Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2007 Issue

Objections Raised To Google Book Search (And This Time It's Not From Publishers)

Oca

The OCA motto, from video on their website.


By Michael Stillman

Not all institutions are pleased with Google or Microsoft's massive book scanning projects, and it is not for the reason most frequently raised, copyright violation. Google began a project of digitizing the contents of millions of old, mostly out of copyright books a few years ago. Microsoft has followed suit with its own project. The idea is to make the content of millions of virtually lost and forgotten old books available to everyone everywhere through the internet. However, Google long ago ran into major opposition from book publishers.

While the publishers have raised no objection to the digitizing of out of copyright material (how could they?), Google has gone a step beyond by scanning material that may still be under copyright (all pre-1923 American books are out of copyright, but many later ones may or may not be depending on whether copyrights were renewed in the past). What has upset publishers is the fact that Google will show portions of protected material without first obtaining the copyright holder's permission. Google will remove books if the holder objects, but the publishers believe this is backwards, that permission must be obtained first before Google can display the books. Microsoft, which has been busy launching its own book search, has avoided this objection by scanning only out of copyright books or those for which it has received the copyright holder's permission.

However, we now discover another objection has been raised to the Google and Microsoft projects, and this one comes not from publishers but from libraries. The New York Times, in its October 22 edition, reports that a number of libraries and institutions, including the Boston Public Library, a consortium of research and academic libraries including the Universities of Massachusetts and Connecticut, and the Smithsonian have withheld their books from Google's scanners. Instead, they are making their collections available only to the Open Content Alliance, another organization involved in the digitizing of old books, but unlike Google and Microsoft, a nonprofit association.

Here is the issue. While Google and Microsoft scan the books in the institutional libraries at no charge to the cooperating institution, they place restrictions on how these digitized books may be viewed. Access to the texts is free, but the scanners require that the books be reached only through their respective search engines. So, if you want to view a book Google has scanned, you can only find it by using Google's search engine. You cannot access it through Microsoft or Yahoo's search engine. The same applies to books Microsoft has scanned and Microsoft's search engine.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <center><b>Gonnelli Auction House<br>Books and Graphics<br>19th, 20th and 21st April 2021</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br>Atlases and Maps</b
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br> Veneto and Venice, a Selection of Books from the XVI to XX century</b>
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 20<br></b>Rossini Gioachino, Baguette de chef d'orchestre appartenuta a Gioachino Rossini, dono del Comune di Passy. 1500 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Manetti Saverio, Storia naturale degli uccelli trattata con metodo. Cinque volumi. 1767. 18.000 €
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 21<br></b>Poe Edgar Allan, Double assassinat dans la rue morgue. Illustrations de Cura. 1946.
    <b><center>Gonnelli: Apr. 19-21<br>Books from XVI to XX Century</b>

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