"Access to the Agreement between Google Books and the British Library"

In "Access to the Agreement between Google Books and the British Library," Javier Ruiz of the Open Rights Group analyzes the Google Books contract between Google and the British Library (includes a link to contract).

Here's an excerpt:

The British Library recently announced to much fanfare a deal with Google to make available online a quarter of a million books no longer restricted by copyright, thus in the public domain.

The deal is presented as a win-win situation, where Google pays for the costs of scanning the books, which will be available on both Google and BL's websites. This sounds very philanthropic from Google, however the catch is in the detail:

"Once digitised, these unique items will be available for full text search, download and reading through Google Books, as well as being searchable through the Library's website and stored in perpetuity within the Library's digital archive."

In order to find out what this really means we asked the British Library for a copy of the agreement with Google, which was not uploaded to their transparency website with other similar contracts, as it didn't involve monetary exchange.

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