“Several major research libraries have rebuffed offers from Google and Microsoft to scan their books into computer databases, saying they are put off by restrictions these companies want to place on the new digital collections.
The research libraries, including a large consortium in the Boston area, are instead signing on with the Open Content Alliance, a nonprofit effort aimed at making their materials broadly available.
Libraries that agree to work with Google must agree to a set of terms, which include making the material unavailable to other commercial search services. Microsoft places a similar restriction on the books it converts to electronic form. The Open Content Alliance, by contrast, is making the material available to any search service.”
It was extremely gratifying to see this story played so prominently today, Katie Hafner and the editors show great judgement in highlighting a part of the Google book project that few people have wanted to talk about before. I am very happy for Brewster and team, and hope we can help them with some great (and open!) projects.