Dan Gillmor

Putting Books Online the Right Way

NY Times: Libraries Shun Deals to Place Books on Web. Several major research libraries have rebuffed offers from Google and Microsoft to scan their books into computer databases, saying they are put off by restrictions these companies want to place on the new digital collections. The research libraries, including a large consortium in the Boston area, are instead signing on with the Open Content Alliance, a nonprofit effort aimed at making their materials broadly available.

Google is not doing a bad thing, by any means. But it’s too much to ask a for-profit company to not ultimately abuse the basic monopoly it’s seeking in this case.

The Open Content Alliance is the right next step. It’s worth everyone’s support.