I’ve liked the idea of manifestos since I started rattling the idea of an OPAC Manifesto a ways back [it was a wiki before everyone had a wiki, and I didn't like being a wiki-mom so now it just has a page]. Michael makes the link between the ILS Customer’s Bill of Rights and Jenny’s new proposal the Online Library User Manifesto. For anyone who considers the Cluetrain Manifesto essential reading — my copy is the only book in my boudoir currently — this is a logical extention. If, as they say, “markets are conversations” then libraries are big loud boisterous and lively conversations, and we’re all part of it. Jenny’s manifesto delightfully contains links to people who are getting it right, behind her no nonsense declarations like “I want to know how your library works.” I’d even bring this out further and change it to “I want to know how our library works.” Who wouldn’t?
The Google Print Library Project is going to hold off scanning books which are still under copyright until November. More over at Wired. This information was available on the official Google Blog [according to another Google blog] and quoted in the BBC article, and elsewhere, but the post itself is no longer there. Curious. [update: the post wasn't missing/deleted, it was being update with new info, it's back]
It’s very hard for me to believe that D-Lib Magazine is now ten because I was already in library school when it started. Be sure to check out Clifford Lynch’s article on the future of ditial libraries. I generally don’t enjoy futuristic talk about library things because I have a hard time seeing the “how do we get there from here?” part, but the path with digital libraries seems more clear cut, even if it involves the same sort of paradigm changes that we are seeing in the brick/mortar/print world.
Why is the Google/UMich contract being posted in the first place? Doesn’t it say CONFIDENTIAL all over it? Well, if you’re a public university, you can’t just make confidential agreements without them being subject to freedom of information laws. More on the Google Watch site, and a little more over at the LibraryLaw blog in the form of a letter from the guy who filed the FOIA request.
If you’re curious just what libraries have agreed to with their Google Print arrangements, here’s one contract [pdf] that is available online [linked from here, which is linked from here, yes, I was surprised too]. In short, it outlines what can, can’t, and must be done with the Google Digital Copy and the University of Michigan’s Digital Copy of the scanned information. In short, the digital copies of public domain works are not public domain. I’m sure no one is suprised by this, but the phrase “land grab” does come to mind as I read this contract. Of particular note:
- UM needs to find a way to restrict automated access, downloading of its content, or others making its content available for commercial purposes. This is more restrictive than public domain.
- Further UM agrees to restrict use of its content to “persons having a need to access such materials” and makes particular mention to those materials not being “disseminated to the public at large” this m ay be nothing serious, or it may be
- Google is a third party beneficiary of any agreement UM enters into with regards to the UM Digital Copy and any cooperative web service agreement such as the Digital Library Federation
- Google agrees to always make searching and showing search results of the content free.
It’s fascinating reading. I am certainly not a lawyer or copyright expert, I would be very interested in what other people have to say about this.
While you’re on a reading kick today, curl up with this article: The Infinite Library, a very interesting look at some of the possible unintended consequences of the large-scale digitization projects that Google, and others but mostly Google, are undertaking. Some good quotes from Brewster Kahle and some interesting discussion about DRM. Jared has a few other thoughts on it. As an additional bonus, here is the author’s blog post about the article he wrote.
Kahle argues that all digital library materials should be as freely and openly accessible as physical library materials are now. That’s not such a radical idea; free and open access is exactly what public libraries, as storehouses of printed books and periodicals, have traditionally provided. But the very fact that digital files are so much easier to share than physical books … could lead to limits on redistribution that prevent libraries from giving patrons as much access to their digital collections as they would like. “Google has brought us to a tipping point that could define how access to the world’s literature may proceed,” Kahle says.