LIBER and the Google Books Settelement


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LIBER and the Google Books Settelement

  1. 1. LIBER and the Google Book Settlement Wouter Schallier Executive Director
  2. 2. About LIBER   The largest network of European research libraries: almost 400 institutions, from over 40 countries  Mission: to represent and promote the interests of European research libraries, and of their users: students and researchers
  3. 3. Google Book Settlement  Would end the copyright infringement lawsuit brought against G. in 2005  G. would continue scanning in-copyright books, Publishers and authors would agree not to sue  G. will earn money through advertising and through selling access to full text in copyright not commercially available books  Books Right Registry: G. 37%, publishers/authors 63% of revenues
  4. 4. The digital information landscape  Research and education are the pillars of the European knowledge economy  The Google Book Search programme has the potential to provide public access to a digital library of millions of books  This could be an unprecedented source for the advancement of research, learning and human development
  5. 5. The digital information landscape (2)  Research libraries have been struggling to get funding for digitisation projects  Important initiatives, like Europeana, have been taken but a lot of work remains…  So we wellcome all efforts to digitise information resources and to make them publicly available
  6. 6. BUT
  7. 7. Territorial limits  Serious competitive disadvantage for Europe  The proposed settlement only applies in the USA  Users outside the USA will only have access to 3 snippets of text  Example: a book written by a French author, published in USA, can be digitised by G., but will not be accessible to the author nor to his colleagues
  8. 8. Risk of abuse of dominant position  Size of project: 30 million books, $750 million  Large proportion of the world’s heritage of books in digital format will be under control of a single corporate entity  No exclusivity, but Google has a 5 year lead
  9. 9. No free access for R&E  Public and research libraries, upon request, will be able to give free public access on one terminal per building  This limitation goes against what the researcher/learner expects in terms of access to information: from their PC over the network
  10. 10. No criteria for non-consumptive research  DB containing digitised books: unique corpus for computational analysis and research  Settlement: “2 institutions may host this corpus of the purposes of non-consumptive research by qualified user”  What are the criteria?  No mechanism for non-American researchers
  11. 11. No long-term preservation strategy  Google forever?  No provisions for the long-term preservation of the entire DB  How can libraries play their role of trusted curators of scholarly information?
  12. 12. No unified copyright regime in EU  The G. Books Settlement precludes the needs and the interests of the European user  Plethora of national legislation in Europe concerning copyright makes it difficult to adopt a Settlement in EU
  13. 13. Risk of censorship  G. may exclude 15% of scanned books from the DB!  G. is likely to come under pressure from interest groups and governments to exclude books that contain “undesirable” information
  14. 14. Privacy  Some of the services to be offered imply that G. will collect and retain information of users’ activities  Settlement does not specify how users’ privacy will be protected
  15. 15. Risk of diminishing users’ rights  Contracts, like the Google Book Settlement, too often override statutory exceptions and limitations in ways that diminish user’s rights
  16. 16. Thank you! Questions? Wouter SCHALLIER LIBER Executive Director M: +31 6 29 04 79 52 E: W: