We’ve been waiting over a year for the court to issue a decision regarding the Google Books settlement. We finally got one today, and, unfortunately, the judge declined to approve the settlement.
What does this mean? It is clearly disappointing that the settlement – which would have opened up access to millions of out-of-print books that today are nearly impossible to access – was not approved. We're still reviewing the Court's decision and will consider our options going forward.
What *doesn’t* this mean? It doesn’t change our continuing commitment to opening up access to books in partnership with authors, publishers, and libraries. As we’ve said many times in the past, opening access to books is an incredibly important effort, and one that’s much bigger than this settlement.
- We’ll continue to develop Google Books and to digitize works through our Library Project. To date, we have digitized over 15 million books that you can search across, including nearly 3 million out-of-copyright books that you can read and download for free. (The judge’s decision has no immediate impact on our existing product, as it only concerned the settlement, which would have increased access beyond this point, particularly when it comes to in-copyright, out-of-print books.)
- We'll also keep growing Google eBooks and our Partner Program for publishers. More than 35,000 partners have joined the Partner Program, including nearly every major U.S. publisher.
- And finally, we’ll continue to work with Congress to support copyright legislation that increases access to all books.
We look forward to a day when any student, teacher, librarian or book lover will have access to the great collections of our world’s research libraries. We hope it won’t be much longer, and we look forward to continuing to work with you on this important effort. We’ll be in touch as we consider our options, and we appreciate your continuing support.
Associated Press story
Former Vancouver City Librarian Paul Whitney has been engaged by the Canada Council on behalf of the Public Lending Right Commission to carry out a study on eBooks and their potential impacts on PLR in Canada. Paul will be assisted by Olivier Charbonneau of Concordia University Library who will be liasing with Quebec publishers and public libraries. Both Paul and Olivier have both served on the PLR Commission and Comission Executive.
With the assistance of the CULC Executive Director, Jefferson Gilbert, Paul will be surveying and in discussions with PLR sampled CULC/CBUC libraries to assess the present state of eBook collections and emerging trends in Canadian public libraries. Interviews ware being undertaken with representatives of the key publishing stakeholders on the rapid changes taking place with Canadian eBook production and distribution to libraries.
The three pilot library systems (Fraser Valley, Burlington and Winnipeg) are finishing their final reports on their experiences with the Lest We Forget program. These libraries offered Lest We Forget workshops in their communities to local high school students as a partnership with CULC/CBUC and Library and Archives Canada. Toronto Public Library was also a pilot site, but it did not channel through CULC/CBUC.
More than 800 students participated in over 30 workshops (some are scheduled, but have not been run yet). This is 50% of the 2009 total that were offered when the program was only available through the LAC location in Ottawa. LAC is very pleased with the pilot outcomes. A final report is being done and next steps will be posted when they are available.
Thanks to the hard work by staff at the pilot libraries including:
- Fraser Valley Regional Library - Ada Con, Frances Thomson, Antoinette Guillou and Rob O'Brennan.
- Winnipeg Public Library - Eric Hunt, Louis-Phillippe Bujold, Darlene Wusaty, Rose Dietz, Shelly Lesyshen, Susan Best, Sherry Galagan, Coralyn Seburn and Rick Walker
- Burlington Public Library - Christine Malliane Moore; Kathy Walls; Kathryn Fabbricino, Cecelia Vespa, Ivars Kops, Judy Foster (Volunteer), Justy Hyland and Maureen Barry.