Saturday, October 10, 2009

Google Books Project

Click the link to read Google co-founder Sergey Brin's op-ed on the value of Google's controversial proposed online book library for out of print books.

He claims over 10 million books are now out of print and are increasingly difficult to find even in the best stocked libraries. It really is an ambitious project to make knowledge more accessible to everyone - and to prevent some books from being lost forever.

(I've read recent articles that libraries now regularly have to cull the shelves due to space constraints and the increasing volume of new material. Sorry, I don't have a link on that, but read it in NYTimes maybe year or two ago if you're the investigative type. After reading the article I did a search of the local Nashville public library system also and found some of the so-called classics aren't available here either presumably due to similar culling processes over the year. Apparently the many of the classics weren't being requested very often and ended up on the cull piles due to their unpopularity.)

Brin on the agreement with the Author's Guild and Publishers:

This agreement aims to make millions of out-of-print but in-copyright books available either for a fee or for free with ad support, with the majority of the revenue flowing back to the rights holders, be they authors or publishers.

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