Google-University of Michigan digitalization deal expands
by Dave Gershman | The Ann Arbor News
Tuesday May 26, 2009, 1:54 PM
The University of Michigan is the first university to expand its book scanning agreement with Google Inc., paving the way for greater public access to electronic copies of works in the university's libraries.
It was made possible because of Google's pending legal settlement with a broad class of authors and publishers.
Google has already digitized 3 million of the works at the U-M libraries, with roughly 5 million to go.
"This agreement and this settlement will mean that anybody in the
country can look at (the U-M collections) from far away," said Paul
Courant, U-M librarian and dean of libraries.
As outlined in the original agreement, any computer user will be
able go to Google.com to read entire texts of books not covered by
copyright. But now access to books under copyright will be expanded.
Instead of being able to read only a few lines of text in books
under copyright, as originally provided, computer users will be able to
read 20 percent of the books in what Google calls a free preview.
Computer users will be able to search the text by keyword to identify
relevant passages. Computer users can then choose to buy an electronic
copy of the book from Google.
Google will also sell libraries and other educational institutions
subscriptions to the digitized works. Subscribing libraries will
receive a type of kiosk or computer terminal that will allow any member
of the public that uses it to read any of the digitized works in the
U-M libraries from cover to cover.
A portion of the revenues Google receives will be given to the authors and publishers.
"Our agreement with authors and publishers will allow anyone in the
U.S. to benefit from the wealth of knowledge contained in our nation's
most renowned libraries," said Dan Clancy, engineering director at
Google, in a statement provided by the U-M.
U-M will not receive any money, but its students will be able to read
any of the university's digitized works from their own computers by
using a password protected system.
Courant said he expects it will take Google one to two years to make its new products available.
In 2004, Google announced that it would digitize works at libraries,
including U-M's, so the materials could be searched and found on the
Internet. Courant expects other libraries to join the expanded effort.
The lawsuit against Google for copyright infringement was filed the
Also as part of the pending settlement, Google has agreed to
contribute at least $5 million to create two new national research
centers to allow scholars to conduct computer-aided research using the
large number of digitized works.
Reporter Dave Gershman can be reached at 734-994-6818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.