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October 30, 2008

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Helen

One word comes to mind: Monopoly.

Jim C

Or monoculture.

What no one's mentioned yet-- no downloads allowed of in-copyright material. Even if you buy the book! And limited printing. No remote access unless you're with a university. And public libraries get only ONE terminal, where all you can do is look at the book, and pay a per-page fee for printing.

All in all, it's pretty useless-- not good for serious scholarly work, unless you like taking notes in front of a computer screen. A lot of hype-- and-- worse-- google isn't even as yet adhering to their public domain full-view requirements with the host libraries. They also say in the agreement that they will identify every PD book no matter from when-- but when?

Marcus

Thanks for the comments! Jim C, for some reason your comment appeared three times; I pared it down to one.

On one hand, it's not good for a corporation to have responsibility for such an academic task as digital book preservation. On the other hand, who else is rising to the challenge? Google is kind of an obvious whipping boy in these discussions, so I remain torn.

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