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Google Books Lecture


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Lecture prepared & recorded for LIS 520: Information Resources, Services, and Collections (distance MLIS program, Information School, University of Washington, Winter 2010). T

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Google Books Lecture

  1. 1. The Google Books Library Project<br />Personal Experiences, Public Perspectives, and Issues Relevant to Libraries<br />Elisabeth Jones <br />LIS 520, Winter 2010<br />
  2. 2. Outline<br />The 50¢ tour of Google Book<br />My experiences with the project<br />A Spectrum of Perspectives<br />What’s in it for libraries? What’s not?<br />The Proposed Settlement<br />
  3. 3. Google Book Search: the 50¢ tour<br /><ul><li>Two projects, really
  4. 4. Publisher project
  5. 5. Library project </li></ul>More at:<br />
  6. 6. Google Book Search: the 50¢ tour<br /><ul><li>Publisher project
  7. 7. Contracts with publishers to host in-copyright, mostly in-print content
  8. 8. Scanned either by publishers or by Google
  9. 9. No controversy, many publisher partners</li></ul>More at:<br />
  10. 10. Google Book Search: the 50¢ tour<br /><ul><li>Library project
  11. 11. Scanning both in-copyright and public domain books from library collections
  12. 12. Trying for comprehensiveness: every book ever published
  13. 13. Very controversial</li></ul>More at:<br />
  14. 14. Google Book Search: the 50¢ tour<br /><ul><li>Four Views
  15. 15. Full View
  16. 16. Limited View
  17. 17. Snippet View
  18. 18. No Preview Available</li></ul>More at:<br />
  19. 19. Google Book Search: the 50¢ tour<br />Full View<br /><ul><li>Books in public domain or explicitly released in full by author or publisher
  20. 20. Entire book available to view online or download in PDF form
  21. 21. Typically scanned from a library; source listed on “About this book” page</li></ul>More at:<br />
  22. 22. Google Book Search: the 50¢ tour<br />Limited <br />Preview<br /><ul><li>By publisher permission
  23. 23. Less than the whole book, more than fair use would allow
  24. 24. Nothing to do with the library project</li></ul>More at:<br />
  25. 25. Google Book Search: the 50¢ tour<br />Snippet<br />View<br /><ul><li>Books in copyright, scanned from a library, no publisher or author permission granted
  26. 26. Like a card catalog entry, except it shows small bits of text surrounding your search terms
  27. 27. The main source of controversy</li></ul>More at:<br />
  28. 28. Google Book Search: the 50¢ tour<br />No Preview<br />Available<br /><ul><li>Books in copyright, scanned from a library, no publisher or author permission granted
  29. 29. No snippets or anything; just the basic information like a catalog record
  30. 30. New from settlement negotiations (I believe)</li></ul>More at:<br />
  31. 31. Story time…<br />
  32. 32. Back in 2004…<br />I’m at Northwestern University Library, Department of Collection Management<br />Applying to Library Schools<br />Google Book Search (then Google Print) announced<br />5 library partners: Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, NYPL, and U. of Michigan<br />
  33. 33. Go Blue!<br />Fall 2005: Michigan<br />Working at the Graduate Library reference desk<br />One of my first classes: Intellectual Property and Information Law<br />…and then, the lawsuits<br />
  34. 34. In the Fleming Building<br />UM Media Relations and Public Affairs<br />“Google Library Partnership Research Intern”<br />My domain: <br />Non-legal challenges to the project<br />New media (both directions)<br />Major piece early on: Mary Sue Coleman’s speech to the Association of American Publishers<br />
  35. 35. Four Perspectives<br />In Simplified – or Even Simplistic – Form<br />
  36. 36. Perspective 1: “Google books is theft!”<br />Who has it:<br />Association of American Publishers <br />Author’s Guild<br />(Also miscellaneous others, but those are the ones that sued)<br />What it is:<br />By scanning millions of books that are still under copyright, without asking the permission of the copyright holders, Google is violating those copyrights and essentially stealing money out of the pocket of honest, hardworking authors.<br />Pat Schroeder, former head of the AAP. Her view: “Not only is Google trying to rewrite copyright law, it is also crushing creativity.”<br />
  37. 37. Perspective 2: “Google Books will Save* the World**!”*or at least change**or authorship, publishing, education, equal access…<br />Who has it:<br />Some of Google’s library partners<br />Enthusiastic fans, in academia and elsewhere<br />Google itself (most of the time)<br />What it is:<br />As a searchable, globally-available, free-to-the user digital collection of the world’s books, Google Book has the potential to carry the information they contain to underserved populations, to aid in decentralized preservation of that information, and to generate uses for books and their contents never before considered.<br />Cory Doctorow, author and blogger: GBS “promises to save writers' and publishers' asses by putting their books into the index of works that are visible to searchers who get all their information from the Internet.”<br />
  38. 38. Perspective 3: “Google Books is an American/Anglophone Imperialist plot!”<br />Who has it:<br />Mainly Europeans interested in cultural heritage – and among those, mostly the French<br />Has fallen out of style somewhat as Google has taken on more international partners<br />What it is:<br />Because it is the project of an American corporation, whose library partners are predominantly American and British, Google Book Search will serve to entrench Anglo-American cultural hegemony worldwide.<br />Jean-Noël Jeanneney, French historian and politician: <br />
  39. 39. Perspective 4: “Google Books is actually a pretty cool idea, but it endangers _______.*”*(a) information freedom, (b) privacy, (c) public institutions, (d) legal procedure, (e) all of the above, (f) other<br />Who has it:<br />Many authors, academics, librarians, and legal scholars – including me<br />What it is:<br />Fundamentally, scanning all the world’s books is a good – even amazing and world-changing – idea. However, proceeding with such a radical project without due consideration to its potential ethical, social, and political implications risks creating a brave new world in which none of us want to live.<br />It should be noted that many who might fall into this category still vehemently disagree about the project and its implications.<br />Siva Vaidhyanathan, Media & Communication Scholar: “We have focused on quantity and convenience at the expense of the richness and serendipity of the full library experience. We are making a tremendous mistake.”<br />
  40. 40. So you’ve got a library…<br />…would you share it with Google?<br />
  41. 41. So what’s in it for the libraries?<br />Fundamental Library Mission <br />Connect users with information<br />Money<br />Digitization is expensive, Google will do it for free<br />Time<br />Have the whole collection scanned in years rather than decades<br />Input<br />Take part in the ongoing dialogue between Google and partner libraries about project direction, image and metadata quality, etc.<br />LOCKSS<br />Redundant digital storage of the library’s information (though not its artifacts)<br /> Publicity/Prestige<br />Two ways: <br />Through involvement itself <br />Library name appears on the book-viewing page when a scan is from your library<br />
  42. 42. Why libraries might say“thanks, but no thanks”(an incomplete list)<br />Insufficient Reward (contracts vary greatly)<br />Objection to certain aspects of the project or settlement, especially:<br />The fact that the initiative is private, not public<br />The level of control over digitized materials that Google would have relative to library partners<br />Concept of users interfacing with the “library of the future” through Google<br />Image quality and/or metadata problems<br />Failure to adequately protect user privacy<br />
  43. 43. The Proposed Settlement<br />Allows Google to show more of in-copyright books than just snippets<br />Allows for sale of digital books to individuals, and subscriptions to institutions<br />Creates a rights clearinghouse called the Book Rights Registry for dealing with payments from these sales<br />Allows for public access terminals to be placed in public libraries<br />Heinously complex!<br />Resources:<br />The Public Index:<br />ARL’s Guides for the Perplexed (&other resources):<br />Official Settlement website:<br />Pamela Samuelson (on the legal issues):<br />
  44. 44. Thanks!<br />