Actually, one of the big concerns about Google having exclusive rights
to the digitization of out-of-print works is the price that they will
charge. At the meeting at ALA Washington that I went to, some of the
librarians present wanted the price issue to be the main issue that
libraries would bring up to the court. Here's how I imagine it going:
- digitized versions of millions of books become available, via Google
- some academic institutions subscribe to this service (say, Harvard,
Stanford, a few others)
- to compete, other academic institutions must also subscribe, because
their students and faculty will be less able to engage in research if
- the subscription will come out of the library's budget
- without competition, Google (with the agreement of the registry, whose
purpose is to garner as much income as possible for rights holders) will
charge a price that is more than some institutions will be able to
afford; others will subscribe, but to the detriment of other resource
That's basically what was being said, although in slightly different terms.
Eric Hellman wrote:
> But the argument being trotted out is that having orphan works
> available through Google would HURT libraries, which is a somewhat
> different discussion.
> The arguments I see for that (as applied to libraries other than the
> internet Archive) are:
> 1. Asset devaluation. Just as DeBeers would be hurt if Google started
> selling cheap diamonds, because their stock of diamonds would be
> devalued, libraries would find their collections devalued.
> 2. Competition. Patrons would have attractive alternatives to visiting
> libraries to access information locked onto paper.
> But let's imagine that Internet Archive was shoehorned into the
> settlement. How would these arguments change? Asset devaluation would
> presumably be worse as the price was driven down, and Libraries (other
> than IA) would be faced with more competition, not less. On the other
> hand, presumably libraries would gain more options in indexing and
> thus improved access to their collections.
> On May 20, 2009, at 3:47 PM, [log in to unmask] wrote:
>> On 5/20/09 11:19 AM, Eric Hellman wrote:
>> > I don't see how bashing Google (which is NOT what the
>> > library association briefs are doing, btw) for gaps in US
>> > and international Copyright Law(orphan works, for example)
>> > will end up helping libraries.
>> i think the concern is that the settlement could give
>> _only_ Google the right to scan orphaned works, and no
>> one else. that certainly wouldn't help libraries.
>> [log in to unmask]
Karen Coyle / Digital Library Consultant
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ph.: 510-540-7596 skype: kcoylenet