Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

More on access to Google's scanned books

Barbara Quint, Google Opens Public Domain Books for Downloading, Michigan Launches MBooks, Information Today Newsbreaks, September 5, 2006.  Excerpt:
Google has changed its policy and will now allow users to download full-image files of public domain books in its Google Book Search collection. Until now, Google had insisted that readers remain connected to Google while they read any public domain books online. Why the change in policy? According to Adam M. Smith, product manager for Google Book Search, “It stemmed from listening to users and our library partners.” Competition may have had some influence, however, both from the downloading policies of the Open Content Alliance and, now, from Google’s own library partners. For example, the University of Michigan—one of Google Book Search’s most generous and activist library partners—has begun releasing MBooks to the open Web, as well as to its campus users. The MBooks collection currently includes hundreds of thousands of books Google has digitized from the University of Michigan’s library collection. The MBooks offer different features than the versions Google Book Search supplies directly. It also includes in-copyright books, though only to produce individual book indexing....