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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

University of Michigan expands Google Book Search agreement

Last week, the University of Michigan announced an expansion to their current Google Book Search scanning agreement. An article from Inside Higher Ed provides the following summary of the new agreement:
  • Universities that have made parts of their collections available for digitization will receive deep discounts on access to the collection, or -- in Michigan's case and perhaps those of others -- will pay nothing for access to the collection, which currently has about 10 million volumes and could easily double in size. Every participating library will have full free access to digitized copies of all of the books it contributed.
  • For people at other institutions, a free "preview" of a book -- with about 20 percent of content -- will be available online.
  • Individuals will be able to purchase full access (but not download a copy) at prices that Google said would be inexpensive compared to regular purchase prices.
  • Colleges and university libraries could buy site licenses, with pricing based on Carnegie classification. While no scale was released, Google officials said that the goal of pricing would be both to provide appropriate recognition to copyright holders but also to ensure wide access to the collections.
  • Any of the universities that have provided volumes for the project will have the right to seek arbitration if they feel that the pricing does not reflect both of those principles.

While the new agreement addresses the pricing issue, some of the pricing details have not been released so it is not certain that the agreement is enough to keep Google from overcharging. Corey Williams, associate director for the American Library Association’s Washington office commented that the agreement is a “step in the right direction with regard to pricing” but notes that “we think any library should have the ability to review pricing.” It is expected that the other universities participating in the digitization effort could sign similar agreements.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The amended agreement between Google and the University of Michigan begins to align the previous agreement with what is anticipated under the preliminary settlement agreement. The summary page at the Univ of Michigan give a good overview of the changes. I also found a few other things that weren't mentioned in the press release or the summary page.