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Stanford Signs Google Book Search Agreement, Endorses Court Settlement
Stanford University (www.stanford.edu) has affirmed its support for the recently amended Google Book Search settlement agreement, which is now before a federal court, by expanding its earlier agreement with Google, Inc. to digitize its library materials. The expanded agreement establishes it as a "Fully Participating Library" under the terms of the amended settlement agreement.
"Stanford is on the cutting edge of technology development and is using technology to improve access to information not just for their faculty and students, but for the world," said Dan Clancy, Google Books engineering director. "Their early participation was important to the establishment of the Google Books project, and we're very pleased that they have continued to support this effort and expanded their commitment under the terms of the settlement."
University librarian Michael A. Keller said, "We are highly supportive of the amended settlement, which offers an enormous public good, making the full text of millions of books available to the American public."
Keller added that another effect of the settlement is to respect the rights and prerogatives of authors and publishers at the same time as it increases public access. "The settlement creates a working partnership among authors, publishers, libraries, and Google that will usher in a revolutionary change in access to books on library shelves, even beyond the incredibly powerful vision that Google Books first developed. It's no longer just about finding books of potential interest; it makes them vastly more readily readable. The agreement also compensates authors and publishers for the use of works that, by virtue of being out of print, would not have earned the rightsholders any income-a novel and, for most authors, a most welcome innovation."
Over the past 5 years, Google has scanned more than 1.7 million books owned by Stanford and plans to scan millions more. More than 2 dozen other major libraries around the world are now involved in this project.
This action by Stanford runs counter to the recent rush of court filings from interested parties that are still opposed to the proposed amended settlement. For more information and links to some filings, see www.openbookalliance.org. Objections were due to the court by Jan. 28; the final fairness court hearing is scheduled for Feb. 18.
Google news release on the settlement agreement: www.google.com/intl/en/press/pressrel/20081027_booksearchagreement.html
Source: Stanford University
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