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Google Books Settlement

I was at the annual meeting of the Open Content Alliance (hosted by the Internet Archive) when news of the big settlement between Google and Authors over use of out-of-print and orphan works in Google’s Book Search.

The Open Content Alliance is an open, public domain version of Google’s book scanning endeavour, which is dedicated rather to making a commercial tool in the service of Google.

So the OCA was pretty worked up about the agreement and what it would mean. I’ve not yet processed the agreement and it’s implications (generally I am skeptical that it is the best outcome for the public in general, unless alternate sources of scanned books remain viable). So I was happy to see that Harvard announced it would not join Google’s efforts, for the right reasons. According to Harvard University Library Director Robert Darnton:

“As we understand it, the settlement contains too many potential limitations on access to and use of the books by members of the higher education community and by patrons of public libraries.” [more…]

[via Teleread]