Monday, September 11, 2006

Google and U.C. book digitization

Saw this on CNET: Google and U.C. sign contract to digitize books.

I‘m still having major problems with this whole Google Books Library Project, and it bothers me that so many major universities are diving in. For me, it‘s a “the end doesn‘t justify the means” sort of situation. I also have a big problem when I see things like this:

Under the Google-U.C. deal, terms of which were not disclosed...

Here‘s what the deal involves:

Google will be scanning and digitizing millions of books from the University of California‘s more than 100 libraries across its 10 campuses and making those titles fully searchable, Adam M. Smith, group product manager on Google Book Search, said Tuesday.

Google has been working since last year to scan, digitize and make searchable public domain and copyright-protected books from the university collections of the Library of Congress; Oxford, Harvard and Stanford universities; the University of Michigan; and the New York Public Library.

In defense of the University of California, they are also participating in the Open Content Alliance (OCA) effort. The OCA is an open-content alternative to the Google effort. Their mission is one worthy of support:

The Open Content Alliance (OCA) represents the collaborative efforts of a group of cultural, technology, nonprofit, and governmental organizations from around the world that will help build a permanent archive of multilingual digitized text and multimedia content. The OCA was conceived by the Internet Archive and Yahoo! in early 2005 as a way to offer broad, public access to a rich panorama of world culture.

This is where the public land-grant universities should be putting their effort. Here‘s the list of contributors and supporters. The only land-grant on the list is the University of California.

No comments: