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Intellectual Property

Obama, Libraries and Technology

In his first two days in office, President Obama has definitely given a lot of us the impression that he intends to be President 2.0. Obama's campaign famously used online social networking to tremendous effect, he has since been giving weekly addresses via YouTube and now the new White House Web...

Wowio: It All Ads Up

Wowio, an LLC based in York, Pennsylvania, recently launched a free downloadable e-book service. The company's collection at launch is pretty sparse, but it does include both public domain and copyright-protected e-books. During my first use of the collection, I downloaded both The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn—if for no other reason than to relish Emmeline Grangerford's mournful Ode to Stephen...

UC Libraries Join the Google Books Library Project

Soon after Google announced in late 2004 the collaborative project—currently called the "Google Books Library Project," involving the five research libraries of Stanford, Michigan, Harvard, Oxford, and the New York Public Library—to scan millions of books, the five libraries became known as the "G5 Group."When the G5 Group was mentioned in conversations among librarians, often there was at least...

Squeezing the E-Turnip

Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal reported that Google and an unnamed publisher were having discussions about leasing access to e-books. The general idea is that users would pay approximately ten percent of the list price for the printed book to be able to read the e-book for one week. In other words, they're talking about a pay-per-circ digital lending library. When it comes to new...

Lemony Snippets

Lots of folks are sour on snippets. Google has made lemonade out of the old word "snippet" by using it to describe what will be presented to users when they perform a full-text search in the Google Print Library and retrieve hits for the search term in a work still protected by copyright. Here is Google's brief (and a little vague) description of how this works on the "common questions" page...

Makin' Copies and Caching In

I don't know what possessed me to write a blog entry about copyright. Hasn't enough been written about copyright already—even if the future of copyright, fair use, the right of first sale, and intellectual property in general is arguably one of the essential issues currently confronting society and culture? Here's how it happened. I was walking...