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Old 10-20-2009, 09:48 AM   #1
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EU racing Google to digitise books!

In a real world re-enactment of the race between the Hare and the Tortoise, the European Commission are trying to kick-off a book scanning and rights resolution initiative from within Europe. Commissioners believe Google will be wallowing in legal limbo until the end of 2010, and are hoping to introduce some competition.

I am sure it has been well covered in a number of places, but I saw it first in MacWorld...

http://www.macworld.co.uk/digitallif...S&NewsID=27479

Very interesting!

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Old 10-20-2009, 03:48 PM   #2
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This is neither good news nor bad news.

They're not talking about a copyright reform. They're not saying how they will distribute the still-in-copyright books, they're just talking about mass-scale digitization.

What matters is the final result, and if Google is the only one to digitize but at the end offers 75 millions of out-of-print books affordable DRM-free, there's no reason to zeal for competition in this task.

And people knowing Google and Reding should be inclined to trust Google more than Reding

Last edited by Syniurge; 10-20-2009 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:56 PM   #3
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I for one view it as good news. The more of these types of books that get scanned, the better. Putting all of this info into one organization's hands -- commercial or government -- does not strike me as advantageous. Plus this looks like it will force the EU to come up with some sort of solution to make orphan works legally available.

And no, I don't really trust Google all that much. I don't think they are "evil," but ultimately they are a corporation. In the words of Christopher Buckley, “Whenever I hear capitalism proclaiming noble motives, something makes me check my wallet."
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Old 10-20-2009, 06:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
And no, I don't really trust Google all that much. I don't think they are "evil," but ultimately they are a corporation. In the words of Christopher Buckley, “Whenever I hear capitalism proclaiming noble motives, something makes me check my wallet."
Problem is that Reding isn't all that much better, even though Neelie Kroes is doing good work.
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:45 PM   #5
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At least Google have committed to not being evil. See - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_be_evil

We already trust google everyday to provide us with information via google news, google search, google reader etc. Using their services involves a lot of trust on our part. We assume google knows best everytime we do a search. They provide these information services freely, I trust Google more than other corporations I have to say.
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
I for one view it as good news.
Reformulated, this is a good thing only if EU offering is on a par with Google.

Unlike Google who didn't ask anyone's opinion, the article mentions that they're beginning a talk with libraries and the old industry. Please EU acknowledge that their digitization counter-effort is pointless if the industry's representatives make them cripple instead of unlocking these out-of-print books.
No more of that lending crap in libraries for example, it makes no sense for ebooks. No DRM, more generally speaking.

However.. there's no guarantee yet from Google that their out-of-print books will come like their public domain books, offered as PDF or ePub DRM-free. That's why it's time for Google to clarify and carve their intentions in the steel, to make EU know the least we should expect from them.

Last edited by Syniurge; 10-21-2009 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syniurge
Reformulated, this is a good thing only if EU offering is on a par with Google.
I would generally agree. But perhaps a better way to express my view is: the more organizations, companies and institutions that are involved in legal means to distribute these kinds of books, the better off we all are.



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At least Google have committed to not being evil.



Quote:
Originally Posted by fugazied
We already trust google everyday to provide us with information via google news, google search, google reader etc. They provide these information services freely, I trust Google more than other corporations I have to say.
That's your choice, but don't kid yourself: Google is not "free," it is using every last thing you do with their site to generate advertising revenue. They are also gearing up with paid services, ranging from their Books service to paid versions of Google Apps / GMail and so forth. I will say they haven't done anything terribly awful (other than cooperate with the government of China), but as with any company you trust them at your own risk.
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