It's true that we have buns in the oven that are promissing.

But it's also worth noting that HathiTrust mainly came about via the 
Google partnership, and they have certain limitations on what they can 
do with their scans that came out of the Google partnership (the current 
vast majority), as a result of agreements with Google. For instance, 
they can _not_ bulk re-distribute the digitized scans, not even of 
public domain works. They also need to have security measures in place 
on their website to prevent other people from conveniently bulk 
downloading via scraping (notice how you can't download a complete PDF 
of even a public domain work from HathiTrust? )

But don't get me wrong, HathiTrust is a very important project, and 
under good stewardship.  It's not like all is lost or something, we're 
just at the _beginning_ of the history of the digitized book universe, 
not at the end. 

But I agree with Ethan that I hope that libraries in the future actually 
consider their own interests when making deals with for-profit third 
parties. Like, literally, take a moment to consider what your interests 
ARE, the first step before making sure they are protected by the 
contracts you sign. I get the feeling many libraries didn't even do that.


Roy Tennant wrote:
> On 5/19/09 5/19/09  9:59 AM, "Ethan Gruber" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Google isn't a dumb company.  They knew this would be the result all along.
>> The real losers here are the libraries, especially the ones that funded the
>> packaging and transport of their materials to the Google scanning centers
>> (because Google didn't pay for that, fyi)  But hey, it looks good to be part
>> of such a prestigious group of libraries in partnering with Google to
>> deliver content freely* to the public!
>> *not free
>> Pardon my cynicism,
>> Ethan Gruber
> I think that's an overly pessimistic assessment. There is a growing corpus
> of freely available content being managed by the Hathi Trust[1], that
> already numbers in the hundreds of thousands of volumes, and soon likely to
> be over a million. Also, since government documents are included, there is a
> surprising number of post-1923 public domain titles. So let's not rush to
> throw the baby out with the bathwater.
> Roy
> [1]