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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.
Forcing Google to delete user data after six months could dent its ability to predict pandemics such as swine flu, said the search giant's co-founder.
Larry Page said he thought more debate was needed around the issue of storing user data.
Brewster Kahle: If approved, the settlement would produce not one but two court-sanctioned monopolies. Google will have permission to bring under its sole control information that has been accessible through public institutions for centuries. In essence, Google will be privatizing our libraries.
From article by Paul Boutin:
My entire workday takes place inside a browser window. Web-based email. Web-based chat. Web-based blog editor. Web-based billing system. Instead of watching my PC’s desktop sputter, I spend a lot of time impatiently waiting for my Firefox browser to load pages.
Or I did, until I took a chance on Google’s new browser, Chrome. My instant reaction: Holy heck! This thing is fast!
Get Chrome here.
Another article discussing the Google Book Search deal from The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required). The article points out that some of the issues at stake in the deal are different for academic authors than for published authors: "A professional writer and an academic author often have different notions about when and how to make work available. One counts on revenue from book sales; the other cares more about spreading ideas."
Over the weekend, on a mailing list associated with new media transformations, there emerged a debate on the inherent utility of Google Book Search (GBS). Involving Paul Duguid of the Information School at UC Berkeley, Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land, Tim O’Reilly from O’Reilly Media, and Donald Waters of the The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (as well as a few others not excerpted here), the debate drew out many of the tensions of GBS.
The Justice Department has begun an inquiry into the antitrust implications of Google’s settlement with authors and publishers over its Google Book Search service, two people briefed on the matter said Tuesday.
Lawyers for the Justice Department have been in conversations in recent weeks with various groups opposed to the settlement, including the Internet Archive and Consumer Watchdog. More recently, Justice Department lawyers notified the parties to the settlement, including Google, and representatives for the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild, that they were looking into various antitrust issues related to the far-reaching agreement.
Publishers Weekly reports: A federal judge overseeing the approval process for the Google Book Search settlement has rejected an attempt by the Internet Archive (IA) to intervene in the action. In a short ruling released today, Judge Dennis Chin wrote that he construed the IA’s letter to the court, filed last week, as “a motion to intervene,” and denied it. “The proposed interveners are, however, free to file objections to the proposed settlement.” Objections and comments must be filed by May 5.
The IA had asked the court to alter the proposed settlement to give other companies that have scanned printed books the same protections regarding orphan works that would be granted to Google under the terms of the settlement. The IA had said it does not want to file an amicus brief, also known as a friend of the court brief, as other parties said they intend to do, and it believes “there are no existing parties in the case that could adequately represent the Archive’s interests, or the interest of other Internet content providers.”
My sincere apologies for the tardiness on this episode. We had a family issue come up that necessitated traveling and the chaos that goes with it, so I'm just now getting it online.
This time around, The Faceless Historian ushers you down the aisle of history with some key stops in (THIS... IS...) Sparta(!). Then he provides a dash of poetry and weird books before introducing you to a daughter and a unicycling scientist. Where does it end? Well, I suppose you could use Google to find out.
Sometimes, you don't even know if there is barbarian At The Gates.13:24 minutes (8 MB)