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« Little Dorrit: IV | Main | Signs that you may be a literary historian who works on obscure novels, #291 »

April 21, 2009

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Laura Vivanco

I wonder if Google will get rights over some of them because according to one article I read,

Generally, the settlement provides that in-print copyright books will not be available for any of the above commercial display uses by Google unless the rights-holders actively opt in. For out-of print copyright books, Google is free to make such uses unless the rights-holders opt out.

It's important to understand that “in print,” for settlement purposes, may not mean what they think it means. It is, in fact, short-hand for “commercially available,” meaning “offered for sale, new, through one or more then-current customary channels of trade in the United States.”

It's probably explained somewhere, but I did wonder about dissertations, because they look like books, but they're not "in print."

And then the article continued with some other observations which were rather troubling:

The implications of the settlement get bigger the longer one thinks about it, and it is early days yet. One implication you won't find mentioned in U.S. summaries is the effect on libraries in Canada and the rest of the world. Unable to get access to a Google institutional subscription outside the U.S., Canada's university libraries will be unable to compete with the more comprehensive offerings in the U.S., or, for that matter, with the offerings of even the smallest of its public libraries, each of which is entitled under the settlement to free access on one terminal to the entire Google database.

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