McCreevy on Google Books Concerns


The EU is really starting to get its hands dirty with Google Books, now rolling out an “impact assessment” for the digitising of books and offering of that digitised content.


For those who’ve missed it so far, a significant amount of the trouble between Europe and Google when it comes to books has been because of Google’s ability to soak up a vast amount of content, scan it and then offer it online without there being any real legal reference point. This has allowed Google to gain the rights to so-called “orphan books,” for which copyright holders can’t be found or contacted.

According to TheRegister, European Commissioners Vivane Reding and our very own Charlie McCreevy “issued a communication” to discuss the “important cultural and legal challenges of mass-scale digitisation and dissemination of books, in particular of European library collections.”

Of course, the “cultural challenge” of digitally scanned books seems a strange thing to be concerned about. Certainly there are lingering issues pertaining to copyright, but it seems likely that the biggest cultural impact of projects like Google Books will be the more widespread dissemination of content, which seems a practical ideal for library projects.

Anyway, if you’d like to read more about the European Commission’s stance on Google Books and just how it hopes to deal with them, you’d do well to check out TheRegister’s article on it, which has an awful lot more detail.


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