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October 28, 2008

Google Reaches Agreement with Book Publishers

Today Google announced that it has filed a settlement agreement with the publishers and authors groups who were suing it for providing access to the full text of books via the Google Books Project. See the article at

From the press release:

The agreement promises to benefit readers and researchers, and enhance the ability of authors and publishers to distribute their content in digital form, by significantly expanding online access to works through Google Book Search, an ambitious effort to make millions of books searchable via the Web. The agreement acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright owners, provides an efficient means for them to control how their intellectual property is accessed online and enables them to receive compensation for online access to their works.

If approved by the court, the agreement would provide:

* More Access to Out-of-Print Books – Generating greater exposure for millions of in-copyright works, including hard-to-find out-of-print books, by enabling readers in the U.S. to search these works and preview them online;
* Additional Ways to Purchase Copyrighted Books – Building off publishers’ and authors’ current efforts and further expanding the electronic market for copyrighted books in the U.S., by offering users the ability to purchase online access to many in-copyright books;
* Institutional Subscriptions to Millions of Books Online – Offering a means for U.S. colleges, universities and other organizations to obtain subscriptions for online access to collections from some of the world’s most renowned libraries;
* Free Access From U.S. Libraries – Providing free, full-text, online viewing of millions of out-of-print books at designated computers in U.S. public and university libraries; and
* Compensation to Authors and Publishers and Control Over Access to Their Works – Distributing payments earned from online access provided by Google and, prospectively, from similar programs that may be established by other providers, through a newly created independent, not-for-profit Book Rights Registry that will also locate rightsholders, collect and maintain accurate rightsholder information, and provide a way for rightsholders to request inclusion in or exclusion from the project.

Under the agreement, Google will make payments totaling $125 million. The money will be used to establish the Book Rights Registry, to resolve existing claims by authors and publishers and to cover legal fees....

Holders worldwide of U.S. copyrights can register their works with the Book Rights Registry and receive compensation from institutional subscriptions, book sales, ad revenues and other possible revenue models, as well as a cash payment if their works have already been digitized.

Libraries at the Universities of California, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Stanford have provided input into the settlement and expect to participate in the project, including by making their collections available. Along with a number of other U.S. libraries that currently work with Google, their significant efforts to preserve, maintain and provide access to books have played a critical role in achieving this agreement and, through their anticipated participation, they are furthering such efforts while making books even more accessible to students, researchers and readers in the U.S. It is expected that additional libraries in the U.S. will participate in this project in the future.

Note: As a member of the CIC, the University of Illinois is in line to have over 1 million of it's books digitized by Google, and added to Google Books. Read more about this local endeavor.

Posted by Katie Newman at 9:51 AM

October 17, 2008

Short Videos in Support of Open Access

As part of the October 14th Open Access Day, several videos were produced in which folks from various walks of life describe what having free, open access to research journal articles has meant to them. Several of the clips refer to "PLoS" journals. PLoS refers to the Public Library of Science; PLoS publishes several freely available, quality journals in the areas of biology, medicine, genetics, pathogens, and other subjects. PLoS was a sponsor of Open Access Day.

You can view all the videos back to back, or view them one at a time:

Posted by Katie Newman at 2:22 PM

October 12, 2008

Open Access Day at Illinois

Interested in Open Access?

October 14, 6:00 - 7:15 PM, Grainger Commons (Grainger Engineering Library)

Join the University Library, SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), the Public Library of Science (PLoS),and Students for Free Culture for the first international Open Access Day. Learn more about Open Access, including recent mandates and emerging policies, within the international higher education community and the general public! Hear from researchers, students, librarians, and others on the impact of Open Access. Read more at:

Posted by Sarah Shreeves at 11:08 PM