excited to be working with the UC Libraries and UC said they were happy to be working with MS.
From the announcement dated June 8, 2006:
With collections totaling more than 34 million volumes in the more than 100 libraries on its 10 campuses, the University of California library is the largest research and academic library in the world. “We’re pleased to work with Microsoft to advance this major digitization effort,” said Daniel Greenstein, associate vice provost and university librarian, University of California. “It is a new and exciting vehicle for revealing some of the many treasures that have been assembled by the libraries of this great public institution.”
See Also: News.com (June 9, 2006)
Actually, Microsoft's involvement with the University of California system was first made public on October 22, 2005.
From today's article:
"We value our partnership with the OCA," she said. "As a public institution, we believe in making our materials as widely and freely available as possible." Under the Google-U.C. deal, terms of which were not disclosed, Google will keep a copy of all scanned books and the U.C. will keep a copy, Colvin said. The scanning will start as soon as possible, but details about where and how were still being worked out, she said.
Brewster Kahle, head of the Internet Archive and the Open Content Alliance told News.com:
[Kahle said he] was pleased that U.C. will continue to work with the OCA, but he criticized the school for "privatizing its library system" by agreeing to Google's limitations on distributing and sharing copies of digitized books. "They're effectively giving their library to a single corporation," Kahle said. "Having a public institution decide to go with Google's restrictions doesn't help the idea of libraries being open in the future."
According to the article, books scanned by Google will be available via its Google Book Search dbase while Open Content Alliance material will be available for crawling and searching by any engine. UC Libraries and other Google partner libraries will also receive one scanned version of each title for local use.
+ It's nice to see many wanting to digitize library books, but what about some cooperation? Of course, don't forget that at least in terms of Google's Library Program (books digitized from one of the UC Libraries or other five libraries) AND still in copyright, users will NOT see the full text. From the Google Library Program web site:
"When you click on a search result for a book from the Library Project, you'll see, at most, basic bibliographic information about the book plus a few snippets – a few sentences of your search term in context. You may also see the entire book if the book is out of copyright. In all cases, you'll see 'Buy this Book' links that lead directly to online bookstores where you can buy the book."
More here. Btw, someone should tell Google that library catalogs are now most often referred to as OPACS and not card catalogs. We know less about Microsoft's plans. Also, copyright varies amongst countries. So a book viewable full text in the U.S. might not be available in that format elsewhere.
+ Google's Library Program will celebrate its second year in December. Just how many books have been scanned (copyright and public domain) is unknown. Also, this quote from Google Counsel David Drummond (via NY Times) regarding people using libraries to get books versus other methods.
Mr. Adler [vice president for legal and governmental affairs at the Association of American Publishers], said Google's contention that its search program might somehow increase sales of books was speculation at best.
"When people make inquiries using Google's search engine and they come up with references to books, they are just as likely to come to this fine institution to look up those references as they are to buy them," he said, referring to the Public Library.
To which Google's Mr. Drummond replied, "Horrors."
---Source: NY Times, November 19, 2005
See Also: Amazon's Search Inside the Book
See Also: Other Book Digitization Programs (via SearchDay)
Read about NetLibrary and the Online Books Page
See Also: ebrary's shopebrary.com service. Free. 20,000 full text books.
See Also: Customize Google (Firefox Add-On) Removes Image Copying Restrictions with Google Book Search
UPDATE: Much More from Barbara Quint via Info Today
UPDATE 8/27: Details of Google Contract (aka Cooperative Agreement) with University of California (via The Chronicle of Higher Education) Published
Full text of contract (13 pages; PDF)