If you are not already familar with Google Books, it’s likely you stumble across it sooner or later as it grows (and grows…!) The sheer volume of information available is overwhelming, some 7 million books to date, all with full text searches available! Great for the user. A minefield of conflicting interests it would seem for Google, and many issues to be aware of as a potential uploader.
The lead link on the NYTimes outlines some of the objections growing around this business model since the settlement of a class-action suit that “would allow Google to profit from digitial versions of millions of books it has scanned from libraries” See the Google announcement here and also you can read the NYTimes write up on the settlement news here.
This is an interesting example of the problems of rights surrounding digitisation of content. James Grimmelmann, mentioned in the lead-link article, writes a blog that has been following these issues, in particular the Google Book project.
CAS-IP has had queries from CG Centres about Google Books in the past. Some of the questions raised dealt with a) permission required from joint publishers before uploading content, b) print vs digital rights, c) complexity of territorial rights for copyright. In today’s online environment content can be digitised, uploaded, and accessed all at the click of a button. This ease shouldn’t be confused with a more relaxed attitude to intellectual property rights.