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Google Books Mutilates the Printed Past

Article in The Chronicle of Higher Education

In its frenzy to digitize the holdings of its partner collections, in this case those of the Stanford University Libraries, Google Books has pursued a "good enough" scanning strategy. The books' pages were hurriedly reproduced: No apparent quality control was employed, either during or after scanning. The result is that 29 percent of the pages in Volume 1 and 38 percent of the pages in Volume 2 are either skewed, blurred, swooshed, folded back, misplaced, or just plain missing. A few images even contain the fingers of the human page-turner.



This is a Google search box that searches only LISNEWS


Google's Oligarchic Algorithm

Andrew Lehman: "As a small web developer seeking rankings for small, local businesses, I find the decisions that Google has made over the years have been sometimes fair, sometimes selfish, sometimes in between. The trend has been toward depreciating its mission of providing useful searches in order to make money while encouraging the corporate status quo."


Search is too important to leave to one company – even Google

Search is too important to leave to one company – even Google:

The question of what we can and can't see when we go hunting for answers demands a transparent, participatory solution. There's no dictator benevolent enough to entrust with the power to determine our political, commercial, social and ideological agenda. This is one for The People.

EU to study how Google Books impact authors

The European Union's executive body will study plans by Google to make millions of books available online after Germany said the Internet company's project flouts EU copyright law.

The bloc's industry ministers agreed on Thursday to ask the European Commission to look at how Google's settlement with authors in the United States affect writers' rights in the EU.

Two Google Book stories

Story one: New Web site to amplify debate on Google book deal

Caroline Vanderlip believes the escalating debate over Google Inc.'s plans for a vast Internet library of copyright-protected literature will yield enough compelling material to fill a book.

That's one reason why SharedBook Inc., a 5-year-old company run by Vanderlip, has set up a Web site so the supporters and opponents of Google's digital book project can more easily post their opinions about a legal settlement that will help fulfill or possibly derail the Internet search leader's ambitions.
The site,, is set to debut Thursday. Full article here.

Story two: EU to study how Google Books impact authors


Google Wave

As seen on

1. segphault: I'm really enamored with the Google Wave concept. It's a federated communication system with an open protocol!
2. alphakamp: @segphault I really dont see why/what they are doing, isnt this essentially what !omb is? why do this but drop jaiku?
3. segphault: @alphakamp: Wave isn't a replacement for OMB. It's a completely different kind of communication. Lots of potential for integrating the two.
4. alphakamp: @segphault ah now that makes sense, glad someone could interpret better than I can, #googlewave

Available reporting:
PCMag Digital Network
PC World

EFF weighs in on Google Books Settlement

This just in from the Electronic Frontier Foundation with most of their call shown after the "read more" jump:

We are putting together a group of authors (or their heirs or assigns)
who are concerned about the Google Book Search settlement and its effect
on the privacy and anonymity of readers.

Google Book-Scanning Pact to Give Libraries Input on Price

In a move that could blunt some of the criticism of Google for its settlement of a lawsuit over its book-scanning project, the company signed an agreement with the University of Michigan that would give some libraries a degree of oversight over the prices Google could charge for its vast digital library.

Google has faced an onslaught of opposition over the far-reaching settlement with authors and publishers. Complaints include the exclusive rights the agreement gives Google to publish online and to profit from millions of so-called orphan books, out-of-print books that are protected by copyright but whose rights holders cannot be found.

Full story here.



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