Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, June 13, 2008

Protecting digitization for OA

Cornell Librarian Feels Vindicated After Verdict Over Digitized Article, Library Journal Academic Newswire, June 13, 2008.  Excerpt:

A federal judge last week dismissed Cornell alum Kevin Vanginderen's $1 million lawsuit over a 1983 Cornell Chronicle article digitized by the library and crawled by Google....

That suit notwithstanding, Cornell librarians this week said the decision in the first case was a victory for the library...."I do share concerns that individuals might have about potentially embarrassing material being made public," Cornell university librarian Anne Kenney said, "but I don?t think you can go back and distort the public record." Kenney said that the library has no plans to alter its digitization procedures as a result of the case. "I feel this is a real victory for the library in terms of being able to make documentary material accessible," she said.

Cornell University Library archivist Peter Hirtle reflected on the potential negative impact that could have resulted had Moskowitz found that digitization was the equivalent of republication. "It would be disastrous if every time we scan something, we had to take the same editorial responsibility as the initial publisher," Hirtle said, adding that verdict reaffirmed "the important role libraries can play in promoting free speech and providing ready public access to information on the activities of government."