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Re: Book-scanning projects - a question

Hello Bernie,

Because the activity of digitization generally implicates several 
copyright holder's rights (reproduction, distribution, 
derivation, and possibly public display or performance), most 
digitization programs focus first on the lowest hanging fruit, 
which as you mention is content in the public domain.

There are many sources of public domain books: not only the 
aforementioned titles published in the US before 1923, but also 
books published before 1978 without notice;  and books published 
and copyrighted between 1923 and 1963 but not timely renewed. 
Various digitization programs are evaluating these post-1922 
books for their copyright status and choosing to digitize based 
on their findings.

At one time OCLC proposed to develop a database of copyright 
information to enable institutions to upload their findings about 
the copyright status of a given work.  Such a resource would be a 
great service by allowing us to leverage others' research and 
share what we figure out in our own programs.

Gail P. Clement
Associate Professor
Outreach Librarian, Digital Services & Scholarly Communication
University Libraries
Texas A&M University

>>> "B.G. Sloan" <bgsloan2@yahoo.com> 7/1/2010 10:17 PM >>>

Here's something I've always been curious about...

Most of the book-scanning projects are focusing on digitizing 
works in the public domain, right? And the public domain is 
basically books published before 1923, right?

So, aren't most of these projects the equivalent of building a 
physical library collection of pre-1923 books?

I realize that Google is THE big exception here. They're scanning 
in-copyright works. But it remains to be seen, pending the Google 
books settlement,what sort of access we all will get to these 
works. Google may well wind up being largely a pre-1923 library 
collection, with some exceptions regarding access to the full 
text of post-1923 works.

Anyway, like I said...something I've always been curious about, 
so I thought I'd finally ask. :-)

Bernie Sloan