Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More on the agreement between CDL and Google

More people are reading the California Digital Library-Google agreement, and commenting on it. (See yesterday's post) Different details stand out to different people. In an e-mail this morning, Steve Abram noted about the provision that CDL cannot give copies of the digitized materials to other third parties. Quoting ComputerWorld:
The university agreed not to charge or receive payment "or other consideration" for services it provides that use the scanned material, except for supplementary services, such as copying costs or access to annotations. The university is also forbidden from sharing, licensing or selling the material to any third party. It can distribute no more than 10 percent of the scanned material to other libraries and educational institutions for academic purposes.
In the contract, this is covered in section 4.10 on page 6, which talks about use of the Image Coordinates and the University Digital Copy (both defined earlier in the contract).

The easiest question to ask is how will this impact interlibrary loan (ILL) or normal sharing that libraries do? Harder is how will this impact what we know as "the long tail?" Does this limit access to the long tail via CDL? Does it mean that at some point CDL will need to send people to Google to obtain the materials they need? Does CDL then become a "feeder" for Google? And what will the long-long-term effect of this contract be? These questions may take time and experience to answer. Let's hope that the answers are not painful for users.

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