EBLIDA position statement for the European Commission’s Google Book US Settlement Agreement information hearing, Brussels, 7th September 2009
EBLIDA is the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations. We are an independent umbrella association of national library, information, documentation and archive associations and institutions in Europe. We promote unhindered access to information in the digital age and the role of archives and libraries in achieving this goal.
Google Book Search Programme
The Google Book Search programme has the potential to provide public access to a digital library of millions of books. It will, fully developed, be an unprecedented source for the advancement of learning and human development.
Google and representatives of rights owners and publishers have come to an agreement on how to settle the copyright and other legal issues in relation to the Book Search Project. This settlement is now under review by the United States District Court, Southern District of New York.
The settlement allows Google to offer four primary services:
- Previews. All users in the United States may search Google’s entire search database for digitized books free, and see up to 20 % text from out-of-print books. (There are special rules for special categories e.g. fiction vs. non-fiction.).
- Consumer purchases. Consumers may buy perpetual online access to the full text of out-of -print books. In-print books require that the copyright owner "opt in".
- Institutional subscriptions. Users within an institution which has paid a subscription may view the full text of all the books in the Institutional Subscription Database (ISD), which will include all the books in the in-copyright but out-of-print category.
- Free Public Access Service. Google may provide Free Public Access Service to not-for-profit Higher Education Institutions and Public libraries on specified conditions. In the case of each Public Library, no more than one terminal per library building.
EBLIDA hopes that this settlement will be the beginning of a fruitful cooperation between Google and the rights owners.
EBLIDA wants to draw attention to conditions that are of concern to European librarians.
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