Dan Clancy Answers a Few Quick Questions About the New Google Book Search Settlement

This post, from Siva Vaidhyanathan, originally appeared on his The Googlization of Everything site on 11/17/09 and is reprinted here in its entirety with his permission. Dan Clancy is the Engineering Director for Google Books.

Hi Dan.

I know it must have been a stressful week for you. So I hesitate to ask you for a favor. But there are a lot of people in the scholarly/library community who have unanswered questions about the terms of the new GBS deal. So I was hoping you could help us out.

Would you mind answering these so I can post the answers on my blog?

1) The settlement is now restricted to works from the Anglophone world (which will mean mostly, but not entirely, books in English). Does that mean y’all will stop scanning books published and copyrighted in other countries that sit on the shelves of partner libraries?

Dan: Google is still scanning non-english books just as we are doing today. These books simply are not covered by the settlement so we will treat them as we do today (i.e. showing snippets, etc). As always, if a rightsholder requests that we not scan their book or that we stop indexing their book and showing results in Google, we will respect this request.

2) Will you still offer research access to the larger corpus of works (including non-Anglophone-published works)? Or will you restrict research access to works covered by the settlement plus public domain plus partner books?

Dan: The library partners are responsible for creating the research corpus. The settlement agreement will only provide authorization regarding the research corpus for those books covered by the settlement agreement. How they decide to use those books not covered by the settlement agreement is up to our partner libraries and what is allowed under US copyright law.

3) Does Hathi have to remove non-Anglophone-published books from its collection?

Dan: No. Again, everything stays the same as today.


4) How does this settlement affect the scanning deals you have with BN in France and other such sources of books?

Dan: There is no impact. The settlement only covered scanning in the US to begin with. All of our partnerships with non-US libraries focus on public domain books or books where there is explicit authorization.

Thank you, Dan!