Ann Arbor Weather:
Tuesday October 24, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

Paul Courant's Second Act

 

continued

Books published before 1922, and thus no longer copyright protected, are available in their entirety. Anyone, inside or outside the university, can read them. Most newer works are assumed to be still under copyright, and only a snippet is put online: search for "Google Books Portnoy's Complaint" and you'll get only the publisher's description, links to websites that discuss the Philip Roth novel, and a sampler of the most common words in the text (including bar mitzvah, Empire Burlesque, Gracie Mansion, and a number of graphic sexual terms).

Obscenities aside, this summary seems no more threatening than an old-fashioned card catalog. So what's fueling the outrage and the lawsuits? In part, growing unease about Google's power. Robert Darnton, Harvard's university librarian, protested in a New York Review of Books article that when the digitization project is complete, "Google will enjoy what can only be called a monopoly" in providing digitized texts. That concentration makes some people instinctively uneasy. "What if Google goes bankrupt?" asks former U-M library head Richard Dougherty. "You wonder what will happen to all that information."

But the truly incendiary questions concern authors' rights. The two Authors Guild lawsuits illuminate the complexities posed by libraries' seemingly straightforward desire to make their books available online.

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 ... 11 l 12 l 13 l 14  ·  next page
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Artisan Knitworks Moves to Chelsea
Hand-spun yarns from a husband-and-wife team
Shelley Daily
Comedy, Storytelling, & Performance Art
Jefferson Market
Your neighbor's place
Lee Lawrence
Barroom Roots
Jennifer Westwood and the Handsome Devils
James M. Manheim
Sixteen Hands
The Emerson and Calidore Quartets
arwulf arwulf
Drought Opens on E. Washington
Juices and cleanses from a quartet of sisters
Sabine Bickford
City Administrator Howard Lazarus
Asking "Why can't we?"
Eve Silberman
Suppressing the Stench
Saline's sewage plant looks for a permanent fix.
James Leonard
Restaurants with Birthday Discount
A clickable zoomable map
Amir ElSaffar
Rivers of sound
Piotr Michalowski
Regent Hotel
String Bass lessons by Steven Sigurdson
A visitor's guide to Ann Arbor