Mass Digitization of Books: Exit Microsoft, What Next?

So Microsoft has left the business of digitizing millions of books—apparently because they saw it as no business at all. This leaves Microsoft’s partner (and our partner on the Zotero project), the Internet Archive, somewhat in the lurch, although Microsoft has done the right thing and removed the contractual restrictions on the books they digitized […]

Digital Campus #24 – Running from the Law

On the first podcast of our second year of the Digital Campus podcast, we discuss some of the legal constraints and threats that academic content providers and digital tool builders face—namely, an increasingly confusing and nightmarish patchwork of regulations from copyright to patents. We talk about the ways in which we have tried to pursue […]

Still Waiting for a Real Google Book Search API

For years on this blog, at conferences, and even in direct conversations with Google employees I have been agitating for an API (application programming interface) for Google Book Search. (For a summary of my thoughts on the matter, see my imaginatively titled post, “Why Google Books Should Have an API.”) With the world’s largest collection […]

Google Book Search Begins Adding Quality Control Measures

As predicted in this space six months ago, Google has added the ability for users to report missing or poorly scanned pages in their Book Search. (From my post “Google Books: Champagne or Sour Grapes?“: “Just as they have recently added commentary to Google News, they could have users flag problematic pages.”) I’ll say it […]

Debating Paul Duguid’s Google Books Lament

Over at the O’Reilly Radar, Peter Brantley reprints an interesting debate between Paul Duguid, author of the much-discussed recent article about the quality of Google Books, and Patrick Leary, author of “Googling the Victorians.” I’m sticking with my original negative opinion of the article, which Leary agrees completely with.

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