Several major libraries have started saying no to Google’s offer to digitize their books for free – so long as the digitized books are not made available to any commercial search engine but Google. Instead, these libraries are going with the Internet Archive’s Open Archive Alliance, where it does cost $30 to digitize each book, but the content is genuinely open. As a librarian at the Boston Public Library says in this short video at the Open Content Alliance, an important principle of libraries is that they should be open to everyone – indeed, the Boston Public Library has the words “FREE FOR ALL” emblazoned above the entrance door. The New York Times also reports on this. (Via if:book)

4 thoughts on “libraries say no to Google, yes to Open Archiving of digitized books

  1. b¯rge

    Yes! What fantastic news! A truckload of kudos to them all!

  2. Anne Helmond

    Reposted comment from the Blog Herald:

    Even though I dislike CAPTCHAís as they sometimes refrain me from commenting (especially after two failed attempts) I recently discovered that there is a nice concept behind them. Von Ahn, who helped develop CAPTCHA, developped a new variant called reCAPTCHA:

    reCAPTCHA is the process of utilizing CAPTCHA to improve the process of digitizing books. It takes scanned words that optical character recognition software reported undetectable and presents them for humans to decipher as CAPTCHA words alongside words recognized by the computer. (Wikipedia)

    CAPTCHAs are being used in a distributed system where human intelligence is helping ìbook-scanning project of the Internet Archive, a nonprofit project in San Francisco that aims to digitize millions of public-domain books and put them online for free.î (Wired Magazine)

    It made me reconsider CAPTCHAs that are still a barrier to commenting but have a good side nonetheless.

    PS: Unfortunately your link to the project is broken (html gone wild).

  3. Jim

    Thanks to Jill for the word on the Archive video.

  4. Jim

    Thanks to Jill for the word on the Archive video.

Leave A Comment

Recommended Posts

Machine Vision

Cultural Representations of Machine Vision: An Experimental Mixed Methods Workshop

Call for submissions to a workshop, Bergen, Norway
Workshop dates: 15-17 August 2022
Proposals due: 15 June

The Machine Vision in Everyday Life project invites proposals for an interdisciplinary workshop using qualitative approaches and digital methods to analyse how machine vision is represented in art, science fiction, games, social media and other forms of cultural and aesthetic expression.

Digital Humanities Machine Vision

What do different machine vision technologies do in fiction and art?

For the Machine Vision in Everyday Life project we’ve analysed how machine vision technologies are portrayed and used in 500 works of fiction and art, including 77 digital games, 190 digital artworks and 233 movies, novels and other narratives. You can browse […]

AI and algorithmic culture Presentations

My talk on caring AIs in recent sci-fi novels

I’m giving a talk at an actual f2f academic conference today, Critical Borders, Radical Re(visions) of AI, in Cambridge. I was particularly excited to see this conference because it’s organised by the people who edited AI Narratives A History of Imaginative Thinking […]