Already facing a legal challenge for alleged copyright infringement, Google's crusade to build a digital library has triggered a philosophical debate with an alternative project promising better online access to the world's books, art and historical documents.
The latest tensions revolve around Google's insistence on chaining the digital content to its Internet-leading search engine and the nine major libraries that have aligned themselves with the Mountain View-based company.
A group called the Open Content Alliance favors a less restrictive approach to prevent mankind's accumulated knowledge from being controlled by a commercial entity. "You are talking about the fruits of our civilization and culture. You want to keep it open and certainly don't want any company to enclose it," said Doron Weber, program director of public understanding of science and technology for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The New York-based foundation on Wednesday will announce a $1 million grant to the Internet Archive, a leader in the Open Content Alliance, to help pay for digital copies of collections
UIUC is a member of the Open Content Alliance and soon will begin digitizing public domain materials that will be available through OCA. You can read more of the article quoted above at cnn.com 12/19/06
Posted by P. Kaufman at December 20, 2006 8:40 AM