Books have always played a central role in the evolution and propagation of human culture and knowledge. The topic of digitizing books, in particular, is of special interest to the Computer History Museum's community: On March 1, a standing-room crowd in Hahn Auditorium heard a fascinating discussion on Information Technology and the Future of Books, Publishing, and Libraries in partnership with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Now CHM takes another step in its exploration of this field by devoting an evening to the discussion of Google's ambitious effort to digitize the world's books.
Join Daniel Clancy, Engineering Director of Google Books, as he discusses Google's historic project to provide greater access to books online. Clancy will talk firsthand about the fundamentals of digitizing books, the recent settlement agreement between Google, authors and publishers, and the implications he sees for the business, publishing and academic communities (see Background below).
Our second speaker, John Hollar, CEO of the Computer History Museum, is a former senior executive in the publishing industry. He will draw upon his rich experience in books and online media to examine with Clancy what the Google Books agreement means for users' ability to access content online, and to inform the audience about the substance (or possibly lack thereof) in the public discussion and discourse on the subject.
In October 2008, Google and a broad class of authors and publishers announced an agreement to settle the lawsuits brought against Google Books. The lawsuits alleged copyright violation for scanning pages of copyrighted works for purposes of indexing and providing snippets.
If approved by the court, the agreement offers unprecedented opportunities for users to access the wealth of information found in books. Google's view, and that of many scholars, readers, librarians, and book creators, is that the agreement opens the door to greater information for users, as well as greater competition and innovation in the digital print market.
Some have been making the case that the agreement will give Google an unfair edge in selling books, in particular the so-called orphan and out-of-print books. In October 2009, the court will hold a hearing to consider objections and determine whether the settlement is to be approved.
Please join us as the Computer History Museum presents history in the making to examine this groundbreaking agreement and its many implications for digital print and the public at large.
Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Boulevard
Mountain View, CA, 94043