I was lucky enough to catch Brewster Kahle talking with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now on my drive home from NJLA. I feel like I’m pretty up on what’s going on with Google and the Internet Archive and book scanning. What I didn’t know is how Google’s agreements with libraries are hindering the IA’s access, not because of the contracts, but just because of differing priorities. The video and transcript are now available online.
AMY GOODMAN: Explain what you mean when you say itâ€™s not legally required. You mean in the contract, what they have with Google? And so, if Google was here, theyâ€™d say, â€œWe didnâ€™t say they couldnâ€™t give it to Internet Archive. Thatâ€™s their prerogative.â€
BREWSTER KAHLE: Correct, that basically Google didnâ€™t put it in their contract. Yet from a libraryâ€™s perspective, why have a book scanned twice? Itâ€™s wear and tear on the books. If they think thatâ€”and they wouldnâ€™t have signed it if they didnâ€™t think that the Google thing was a good idea. But now that theyâ€™ve signed this with Google, they donâ€™t want it scanned again. And this is a problem, because the books, even the out-of-copyright books, are locked up perpetually.