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Google Book Scanning Efforts Not Open Enough?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the gift-horses-and-mouths dept.

Google 113

An anonymous reader writes to mention the Washington Post is reporting that the Open Content Alliance is taking the latest shot at Google's book scanning program. Complaining that having all of the books under the "control" of one corporation wouldn't be open enough, the New York-based foundation is planning on announcing a $1 million grant to the Internet Archive to achieve the same end. From the article: "A splinter group called the Open Content Alliance favors a less restrictive approach to prevent mankind's accumulated knowledge from being controlled by a commercial entity, even if it's a company like Google that has embraced 'Don't Be Evil' as its creed. 'You are talking about the fruits of our civilization and culture. You want to keep it open and certainly don't want any company to enclose it,' said Doron Weber, program director of public understanding of science and technology for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation."

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I love U. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17318958)

I want to get psychotherapy from you.

Re:I love U. (1)

crossbow_of_speed (527135) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319828)

.ouy morf yparehtohcysp teg ot tnaw I

Good! (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17318974)

The more the merrier!

Ideally we could set up a few hundred digital libraries that would all hold some percentage of the catalog, so that any 5 would be able to duplicate the entire catalog. That way, in the event of a catastrophe or some kind of weird global event, it would be more likely that an uncorrupted copy could be found.

I'd definitely like to see some not-for-profits get involved.

Re:Good! (3, Funny)

funfail (970288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319170)

RAIL: Redundant Array of Inexpensive Libraries

Preferably the technology should be RoR.

Re:Good! (2, Interesting)

s20451 (410424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319504)

That way, in the event of a catastrophe or some kind of weird global event, it would be more likely that an uncorrupted copy could be found.

How do you plan to read it once you find it?

10 year disruption -- content formats have moved on; readers are scarce
100 year disruption -- hard drives, DVDs decay to unreadability
1000 year disruption -- even paper decays, unless specifically preserved
>1000 year disruption -- even if it's chiseled into a stone tablet, the language might be extinct

Re:Good! (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320064)

If there was a catastrophy, then the technology would not have 'moved on'
I can read data from ten years ago on my home computer with no problems.

If we ahve a 100 year disruption, well then we are probably throwing rocks at one another and rebuilding civilization.

Re:Good! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17320194)

Yeah, that's why we don't have any idea what anybody [mit.edu] might have said [georgetown.edu] (or meant [lone-star.net] ) more than a thousand [ancienttexts.org] years ago.

Re:Good! (3, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320570)

10 year disruption -- content formats have moved on; readers are scarce

I've been using computers for well more than 10 years, and ASCII is still just as readable as ever.

Mark-up languages like HTML, XML, or RTF may die off eventually (several hundred years at least), but you can always strip the markup (either with code, or mentally by ignoring it). Plus, with the formats being so simple, and book layout being so obvious, it should take 5 minutes to write a new parser for any of them.

100 year disruption -- hard drives, DVDs decay to unreadability

Both of the above would be unreadable by the standard pick-up mechanism, but manually reading it, bit-by-bit with something like an electron microscope should be possible for many, many more years after that. Just as technology has made it possible to read previously erased text on paper, so to will it be easier, in the future, to read physically decaying digital media.

>1000 year disruption -- even if it's chiseled into a stone tablet, the language might be extinct

It takes many thousands of years for even uncommon languages to disappear. And if they were even remotely similar to our own, they can be deciphered without any advanced knowledge. So, I'd be worried about the long-term chances of a complex language like Chinese to be preserved, but anything with Latin roots, that uses a small alphabet should do fine.

Besides that, you can ensure the language survives by having multiple language tranlations, side-by-side. If any one of them is understood in the distant future, they can use it to learn all the rest. See: The Rosetta Stone

Re:Good! (2, Informative)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 7 years ago | (#17322358)

Not to mention that the whole "decaying medium" argument is ridiculous. If a hard drive fails, replace it. If you get something better than hard drives, copy it. It's not like big servers only keep the information in one specific place. There's usually copies.

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17322394)

ASCII is still just as readable as ever.

Extremely true. Of course you fail to mention it never was readable at all to most of the people on the planet.

Re:Good! (1)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17323698)

I've been using computers for well more than 10 years, and ASCII is still just as readable as ever.

But EBCDIC is slightly harder. Besides, ASCII is only usable for a subset of human text - basically only for English. It's not really a solution.

Re:Good! (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 7 years ago | (#17324844)

Do not disregard partial solutions just because they're not 100%.

Preservation of languages (1)

tjwhaynes (114792) | more than 7 years ago | (#17325142)

It takes many thousands of years for even uncommon languages to disappear. And if they were even remotely similar to our own, they can be deciphered without any advanced knowledge. So, I'd be worried about the long-term chances of a complex language like Chinese to be preserved, but anything with Latin roots, that uses a small alphabet should do fine.

A thousand years for a language to disappear? All it takes is a generation who doesn't speak it and it might as well be considered gone. A language is often two interdepenent parts - spoken and written. Often - but not always. You could take the shining example of the Canadian approach to the First Nations peoples in the last century, where students were forced to learn exclusively in English, rather than their native tongue. An entire generation suddenly loses contact with the language of their parents. That would be devastating enough for, say, french speakers. Now consider that most of the First Nations languages and dialects have no written form. Needless to say, in hindsight apologies have been made but it certainly wiped out dialects that had survived centuries until then.

I think the corollary in IT is also important. Any physical media which is not used for a generation of technology (maybe less than 10 years) quickly becomes difficult to read as the machinery required to read it fails. Wait thirty years and it will cost you many times over to retrieve that information. The only hope for a lot of old data is to constantly move it onto the ubiquitous storage of the day, time after time. Anything missed will, sooner rather than later, be lost.

Cheers,
Toby Haynes

Re:Good! (1)

d34thm0nk3y (653414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320662)

I am sure someone will have the bright idea to upgrade the format within the next thousand years.

As to the article I completely agree. If public libraries were undertaking this project they would have a lot more fair use wiggle room.

Re:Good! (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17322366)

The scientists agree; papyrus is still the most reliable form of data storage known to man. It is good for a couple thousand years at least, so don't despair yet.

Re:Good! (1)

hopethisnickisnottak (882127) | more than 7 years ago | (#17322594)

1000 year disruption -- even if it's chiseled into a stone tablet, the language might be extinct

Umm, by conservative estimates, Hebrew and Sanskrit are both more than 5000 years old. If you go by most widely accepted estimates, the oldest work in Sanskrit is more than 7000 years old. Both languages have survived.

Decoupling of content and medium (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17325396)

100 year disruption -- hard drives, DVDs decay to unreadability


That is, if we imagine a digital archive to function like it's plain-paper counterpart : with huge underground stores with shelves full of discs.

But if we're a little bit realistic we should realise that, in the current age of internet and digital information, the data doesn't hve to remain fixed on a specific medium. The ability to make perfect copies is basically inherent to the nature of digital data.

The problem of preservation isn't anymore preserving a single old medium, but keeping a copy of the data as the storage medium is progressivly upgraded.

Think about it : everytime you upgrade a harddisk in your computer, you keep your old data (you either copy your old partition or copy your files). Some of the files you have kept around in nostalgy may come from very old computers that can't be found anymore. (On this system I'm writing on, I still hve some games, I programmed in basic when I was a kid long time ago. The original floppy may have rotten, but there's still a copy of the .BAS file somewhere in a folder).

According to your argument, software could NOT be found for old vintage computers, home computers, game consoles and arcade machine, because most of the disc have rotten, the ROM board may be broken and/or not be readable by any modern hardware, etc.
But in reality you can google for any classic emulation site and such and still find disc and rom image. Digital data is easy to copy around. The medium may have changed data was moved from ROMs and 8" / 5.25" / 2" floppy to harddisks, then to image inside ZIP files on the internet.

Granted the medium it self will never again be a medium. The single biggest problem that we will face are the readers. For all this marvellous "survival through digital copy" to function, the data need to be accessed and copied in the first time.
Sadly with all DRM systems that appear and restrict the possibility to copy digital data, the preservatiion will be much more difficult.

DRM : Bringing you a new dark age.

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17320664)

...in the event of a catastrophe or some kind of weird global event...

Beatlemania is coming back again?

LOCKSS (1)

lamona (743288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17325532)

It's called "Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe" and it's even got standards and software. [lockss.org]

Just Open Source It? (1)

lionheart1327 (841404) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319068)

Can't Google just Open Source the project?

That way we don't have different companies and foundations duplicating eachother's work, but all the results are still open and accessible to everybody.

Re:Just Open Source It? (1)

CDPatten (907182) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319144)

Sure they "could", but they won't. At the very best they will allow some API's into their database, but then they will find a way to integrate their ads with it. Whatever the case, Google is going to be the sole owner of their project here (by the way there is nothing wrong with that either).

Google is just as "evil" as any other corporation, its just thus far they have put enough spin on what they do to skirt the label.

Re:Just Open Source It? (2, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319194)

Can't Google just Open Source the project?

Well, the source of the code running the project wouldn't be that helpful, it's the content we're after.

And presuming you meant Google opening the content.... well I doubt it... they want to sell ads on the content after all!

Don't forget, google nice tho' they are haven't given out code/content/etc for any of their "crown jewels"

Re:Just Open Source It? (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319270)

Hate to reply to myself, but I should have added:

1) Google may also have contractual obligations with copyright holders that prevent putting the content in an open format.

2) If point 1 can be overcome & Google could see a competitive advantage over MS's book scanning effort in opening the content then perhaps they'd try it after all...

Re:Just Open Source It? (2, Informative)

CleverBoy (801540) | more than 7 years ago | (#17323262)

Exactly right. All these comments about "must show ads over it" pretty much misses the point. Google's project allows you to SEARCH all the books its scanning, and even so, its drawn the ire of copyright holders. Imagine if they said... "Oh, yes... we're OPEN SOURCING all of our scanning results for unfettered public consumption." No judge in the world... nuff said. Open sourcing the actually methodology would not serve much purpose, although its worthy of note that they have open sources some OCR software earlier. Very well received too. Gift horses and such, blah blah blah.

Re:Just Open Source It? (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17326206)

1)Google may also have contractual obligations with copyright holders that prevent putting the content in an open format.

For the most part, the copyright holders complaint is specifically that there is NO agreement with Google to allow them to do anything with their work, let alone redistribute it.

Re:Just Open Source It? (3, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319226)

I bet they won't.

There is nothing sexy or secret about the methods of scanning, but they must have put an imperial frickton of money into the process...To give the fruit of that much money away would be irresponsible to their shareholders...At least until they've made their money back with it.

Re:Just Open Source It? (1, Interesting)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319528)

To give the fruit of that much money away would be irresponsible to their shareholders...At least until they've made their money back with it.

Only if you don't expect to reap the benefits of it afterwards and that giving it away might actually be required in order to reap those benefits. You know, kinda like how google gives away search engine results and email accounts.

Re:Just Open Source It? (1)

ePhil_One (634771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319698)

You know, kinda like how google gives away search engine results and email accounts


Google does not give those things away for free. It exchanges them in return for subjecting you to advertising, which they in turn sell to folks who want to show you advertising.

There's no such thing as a free lunch.

Re:Just Open Source It? (0, Flamebait)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319884)

Google does not give those things away for free. It exchanges them in return for subjecting you to advertising, which they in turn sell to folks who want to show you advertising.

Gee, thanks for the class in Google 101. You miss the point that if google did not give them to you for nothing - i.e. no other requirement on your part, they could not get money from the advertisers. Thus giving it away is actually required in order to reap those benefits.

Re:Just Open Source It? (2, Interesting)

ePhil_One (634771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320168)

Thus giving it away is actually required in order to reap those benefits.

Quite the opposite. If they give it away, then I can set up ePhil House o' Classic Literature and reap the benefits of that advertising in place of Google. I can show less advertising because I don't have that nasty overhead of scanning the books. Google's need is to make it available to consumers in exchange for "eyeballs" but keep it away from me. Hammer away on Google's servers and they will cut you off, I ran operations in a company that performed such meta-searches and used to be able to tell you with a high degree of precision where that line was (which we considered business intelligence and thus wouldn't tell you unless you worked there).

And for the record there is no requirement that they give away the content to show you advertising, they choose do to so because a free service attracts more "eyeballs" than a paid service. It up to management to decide which combination of advertising vs subscription fees nets the most profit. Since Google best understands the "charge by advertising" model, the have a predilection for the "advertising-only supported" model.

So your grade for Google 101 is an F

How about: UnfoldingClassics@Home (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 7 years ago | (#17322612)

> Hammer away on Google's servers and they will cut you off

It'd be hard for them to defend against a bandwidth-limited, widely distributed effort.

Anyone want a crack at writing "UnfoldingClassics@Home" ?

Re:Just Open Source It? (2, Funny)

MS-06FZ (832329) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319850)

Hear, hear! Books want to be open! I find that when books can be open, as they should, they become much more accessible to people than if they were kept closed.

Re:Just Open Source It? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17320096)

Google doesn't want to open source it anymore than they open source their search system. Think about it.

GOOGLE = FOR PROFIT CORPORATION, which means they are in the business of capturing information about YOU to sell it to OTHERS (directly or indirectly). Try looking at Google without those rose-colored glasses for a minute.

Google's goof (3, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319166)

Google's big mistake was to try to do both PD and copyrighted books. Regardless of the legal merits (which are complicated), it was just a stupid business decision to waste effort on doing copyrighted books in general, on an opt-out basis. The controversy about the copyrighted books has dragged the PD books down with it. Part of the fallout from the lawsuit has been that Google has done everything it could to hide from users the fact that the service even exists. The whole thing is actually an abject failure, so it doesn't make me worry that Google will somehow get too powerful. Anyway, AFAIK Google doesn't claim any IP rights on their scans of PD books, so they actually don't have any control at all -- other people can take the scans and do whatever they want with them. Google is in the advertising business, not the publishing business.

Re:Google's goof (3, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319380)

Part of the fallout from the lawsuit has been that Google has done everything it could to hide from users the fact that the service even exists.


Its on the short list "More" link on the Google search page, and results from it are brought up without special request for certain searches on the main web search engine (apparently, any with the word "book" that get hits, though I'm not certain of that.)

That's hardly Google doing "everything it could to hide from users the fact that the service even exists".

Re:Google's goof (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319876)

Its on the short list "More" link on the Google search page...
When the service first came online, you would just do a normal Google search, and results from books would pop up, by default. When the lawsuit happened, that stopped happening, and you had to go to books.google.com to get separate results on books. They had an easy way to let millions of people use the service, just by encountering it naturally in their search results, but they got rid of that. The result is that ordinary people have no idea it's even an option.

and results from it are brought up without special request for certain searches on the main web search engine (apparently, any with the word "book" that get hits, though I'm not certain of that.)
Interesting, if true, but I can't seem to confirm it by casual tests. Here are four searches:

  1. text from a copyrighted book, via a regular google search [google.com]
  2. text from a copyrighted book, via google books [google.com]
  3. text from a PD book, without the word "book" in the search [google.com]
  4. the same PD text, with "book" in the search [google.com]
In search #4, adding "book" fails to bring up the google print stuff, at least within the first screenful of results. As far as I can tell, the results returned by books.google.com and google.com are disjoint sets.

Re:Google's goof (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320070)

Regular Google search: Search terms 'book math' [google.com] . Book results come up as a special heading after sponsored links and before regular results.

As far as I can tell, the results returned by books.google.com and google.com are disjoint sets.


They clearly aren't disjoint, but are instead overlapping (particularly, the book results returned by the main search engine are a proper subset of those that would be returned using the main book search page); I think this is typical of the way Google presents "OneBox" results, where it uses services other than the prime database in a more limited way than if you used the service directly.

At any rate, that it is possible to get results from the book database without making any special effort to use it just by using the main google search engine makes it pretty far from Google actively concealing the service.

Re:Google's goof (1)

MyNymWasTaken (879908) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319892)

Providing the available full text copies when a book is searched for is denying it exists?

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=origin+of+spe cies&btnG=Google+Search [google.com]

Is Google also denying the existence of its Froogle service since it's listed below the 'Books' search option in 'more>>'?

Re:Google's goof (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320056)

In the search you gave, I don't get any Google Book Search hits. To get the Google Book Search hits, you need to go to this url at books.google.com [google.com] .

Re:Google's goof (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320100)

I get three Google Books hits from the original search without using books.google.com, just off the main google engine. Now, Google search results aren't particularly consistent (refreshing the search will sometimes change the results, and frequently cause sponsored links and OneBox results to disappear, as will, IIRC, doing multiple different searches in rapid succession).

Re:Google's goof (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320204)

Interesting. I wonder why it's giving you different hits than me. Are you logged in to a google account?

There's no question that they changed the normal behavior, though. I'm enrolled in Google Books as a publisher (I opted in), and they sent me e-mails announcing all these policy changes. There was a period when the results from scanned books were always mixed in with web results, and then it abruptly changed. I think they're just trying to reduce their legal exposure in this lawsuit -- if fewer people use it, then the damages are smaller if they lose.

Re:Google's goof (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320270)

There was a period when the results from scanned books were always mixed in with web results, and then it abruptly changed.


Since they are a different kind of result, the use of OneBox is consistent with the rest of the Google interface—if you use the web search, you get web results in the main, but if there are particularly appropriate results by some more limited algorithm in one of the other databases, you also may get a handful of those in the OneBox area immediately after the sponsored links, and before the main resutls.

I think they're just trying to reduce their legal exposure in this lawsuit -- if fewer people use it, then the damages are smaller if they lose.


I think its far more likely that they made the Book Search a specialized search that presented its results the same way other specialized searches do through OneBox for consistency and because of the reasonable idea that people choosing to use the web search engine want web results primarily.

Re:Google's goof (1)

MyNymWasTaken (879908) | more than 7 years ago | (#17327264)

Are you logged in to a google account?

No. Here is a screen capture for you.

book results screen capture [tinypic.com]

Re:Google's goof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17322698)

Anyway, AFAIK Google doesn't claim any IP rights on their scans of PD books, ....

If Google ever screws up and gets bought out, all bets are off.

what goof? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17324624)

it was just a stupid business decision to waste effort on doing copyrighted books in general, on an opt-out basis. The controversy about the copyrighted books has dragged the PD books down with it

The number of books that are clearly out of copyright is actually quite small (most books are in a gray area), so doing just them isn't very useful.

But more important: what is being "dragged down"? There's a lot of chest beating by people with strong interest in keeping control over printed materials and distribution channels, but nothing really substantial has happened.

funny. (2, Interesting)

CDPatten (907182) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319178)

anyone else find the irony here funny. Google is on the side of keeping this a closed circuit project and MS is part of the alliance trying to make it open.

Its funny. Laugh.

Re:funny. (1)

guspasho (941623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320444)

Not really ironic. Microsoft would definitely be singing a different tune if they were in Google's shoes. Take all the examples of when they have been in Google's shoes. When was the last time they open-sourced anything? That's right, they haven't.

Embrace, extend, and extinguish.

Re:funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17321066)

well actually maybe you should take a look as MS reaserch labs.... they open source a LOT of stuff. Hell, slashdot has even covered a wireless project they opened up. For that matter, and despite what politically charged slashdotter's like to think, Open XML passes many of the standards bodies across the globe. Its as open as you get, with the exveption you can't change it and still call it open xml. you can call it qusoasho's super duper xml, but not Open XML. I'd say that is fair.

all that said I agree with the premise, that MS would be doing the same thing.

Google's got a long way to go . . . (2, Interesting)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319216)

It's kind of sad to think that people are already worried about one corporation controlling ALL of the world's books. Let's still think about the reality of it. Google came to a handful (like 5 or so) of libraries (major ones at that), with a plan to digitize out-of-copyright books and put their content on the internet. They've got the search technology, they're trying to innovate. Now, if there were only five libraries in the entire world, yes, we could have a problem here. But in reality, there's A LOT more libraries than that. It's going to take a HUGE, MASSIVE effort by Google in order to digitize all the content of all the libraries in the world, and that will likely never happen anyways. More likely, some other libraries will probably partner with other companies in the future to digitize their content, and they'll be placed on the web. Yeah, Googlebot will probably spider that, so it will be searchable via Google. But so will the other spiders.

It would also be pretty nieve and stupid to only utilize reference from one source if you're doing research. You'd want to check out multiple sources to get the full picture. Of course, there is a growing problem that is quite common nowadays among an increasing number of college students that they believe that if it's not available on the web, it doesn't exist. Such students might find themselves somewhat, "enlightened," if they walked over to the library and cracked open a book or journal from, say, before 1995.

Re:Google's got a long way to go . . . (4, Informative)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319500)

I think you're vastly overestimating the added benefit from scanning books from more libraries after the first few:
  1. Most libraries' collections are very similar to most other libraries' collections, and the greatest overlap occurs with the books that are the most important.
  2. This is all about PD stuff, since OCA isn't proposing to do anything still in copyright. Less ephemeral works (the kind typically preserved in library collections a century later) generally all had their copyrights renewed in the U.S., so that means we're only talking about pre-1923 materials. Since congress keeps on extending copyright terms, nothing is probably ever going to enter the public domain from 1923 on. That means we're talking about the publishing world of 1922, which was vastly smaller than today's publishing world. Amazon.com has on the order of 10^6 books. To get a feel for the size of the publishing industry in past decades, try browsing through the catalog of renewals [upenn.edu] ; the number of books published was extremely small in the early 19th century.
  3. There are many books that won't be in any library's collection, simply because they weren't considered very valuable. You could digitize a thousand libraries, and never find them. Handwriting manuals from 1893. Trashy novels. Etc. In fact, there are a lot of books from the 1930's-1950's that are now PD, because they never had their copyrights renewed, but you're not going to find them in libraries' collections, and in fact it's very unlikely that anyone will ever be interested in them.

Re:Google's got a long way to go . . . (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17322314)

Hey! I'm interested in some of that '30s through '50s material!
I think I am, anyway. There is this library I know that had the largest selection of old sci-fi I've ever seen. Many of the books it has, I've never seen anywhere else, and I think that at least some of the sub-works are public domain. I mean, most of the books in question are in generic library covers.
There are stories in those books that I liked, that I might want to read again. Let's not let those works disintegrate--please?
Also, the libraries I've gone to do have trashy novels. Some of them have sections for paperbacks, or even "romance" sections. I don't read the romances, but I have read and enjoyed trashy novels from libraries. I would like the trashy novels to remain available if possible.

Re:Google's got a long way to go . . . (1)

lamona (743288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17325856)

Most libraries' collections are very similar to most other libraries' collections, and the greatest overlap occurs with the books that are the most important.

Because the original Google 5 libraries have their holdings entered into WorldCat [oclc.org] , a statistical study [dlib.org] was done that showed that those five libraries would account for 33% of the 32 million books in that database. It also showed that 61% of the books held by the Google 5 are uniquely held by only one library. Essentially, the holdings of libraries follows a common pattern of a short high followed by a very long tail. If, even with their long tails, these 5 major libraries account for only 1/3 of books that libraries have entered into WorldCat, imagine how many libraries it will take to find and digitize the long tail of that one bibliographic database.

Less ephemeral works (the kind typically preserved in library collections a century later) generally all had their copyrights renewed in the U.S

The rate of copyright renewal was very low. According to Lessig ("Free Culture" p. 135) "In 1973, more than 85 percent of copyright owners failed to renew their copyright." I've seen estimates that about 90% of the books published between 1923 and 1978, when renewal was abolished, were never renewed. That means that there are MANY public domain books in that time frame, only we can't easily know which ones they are. You can look them up in the renewal database, [rutgers.edu] but my impression is that the database is not considered to be complete, and therefore not entirely reliable. If you find the book in the database, it was renewed. If not...

Re:Google's got a long way to go . . . (2, Interesting)

webbod (1032868) | more than 7 years ago | (#17321298)

Oxford University is one of the UK copyright libraries - it has a copy of every book and published in the UK and Ireland since the 1600s - it gets them by default.

Re:Google's got a long way to go . . . (1)

Baricom (763970) | more than 7 years ago | (#17322388)

Google came to a handful (like 5 or so) of libraries (major ones at that), with a plan to digitize out-of-copyright books and put their content on the internet.
If that was all that happened, nobody would be complaining. The problem is that it wasn't only out-of-copyright books, but every book in their collection, including those clearly in copyright. What's more, they require publishers who have issues with this copyright violation to opt out, and blanket opt-outs are not accepted - the publisher has to provide a list of EVERY book they publish to get each removed.

Google says one thing does another (2, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 7 years ago | (#17323186)

One things that bugs the heck out of me with Google is their, "Oh we will do this because we have the rights", yet if you want to use their stuff you need EXPLICIT permissions. http://www.google.com/permissions/index.html [google.com]

" All of Google's trademarks, logos, web pages, screen shots, or other distinctive features ("Google Brand Features") are protected by applicable trademark, copyright, and other intellectual property laws. If you would like to use any of Google Brand Features on your website, in an advertisement, in an article or book, or reproduce them anywhere else, you must first receive Google's permission. We've tried to make this process as painless as possible."

Funny Google wants you to get permission and they are saying no such thing as fair use. YET they want publishers to opt out...

Google is hypocritical!

Why compete... (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319332)

...when you can copy. If Google is going to make the data freely available, why pay people to start another scanning program when pay people to wait for Google to finish, have them go to the Google page and simply press CTRL-A, CTRL-C and then CTRL-V into their own page? Scan complete!

Re:Why compete... (1)

evil_Tak (964978) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319408)

How is it going to help for them to create a new screen(1) window and then prepare to insert a literal control character?

Re:Why compete... (1)

HAL9000_mirror (1029222) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319414)

Just because Google will make the data freely available may not necessarily mean that they will let you laugh at their work and let you use it for profit in your own company.
--Ram

Haha... (0)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319420)

Since when were Google "in control" for being allowed to show excerpts of a book for the advertisement of the companies allowing them to carry their books?

Nowhere near enough (0)

Stephen Ma (163056) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319472)

One million dollars? Even if you focus that solely on the contents of the Library of Congress, that will be, what, five cents per book?

Scanning a book is easy... (5, Insightful)

creative_Righter (834378) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319492)

Already facing a legal challenge for alleged copyright infringement, Google Inc.'s crusade to build a digital library has triggered a philosophical debate with an alternative project promising better online access to the world's books, art and historical documents.

Scanning a book is easy, it simply involves taking pictures. You can splice the spine off an take pictures of each page or use one of the panoply of non-destructive machines to correct the page warping effects of an open book. This is not particularly hard or expensive.

The latest tensions revolve around Google's insistence on chaining the digital content to its Internet-leading search engine and the nine major libraries that have aligned themselves with the Mountain View-based company.

Damn straight. The OCR process is the hardest part, of course they wouldn't allow access to highly valuable text to others. They might have a million books "scanned" this year but each page has to be OCRed. Most people don't decouple those operations and assume that after scanning the hard part is over. Say each book has 300 pages, so we're talking about running 300 million pages of text through OCR. Now you've got a real problem. How does one know if a page of a book is OCRed correctly? You can pay a human or even a large team of humans to QA the text but even then you can only spot check here and there. A 99.99% correct OCR program will mess up on the equivalent of 150,000 pages of text a year (spread out more or less uniformly across the 300 million). Also, not all pages of books are scanable (pictures, weird fonts, weird page layouts), and then there are headaches with keeping track of the related editions of a books, multiple editions of books, displaying pictures in the reader you don't have copyright to (which I think always gets glossed over with these sorts of articles), 10 digit to 13 digit ISBNs, etc. So yes, they aren't going to allow access to the text to others, because it's hard and expensive to do so because you can only automate so much if you want to the ensure accuracy of the text itself (I think Google does). If they opened the text up what stops the competitors from simply adding the data into their search engines after the difficult part is over? Google does no evil but they aren't stupid.

Re:Scanning a book is easy... (1)

monopole (44023) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320824)

Scanning a book is easy, it simply involves taking pictures. You can splice the spine off an take pictures of each page or use one of the panoply of non-destructive machines to correct the page warping effects of an open book. This is not particularly hard or expensive.

Only if the book is expendable. In the case of many pre-1920 books (i.e. out of copyright) any sane library wouldn't even let you push it flat against the glass of a flatbed scanner. Ideally you need a scanner that keeps the book from opening appreciably, with filtered illumination.

Now you've got a real problem. How does one know if a page of a book is OCRed correctly?
Now that's simple. Distributed proofreading. Just the sort of thing Google is good at.

Re:Scanning a book is easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17323470)

Now you've got a real problem. How does one know if a page of a book is OCRed correctly?
Now that's simple. Distributed proofreading. Just the sort of thing Google is good at.

No, the sort of thing the distributed proofreaders [pgdp.net] are good at. And they're already raiding Google's scans, as well as many other page image collections....

Re:Scanning a book is easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17321258)

Self - Correcting by readers. Just allow actual readers of the books as they
are browsing it to look at the ocr'd document too, and leave comments. Books with
comments get attention by human editor.

Re:Scanning a book is easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17322532)

I'd rather get png file than utf-8 file, as especially old books do have a tremendous value in the layout, pictures, and characters themselves. Of course having both is the best option.

Re:Scanning a book is easy... (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 7 years ago | (#17325468)

As I understand it, Google just uses the raw OCR. It's usually good enough for searching, which is what they are intrested in, and requires a lot less manpower than corrected OCR. If you want corrected OCR, you need to look at places like Project Gutenberg (and distributed proofreading).

RE: Google 'Do No Evil' ... (0, Troll)

Super Dave Osbourne (688888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319508)

is about the biggest lie perp'ed on mankind. Google is the last company aside from the obvious M$ that I would want to control anything. They are about inflated stock, and making you see ads online. Are well all that stupid that we believe Google-ganda?

Re: Google 'Do No Evil' ... (3, Insightful)

urbanradar (1001140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319664)

Google 'Do No Evil' ... is about the biggest lie perp'ed on mankind. Google is the last company aside from the obvious M$ that I would want to control anything. They are about inflated stock, and making you see ads online. Are well all that stupid that we believe Google-ganda?

Oh, do calm down... They never claimed "we do absolutely no evil whatsoever", it's more like - the founders happen to think that "evil should not be done". What's a lie about that? Also, how does inflated stock make them evil?

And how, pray, are they supposed to survive without the adverts? Never mind the fact that Google didn't actually come up with online advertising but were pretty much the first ones to run targeted, non-offensive (as in, no flashing banners, pop-ups, etc.) ads.

I'm no Google fanboy, although I happily use many of their services. But I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with them, and I find it somewhat sad to see this paranoid drivel modded up to +3 Insightful.

money (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17322242)

"And how, pray, are they supposed to survive without the adverts?"

Don't know about you, but I would pop for a yearly subscription for a *good quality* search engine that had a toggle for "with adverts" or "no adverts" option. Not sure how much I would spend, that would depend on how good they were on filtering out link farms, etc, but some reasonable fee to have the option of no ads. And then websites might have an indcement to restrict use of ads to at least the interior pages and nt the main public facing page. Ads there just suck.

Right now I would classify the free google search with ads as being of medium quality until you get good at it with a lot of -restrict this and that word added to your query and learning wild cards and domain restrictions, etc. In fact, I wish google had one simple option on their main page, split their search bar in two by default, one side is for words/phrases you are looking for, the other side is what you want to immediately filter out. For example if you add -sale, you eliminate a lot of commercial sites. Dogsquat simple, hardly anyone does it.

    Google is good once you learn to use it, by default like most people use it though it's just a fancy yellow pages.

Re: Google 'Do No Evil' ... (1)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319744)

Oh damn! You really nailed Google there. They're all about making you see ads. Oh man, they're never going to live that tongue-lashing down. I bet their PR people are going nuts trying to figure out how to clean this mess up.

Are you angry because Google suspended the SOAP API? Or are you just a grumpy troll?

Maybe, but not yet. (1)

Xenographic (557057) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319918)

No, I don't think that they'll hold to it forever. I suspect that once the founders are gone, things will erode until that motto will go the way of the dinosaur except for its PR function.

That said, based on what they're *doing* (and not what they're merely saying), they're at least making a reasonable effort to live up to an ideal, and that's a hell of a lot more than I can say for any other corp.

In other words, I'll retain some loyalty to Google so long as it shows some loyalty to us. Like I said, they'll probably let us down someday and that'll be the time to ditch them, but at the same time, it's stupid not to enjoy the good while it lasts.

so, they will also campaign against copyright (0, Flamebait)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319530)

... and copyright extension then, since that is also dominating our culture now...?
yeah, thought not. copyright enforcement is only demanded by those who can control it, and it's sheer brilliance that they turned a civil law issue into a criminal one and thus got the gov't to pay the copyright holder's costs!

Re:so, they will also campaign against copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17324332)

Yes - they'll fight the extension of copyright. The Internet Archive filed an Amicus brief in the Eldred case (which sadly went against Eldred and the congress' new terms were left standing).

Brewster Kahle (the founder of the archive) is now personally suing the Attorney General over 'orphan works' (represented by Larry Lessig). Some details of the ongoing case here :

http://www.archive.org/iathreads/post-view.php?id= 76756 [archive.org]

and

http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/case/kahle-v-gonzales [stanford.edu]

I agree (-1, Troll)

Dr Kool, PhD (173800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319588)

I am writing to express my dismay and concern over Google's larcenous expedients. If you disagree with my claim that Google's assertion that those who disagree with it should be cast into the outer darkness, should be shunned, should starve serves only to illustrate its ignorance and poorly hidden bigotry, then read no further. If priggism were an Olympic sport, Google would clinch the gold medal. I indisputably hope that humanity will rid this earth of sinister nabobs of racism with the greatest dispatch, since otherwise, the earth might well become rid of humanity. It's easy for armchair philosophers to theorize about Google and about hypothetical solutions to our Google problem. It's an entirely more difficult matter, however, when one considers that honor means nothing to it. Principles mean nothing to it. All it cares about is how to feed us a diet of robbery, murder, violence, and all other manner of trials and tribulations.

Google has delivered exactly the opposite of what it had previously promised us. Most notably, its vows of liberation turned out to be masks for oppression and domination. And, almost as troubling, Google's vows of equality did little more than convince people that my long-term goal is to combat the fastidious ideology of sesquipedalianism that has infected the minds of so many infantile pothouse drunks. Unfortunately, much remains to be done. As you may have noticed, if Google could have one wish, it'd wish for the ability to retain an institution which, twist and turn as you like, is and remains a disgrace to humanity. Then, people the world over would be too terrified to acknowledge that we must educate, inform, and nurture our children instead of keeping them ignorant, afraid, and in danger. As an interesting experiment, try to point this out to it. (You might want to don safety equipment first.) I think you'll find that Google says it is within its legal right to make serious dialogue difficult or impossible. Whether or not it indeed has such a right, that fact is simply inescapable to any thinking man or woman. "Thinking" is the key word in the previous sentence. The idea of letting Google advocate its subliminal psywar campaigns amid a hue and cry as complacent as it is semi-intelligible is, in itself, vicious. I don't think anyone questions that. But did you know that its circulars are not just retroactively ineffective but proactively inert? I have a problem with Google's use of the phrase, "We all know that...". With this phrase, it doesn't need to prove its claim that embracing a system of parasitism will make everything right with the world; it merely accepts it as fact. To put it another way, its secret passion is to change this country's moral infrastructure. For shame!

Some people don't seem to mind that Google likes to turn positions of leadership into positions of complacency. What a homophobic world we live in! Google is interpersonally exploitative. That is, it takes advantage of others to achieve its own pompous ends. Why does it do that? My answer is, as always, a model of clarity and the soul of wit: I don't know. However, I do know that it seems to assume that it is cunctipotent. This is an assumption of the worst kind because its antics are tactless but reflective of the localized normative attitudes among brain-damaged freaks of nature. It follows from this that Google's argument that might makes right is hopelessly flawed and utterly circuitous. Google doesn't care about freedom, as it can neither sell it nor put it in the bank. It's just a word to it. I would like to go on, but I do have to keep this letter short. So I'll wrap it up by saying that this is where the rubber hits the road.

Re:I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17319778)

Outer darkness time for you ;)

Project Gutenburg (5, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319802)

I'm a kind of baffled why people are talking about starting up new projects or Open Sourcing (tm) google's prject (whatever that means...).

Project Gutenburg [gutenberg.org] is open and non proprietary (ASCII text) and has been for quite a while.

After scanning, they use a distributed proofreading system where volunteers compare a scanned page image to the OCR text for errors. If you've got some free time, consider helping out.

Re:Project Gutenburg (0)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320118)

I'm a kind of baffled why people are talking about starting up new projects or Open Sourcing (tm) google's prject (whatever that means...).


"Open sourcing" Google's project, as others have used the term in the thread, would seem to mean providing, at least, an open API so that different collections could federate easily, and perhaps providing an Open Source implementation of some of parts of that API, as well.

Project Gutenburg is open and non proprietary (ASCII text) and has been for quite a while.


Project Gutenberg isn't a full-text search system delivering scanned images of printed works.

While it is has some conceptual relation to the system at issue, it doesn't fill exactly the same role.

Re:Project Gutenburg (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320454)

Project Gutenburg is open and non proprietary (ASCII text) and has been for quite a while.

They focus solely on public-domain works, as opposed to fair-use of current, copyrighted works, as Google does.

Google = M$ = Evil Empire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17319856)

The only thing left is for the two CEOs to have a drink and snicker about the foolish peasants known as Internet users. They control the content, access, and media.

the books aren't going anywhere... (4, Insightful)

the packrat (721656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17319970)

You folks do realise that Google returns the books after they scan them so they'll still be in the libraries afterwards right? So how does this reduce their availability?

Re:the books aren't going anywhere... (1)

sgholt (973993) | more than 7 years ago | (#17325564)

You seem to be the first one who came to the same conslusion as me...the books themselves are the thing that needs to stay open and available. Whether Google or the Gutenburg Project copies the books is not the issue.
So that brings me to another conclusion...there must be some other reason for this...hmmm
Who would want to limit Google?

Re:the books aren't going anywhere... (1)

callousmuppet (1002085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17325982)

Not only are the books themselves not going anywhere, the libraries themselves will be getting their own copy of the archive (at least, that's the deal at least one of the libraries has made with Google, although it seems that each library has made a separate deal and they've all had to sign significant non-disclosure agreements). So it's really not as though Google will have exclusive control over even the digital form of all this material.

Please do a better job, not just a bigger job (2, Informative)

Ankh (19084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320144)

Most of these people focus on English-language books printed in the 19th and early 20th centuries, because (1) it's usually easy to determine copyright status, and (2) if you go earlier you get the tall "s" ( in utf-8) which no OCR program today seems able to handle, so the scanning cost is increased.

Scanning with a flat-bed scanner basically wrecks the binding. So the books probably need to be rebound afterwards, or can be discarded.

There are photography setups (e.g. Phase One has one) but the resolution is too low, even with a 40 megapixel medium-format camera (yes, they are used for this). A little high-school mathematics (e.g. Nyquist) and the back of an envelope, combined with some measurements, will show that if you scan engravings at under 1200dpi, you will lose a lot of detail, and indeed, compare for example the Alice in Wonderland pictures [fromoldbooks.org] on my own site with the Project Gutenberg ones. You can read the engraver's signature on most of the ones I have. Yes, the bandwidth needed to host higher resolution images is greater (which is why I have ads, sorry). But it's worth it.

Some of these books will never be scanned again. Even for OCR, 400dpi grayscale seems a minimum for footnotes and other small text even in English.

I'd also like to see more interfaced like the Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders' site where people can submit corrections. Maybe use a WIKI for the transcription??

Liam

Doesn't really matter (0)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17320346)

In 25 years they will determine that googles library is incomplete and start OCR shotgunning books down camera filled canvas chutes.

A brief protest will be launched, but all the kids will be too busy with their new fangled wearables and feelie parks to care.

Did someone break their legs? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17320366)

A splinter group called the Open Content Alliance favors a less restrictive approach to prevent mankind's accumulated knowledge from being controlled by a commercial entity...


Did someone break their legs?

See that big building downtown with all the books in it?

Oh wait, get up from your desk, go outside (yes I know, it burns...), get on the bus and go downtown.

OK, now see the big building with the strange letters "LIBRARY" on the front? OK, that's the one, go inside... see all the books?

Now go up to the attendant at the desk and tell them your name and address and show a piece of photo ID. The nice person will give you a card that you can use to borrow books.

What's a book? OK, its many pages of paper bound together usually with glue and string. On each of these "pages" you will find ink (a dye) in the pattern of letters that form words and sentences and paragraphs.

Usually, these "books" tell a story or provide organised information.

No go ahead, pick one out - they'll even let you take it home for a week or two so you can read it. For free!

You can browse the stacks (a colloquialism for those big shelves with books on them) which are organised according to a system known as the Dewey Decimal System. You can use a revolutionary piece of technology known as a "card catalog" to indicate the position of the title you seek on the stacks (though many libraries have this same catalog searchable from computer terminals).

It's revolutionary, I know. But there you have it, free information and entertainment, enough to last a lifetime, with a "less restrictive approach".

Enjoy.

Re:Did someone break their legs? (1)

dido (9125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17323328)

But unfortunately, not all of the world has access to such wonderful libraries, and specialized research is somewhat difficult, even if your city is one that is blessed with a nice public library. Boy, I loved it when I discovered sites like this [umich.edu] , and this [cornell.edu] , and this [uni-goettingen.de] , collections to truly warm the heart of a math geek like me. Good luck finding even a tenth of the books and journals in those three collections in your local public library.

Re:Did someone break their legs? (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 7 years ago | (#17327186)

But unfortunately, not all of the world has access to such wonderful libraries
As you are probably well aware of. The first private primary school in Banaybanay (Banaybanay is a small municipality in eastern Mindanao) I sent my eldest step-son to had exactly one book in its "library". It was a donated high school text on Shakespeare. However they get this done, it will be wonderful opportunity for many people.

Wheres our free music and vids?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17321348)

Google is scaning books why arent they doing the same for music and vids so we can get them for FREE?!?

i dont care about books thats too much work!!! i want free music and vids!!! it dont cost them nothing when its on p2pand besides they dont pay the artists nyway and copyrights are bad bcause they infring on our right to be entertaine. its a hole nu paradim and they should be LISTENING to us!!!

its all ones and 0's and they are tryin to CHARGE us for them, can you beleve it?!?

I am so fucking angry right now, I can barly type! Fucking greedy corps! Google shuld fiht them! They should just make ALL music and vids FREE, and FUCK the other corps that are so gredy!

They have BILLIONS of dollars and if they arnt GREEDY, THEY do that for us!

FUCK the RIAA! FUCK the MPAA! FUCK, FUCK, FUCK!

I WANT TO BE ENTERTAIND FOR FREE! I DESERVE IT BECAUSE I DO!

YOU ARE GREEDY IF YOU DONT LET ME DO IT!

Fucking greedy corps! Its all shit anyway! I wouldnt pay for it anyhow, so I should be able to just download it for free because it isnt worth anything! I PAY my internet!

And im not rich like those fucking bastards! I shouldnt have to pay for music and vids they already have enugh money! I should get it for FREE!

Re:Wheres our free music and vids?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17321430)

Hehehe.

open source? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17322116)

nothing more than a bunch of rump roasting faggots all sucking those dicks.

Re:open source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17322380)

whoever modded the gp down is obviously a fanboi, a faggot, a rump roaster, a dicksucker, a fucktard and a bush supporter. fucking faggots ruin it for everyone else with their ass fucking aids disease.

and if you're a fag reading this you're useless and you're a shithead. go fuck yourself.

Enclose what? (2, Insightful)

McFadden (809368) | more than 7 years ago | (#17322526)

'You are talking about the fruits of our civilization and culture. You want to keep it open and certainly don't want any company to enclose it,
Yeah... because by scanning a book, Google automatically controls all the of the knowledge inside it.

more credible (1)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17324192)

Given Microsoft's history on intellectual property, the complaints of the OCA would be a lot more credible if Microsoft weren't a part of it.

Digital originals available from publishers (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 7 years ago | (#17325258)

Surely we can speed up this process by simply asking the publishers to make available the original digital Latex or SGML files for all books printed since the late 70s right?

Why invest hundreds of hours on scan/ocr/qa for texts which already exist in a digital format?

Re:Digital originals available from publishers (1)

lamona (743288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17325938)

Because the publishers 1) didn't use any particular standard for their digital files 2) and they didn't keep the digital files once the book was published. The folks doing e-books for the publishers were horrified in the early part of this decade to discover that publishers had considered the digital files discardable. Today, most publishers send the book to the printers in PDF, so there is at least that file, but if you want to do any reformatting you're going to be working with a Quark file with formatting of the publisher's own devising. Yes, better than scanning, but only just.

You could read this as... (1)

TheRecklessWanderer (929556) | more than 7 years ago | (#17325824)

You could read this as.. What?? Money? We want money, give us some money. We want our share. Why can't we have our share?? Wahhhhh. We want money.

Just How Does...? (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17325992)

Just how does Google scanning a book prevent anyone else from doing the same? Does Google own the only copy? I doubt that. This seems like much ado about nothing, or an outright grab to force Google to share what they put the effort into creating in the first place. And I'll bet the sharing is expected to be Free.

How to open up the archive (1)

RecycledElectrons (695206) | more than 7 years ago | (#17327194)

If Google (or Microsoft's www.Books.Live.Com) wants to open this up to us, they can do one of 2 things:

(1) provide a complete index, possibly sortable, so I can have an easy set of links to mirror

(2) send a backup to a company that will sell the DVD version of their collection. One company makes money selling $1 DVDs at dollar stores, and we all see 4-disc sets fo John Wayne videos at Wal-Mart for $5.50. Microsoft or Google could send such a company a backup of their book collection once a year, and copmelte sets of, say, 25 DVD-9 discs (2TB) were available for $50? Bean counters can raise the price, but as long as we are free to copy them, I'm sure that universities would be willing to buy

Andy Out!

Update existing laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17327464)

Works don't necessarily need to just go away and Google, Project Guttenburg, and others don't necessarily need to be the only avenue for preserving works.
Surely we can speed up this process by simply asking the publishers to make available the original digital Latex or SGML files for all books printed since the late 70s right? Why invest hundreds of hours on scan/ocr/qa for texts which already exist in a digital format?
Legal deposit and mandatory deposit LAWS already in effect might be updated to ensure that copyright holders place works in an electronic format on deposit with national libraries... http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/mandatory_deposi t.html [copyright.gov] http://www.bl.uk/about/policies/legaldeposit.html [www.bl.uk]
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