Intellectual Property

DIY Book Scanners Turn Your Books Into Bytes

For nearly two years, Daniel Reetz dreamed of a book scanner that could crunch textbooks and spit out digital files he could then read on his PC.

Book scanners, like the ones Google is using in its Google Books project, run into thousands of dollars, putting them out of the reach of a graduate student like Reetz. But in January, when textbook prices for the semester were listed, Reetz decided he would make a book scanner that would cost a fraction of commercially available products.

So over three days, and for about $300, he lashed together two lights, two Canon Powershot A590 cameras, a few pieces of acrylic and some chunks of wood to create a book scanner that’s fast enough to scan a 400-page book in about 20 minutes. To use it, he simply loads in a book and presses a button, then turns the page and presses the button again. Each press of the button captures two pages, and when he’s done, software on Reetz’s computer converts the book into a PDF file. The Reetz DIY book scanner isn’t automated–you still need to stand by it to turn the pages. But it’s fast and inexpensive.

“The hardware is ridiculously simple as long as you are not demanding archival quality,” he says. “A dumpster full of building materials, really cheap cameras and outrageous textbook prices was all I needed to do it.”

Full article at Gadget Lab

In Familiar Books, a Plot Twist: Battle on Electronic Rights

The ownership of the e-book rights to older titles is a source of conflict in one of the industry’s last remaining areas of growth.

Article in the NYT

The dark side of the internet

The dark side of the internet
In the 'deep web', Freenet software allows users complete anonymity as they share viruses, criminal contacts and child pornography

Fighting piracy: our 3-point program

Blog entry on fighting ebook piracy by publishing industry consultant Mike Shatzkin.

What can librarians and libraries do to combat piracy of books and ebooks?

Should librarians combat piracy of books and ebooks?

Glenn Beck Loses Domain Name Dispute

Is the domain name a violation of Glenn Beck's intellectual property? The conservative commenter certainly thought so, but an arbitration panel at the World Intellectual Property Organization has ruled otherwise.

Full story here.

Respectful Discussion: The Open Source Debate

Stephen Abram: The discussion about open source and integrated library systems has become more relevant and animated in the past year. Much has happened to fuel the discussion, especially recently with changes with the open source (and quasi-open source) vendors. Open source technology in general has become part of the technology discussion of in many industries including libraries.

Cory Doctorow Interview

Interview of Cory Doctorow at Internet Librarian International conference in London, on the future of libraries, access and technology.

Cory Doctorow at Internet Librarian International 2009 from Jaap van de Geer on Vimeo.

Essay: Advantage Google

Essay in the NYT about the Google book settlement and orphan works.

Google Book Search Hearing to Be Postponed

The parties in the Google Book Search Settlement have asked the court to adjourn the scheduled October 7th fairness hearing, telling the court the parties intend to amend the deal. "Because the parties, after consultation with the DOJ, have determined that the Settlement Agreement that was approved preliminarily in November 2008 will be amended, plaintiffs respectfully submit that the Fairness Hearing should not be held, as scheduled, on October 7," reads a memorandum appended to the parties motion to adjourn.

"To continue on the current schedule would put the Court in a position of reviewing and having participants at the hearing speak to the
original Settlement Agreement, which will not be the subject of a motion for final approval." The court is expected to grant the motion. Publishers Weekly reports.


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