Saturday, July 25, 2009

Google Books causes concern; Boston Globe, 7/24/09

D.C. Denison via Boston Globe; Google Books causes concern: Digital library’s growth has some worried it may be building a monopoly:

"Dan Clancy makes librarians nervous.

When the Google Books engineering director participated in a panel discussion at the Boston Public Library this week, his opening remarks focused on the search engine’s efforts to enable access for “every kid in Arkansas’’ to Harvard-size digital libraries. But soon afterward, he was hearing from librarians on the panel that they felt “queasy’’ about Google Books...

Google is creating a mega bookstore the likes of which we have never seen,’’ said the panel organizer Maura Marx, executive director of Open Knowledge Commons, a Boston nonprofit organization. “People are very uncomfortable with the idea that one corporation has so much power over such a large collection of knowledge.’’

A growing concern, which was raised during the library panel, is that Google will end up with monopolistic control of access to millions of scanned digital books. This concern was heightened when Google negotiated a settlement with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, groups that represent authors and publishers, after they sued Google to stop the search company from digitizing books."

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