Introducing the Networked Print Book

if:book reports that Manolis Kelaidis made a big splash at the O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing conference with his networked paper book.

Here’s a an excerpt from the posting:

Manolis Kelaidis, a designer at the Royal College of Art in London, has found a way to make printed pages digitally interactive. His "blueBook" prototype is a paper book with circuits embedded in each page and with text printed with conductive ink. When you touch a "linked" word on the page and your finger completes a circuit, sending a signal to a processor in the back cover which communicates by Bluetooth with a nearby computer, bringing up information on the screen.

Here’s an excerpt from a jusTaText posting about the demo:

Yes, he had a printed and bound book which communicated with his laptop. He simply touched the page, and the laptop reacted. It brought up pictures of the Mona Lisa. It translated Chinese. It played a piece of music. Kelaidis suggested that a library of such books might cross-refer, i.e. touching a section in one book might change the colors of the spines of related books on your shelves. Imagine.

POD for Library Users: New York Public Library Tries Espresso Book Machine

The New York Public Library’s Science, Industry, and Business Library has installed an Espresso Book Machine for public use through August.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

The first Espresso Book Machine™ ("the EBM") was installed and demonstrated today at the New York Public Library’s Science, Industry, and Business Library (SIBL). The patented automatic book making machine will revolutionize publishing by printing and delivering physical books within minutes. The EBM is a product of On Demand Books, LLC ("ODB"—www.ondemandbooks.com). . .

The Espresso Book Machine will be available to the public at SIBL through August, and will operate Monday-Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. . . .

Library users will have the opportunity to print free copies of such public domain classics as "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain, "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville, "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens and "Songs of Innocence" by William Blake, as well as appropriately themed in-copyright titles as Chris Anderson’s "The Long Tail" and Jason Epstein’s own "Book Business." The public domain titles were provided by the Open Content Alliance ("OCA"), a non-profit organization with a database of over 200,000 titles. The OCA and ODB are working closely to offer this digital content free of charge to libraries across the country. Both organizations have received partial funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. . . .

The EBM’s proprietary software transmits a digital file to the book machine, which automatically prints, binds, and trims the reader’s selection within minutes as a single, library-quality, paperback book, indistinguishable from the factory-made title.

Unlike existing print on demand technology, EBM’s are fully integrated, automatic machines that require minimal human intervention. They do not require a factory setting and are small enough to fit in a retail store or small library room. While traditional factory based print on demand machines usually cost over $1,000,000 per unit, the EBM is priced to be affordable for retailers and libraries. . . .

Additional EBM’s will be installed this fall at the New Orleans Public Library, the University of Alberta (Canada) campus bookstore, the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont, and at the Open Content Alliance in San Francisco. Beta versions of the EBM are already in operation at the World Bank Infoshop in Washington, DC and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (The Library of Alexandria, Egypt). National book retailers and hotel chains are among the companies in talks with ODB about ordering EBM’s in quantity.

The University of Maine and Two Public Libraries Adopt Emory’s Digitization Plan

Library Journal Academic Newswire reports that the University of Maine, the Toronto Public Library, and the Cincinnati Public Library will follow Emory University’s lead and digitize public domain works utilizing Kirtas scanners with print-on-demand copies being made available via BookSurge. (Also see the press release: "BookSurge, an Amazon Group, and Kirtas Collaborate to Preserve and Distribute Historic Archival Books.")

Source: "University of Maine, plus Toronto and Cincinnati Public Libraries Join Emory in Scan Alternative." Library Journal Academic Newswire, 21 June 2007.

CIC’s Digitization Contract with Google

Library Journal Academic Newswire has published a must-read article ("Questions Emerge as Terms of the CIC/Google Deal Become Public") about the Committee on Institutional Cooperation’s Google Book Search Library Project contract.

The article includes quotes from Peter Brantley, Digital Library Federation Executive Director, from his "Monetizing Libraries" posting about the contract (another must-read piece).

Here’s an excerpt from Brantley’s posting:

In other words—pretty much, unless Google ceases business operations, or there is a legal ruling or agreement with publishers that expressly permits these institutions (excepting Michigan and Wisconsin which have contracts of precedence) to receive digitized copies of In-Copyright material, it will be held in escrow until such time as it becomes public domain.

That could be a long wait. . . .

In an article early this year in The New Yorker, "Google’s Moon Shot," Jeffrey Toobin discusses possible outcomes of the antagonism this project has generated between Google and publishers. Paramount among them, in his mind, is a settlement. . . .

A settlement between Google and publishers would create a barrier to entry in part because the current litigation would not be resolved through court decision; any new entrant would be faced with the unresolved legal issues and required to re-enter the settlement process on their own terms. That, beyond the costs of mass digitization itself, is likely to deter almost any other actor in the market.

Emory Will Use Kirtas Scanner to Digitize Rare Books

Emory University’s Woodruff Library will use a Kirtas robotic book scanner to digitize rare books and to create PDF files that will be made available on the Internet and sold as print-on-demand books on Amazon.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

"We believe that mass digitization and print-on-demand publishing is an important new model for digital scholarship that is going to revolutionize the management of academic materials," said Martin Halbert, director for digital programs and systems at Emory’s Woodruff Library. "Information will no longer be lost in the mists of time when books go out of print. This is a way of opening up the past to the future."

Emory’s Woodruff Library is one of the premier research libraries in the United States, with extensive holdings in the humanities, including many rare and special collections. To increase accessibility to these aging materials, and ensure their preservation, the university purchased a Kirtas robotic book scanner, which can digitize as many as 50 books per day, transforming the pages from each volume into an Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). The PDF files will be uploaded to a Web site where scholars can access them. If a scholar wishes to order a bound, printed copy of a digitized book, they can go to Amazon.com and order the book on line.

Emory will receive compensation from the sale of digitized copies, although Halbert stressed that the print-on-demand feature is not intended to generate a profit, but simply help the library recoup some of its costs in making out-of-print materials available.

Google Library Project Adds Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC)

The Google Book Search Library Project has an important new participant—the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). The CIC members are the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois, Indiana University, the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, the University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As many as 10 million volumes will be digitized from the collections of these major research libraries.

Here’s an excerpt from the CIC press release:

This partnership between our 12 member universities and Google is unprecedented. What makes this work so exciting is that we will literally open the pages of millions of books that have been assembled on our library shelves over more than a century. In literally seconds, we’ll be able browse across the content of thousands of volumes, searching for words or phrases, and making links across those texts that would have taken weeks or months or years of dedicated and scrupulous analysis. It is an extraordinary effort, blending the efforts and aspirations of librarians, university administrators, and scholars from across 12 world-class research universities. And our corporate partner possesses unparalleled expertise in creating and opening the digital world to coherent and comprehensive searching.

The effort is not entirely without controversy—no great undertaking ever is. But our universities believe strongly in the power of information to change the world, and in preserving, protecting and extending access to information. We have carefully weighed and considered the intellectual property issues and believe that our effort is firmly within the guidelines of current copyright law, while providing some flexibility as those laws are tested in the new digital environment in the coming years.

Lawsuit Aside, McGraw-Hill Uses Google Book Search

According to an article in Network World, McGraw-Hill uses Google Book Search on its Web site in spite of the fact that it is suing Google over the product.

How can this be? McGraw-Hill participates in the Google Book Search Partner Program, which gives publishers control over access to their digitized books, but, at the same time, it objects to Google’s efforts to scan and make available copies of its books in libraries without its permission.

Source: Perez, Juan Carlos. "Google’s Book Search Available in Publisher Sites." Network World, 1 June 2007.

E-Book Trial on ScienceDirect

Elsevier has announced that it is conducting an e-book trial on ScienceDirect with over 900 research libraries and corporations.

Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

The trial will provide participating institutes with preliminary access to 500 of the 4,000 scientific and technical books that will be launched on ScienceDirect in the third quarter of 2007. . . .

The eBooks program represents a major expansion to the reference works, handbooks and book series already available on ScienceDirect. At launch, the program will comprise high-quality selected titles published from 1995 to the present day. The books will cover a wide range of scientific disciplines, including those published under the renowned Pergamon and Academic Press imprints. Following the launch, approximately 50 newly published titles will be added to the eBooks list on ScienceDirect each month, offering researchers unparalleled integration and linking between the latest online book and journal information.

European Digital Library Prototype Launches

The Bibliothèque Nationale de France has launched a prototype of the European Digital Library (Europeana).

Here’s an excerpt from "France Launches Francophone Digital Library":

Europeana—as the cyber library is named—currently offers access to some 12,000 public domain full-text documents but is set to have by 2010 over 6 million books, movies, photographs and other documents from across the European Union countries. . . .

"We want to make it so that Europe is not entirely abandoned to an American search engine," said Jean-Noël Jeanneney, the head of BNF, according to French press reports.

The "The European Digital Library in 16 Questions" provides further information about the project.

A press release about the launch is also available (in French).

Polimetrica Publisher: An Open Access Book Publisher

Polimetrica Publisher is a scientific open access book publisher. It has published a number of books in the areas of applied, pure, and human sciences.

This excerpt from its "Our Open Access Manifesto" describes its philosophy and business model:

Polimetrica Publisher works from a simple premise: that for a better future of the people it’s possible to disseminate the knowledge by publishing innovative books freely accessible to anyone in the world who might be interested.

Informed by that premise, we’re trying to build a new model of scientific publishing that embraces economic self-subsistence, openness, and fairness; the model is based on the following elements:

  1. each scientific book is published in two editions: a printed edition, available in the market, and an electronic edition, freely available through the web; both editions are identified by a different ISBN code.
  2. each scientific book is edited in collaboration with universities or with authoritative professors or specialists.
  3. the printed edition is distributed on the international market.
  4. the electronic edition is free access through the Polimetrica web site.
  5. Polimetrica pays to the author or to the academic institution on all sales of the printed edition a 10% royalty of the net receipts.
  6. each scientific publication is funded by a contribution of 1.500 Euros about.
  7. anyone interested in our activities is encouraged to buy a membership; the members will have access to special conditions. Additional information are at the page
    http://www.polimetrica.com/main/membership.php

Polimetrica Publisher currently has three membership options that provide a specified number of books on CD-ROM/DVD, discount prices, and newsletters.

To download free digital book, the user fills out a form providing name, country, and e-mail address. A download link is sent to the provided e-mail address.

A book that may be of particular interest to DigitalKoans readers is Open Access: Open Problems.

Digitization Copyright Wars: Microsoft Blasts Google at AAP

Microsoft Associate General Counsel Thomas Rubin took off the gloves at the Association of American Publishers meeting on Tuesday. The target: Google Book Search. The goal: to contrast Google’s approach to copyright issues associated with digitizing books with Microsoft’s more publisher-friendly approach.

Rubin’s comments included the following:

The stated goal of Google’s Book Search project is to make a copy of every book ever published and bring it within Google’s vast database of indexed content. While Google says that it doesn’t currently intend to place ads next to book search results, Google’s broader business model is straightforward—attract as many users as possible to its site by providing what it considers to be "free" content, then monetize that content by selling ads. I think Pat Schroeder put it best when she said Google has "a hell of a business model—they’re going to take everything you create, for free, and sell advertising around it."

To accomplish its book search goals, Google persuaded several libraries to give it unfettered access to their collections, both copyrighted and public domain works. It also entered into agreements with several publishers to acquire rights to certain of their copyrighted books. Despite such deals, in late 2004 Google basically turned its back on its partners. Concocting a novel "fair use" theory, Google bestowed upon itself the unilateral right to make entire copies of copyrighted books not covered by these publisher agreements without first obtaining the copyright holder’s permission.

Google’s chosen path would no doubt allow it to make more books searchable online more quickly and more cheaply than others, and in the short term this will benefit Google and its users. But the question is, at what long-term cost? In my view, Google has chosen the wrong path for the longer term, because it systematically violates copyright and deprives authors and publishers of an important avenue for monetizing their works. In doing so, it undermines critical incentives to create. . . .

Google defends its actions primarily by arguing that its unauthorized copying and future monetization of your books are protected as fair use. . . .

In essence, Google is saying to you and to other copyright owners: "Trust us—you’re protected. We’ll keep the digital copies secure, we’ll only show snippets, we won’t harm you, we’ll promote you." But Google’s track record of protecting copyrights in other parts of its business is weak at best.

Rubin also discussed Microsoft’s Live Search Academic and Live Search Books in some detail.

Here are some of the more interesting articles and postings about the speech:

Meanwhile, the Bavarian State Library has just joined Google’s library partners, adding about one million books to the project.

Rice University Names Head of Its Digital Press

Fred Moody has been chosen to head the reborn-digital Rice University Press. Based in Seattle (where he will remain), Moody is a journalist and author of books such as I Sing The Body Electronic, Seattle and the Demons of Ambition: From Boom to Bust in the Number One City of the Future, and The Visionary Position: the Inside Story of the Digital Dreamers Who Are Making Virtual Reality a Reality. Moody holds an MLS from the University of Michigan.

Below is an excerpt from the Rice News article ("Moody Tapped to Head Rice University Press"):

The press will start out publishing art history books and grow as peer review panels are added. A second imprint at the press—called Long Tail Press—will be added so publishing can be done in partnership with other university presses. It will allow for previously published books to be published again on a digital platform. It will also allow for books that have been accepted at fellow university presses, but haven’t been printed because of cost, to be published.

"My goal is to grow Rice’s reputation for quality first, and to grow the size of the press—in terms both of number of books published and number of disciplines published—almost as fast," Moody said. "The idea is not so much to grow a huge business as to grow the best forum in the world for scholarly research."

(Prior postings about digital presses.)

Stanford’s President and the Google Book Search Library Project

The Wall Street Journal ran a lengthy article about the personal finances of John L. Hennessy, president of Stanford University, today ("The Golden Touch of Stanford’s President"). It kicks off by noting that Hennessy made $1 million last November that didn’t come from Stanford.

The last seven paragraphs are of interest, since they discuss Stanford’s relationship to the Google Book Search Library Project. The Executive Director of the Author’s Guild says that Hennessy’s Google holdings are a "great concern" and there "seems to be both a personal and institutional profit motive here." The Stanford general counsel indicates that Hennessy was not part of discussions about Google Book Search Library Project. Another issue is Google’s $2 million gift to the Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society to promote fair use. Lawrence Lessig denies that the Google gift had any "quid pro quo" implications, and the former Law School Dean indicates that Hennessy had no part in the Google gift.

Concerns about potential conflict of interest may be fueled by Hennessy’s $11 million gains from sale of Google stock and use of stock options, his current Google stock holdings valued at $2.3 million, and his Google stock options that may be worth $15.8 million if exercised.

Source: Hechinger, John, and Rebecca Buckman. "The Golden Touch of Stanford’s President." The Wall Street Journal, 24 Febuary 2007, A1, A10.

Princeton Joins Google Book Search Library Project

The Princeton University Library has announced that it has joined the Google Book Search Library Project.

From the press release:

A new partnership between the Princeton University Library and Google soon will make approximately 1 million books in Princeton’s collection available online in a searchable format.

In a move designed to open Princeton’s vast resources to a broad international audience, the library will work with Google over the next six years to digitize books that are in the public domain and no longer under copyright. . . .

"We will be working with Google in the next several months to choose the subject areas to be digitized and the timetable for the work," [Karin] Trainer said. "Library staff, faculty and students will be invited to suggest which parts of our distinctive collections should be digitized."

Princeton is the 12th institution to join the Google Books Library Project. Books available in the Google Book Search also include those from collections at Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, the University of California, the University of Michigan, the University of Texas-Austin, the University of Virginia, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the New York Public Library, the University Complutense of Madrid and the National Library of Catalonia.

Google also announced the new partnership in its Inside Google Book Search blog.

New Yorker Google Book Search Article

The New Yorker has published an article about Google Book Search by Jeffrey Toobin in its February 5, 2007 issue ("Google’s Moon Shot: The Quest for the Universal Library").

Here’s a quote from the article:

Google asserts that its use of the copyrighted books is "transformative," that its database turns a book into essentially a new product. "A key part of the line between what’s fair use and what’s not is transformation," Drummond said. "Yes, we’re making a copy when we digitize. But surely the ability to find something because a term appears in a book is not the same thing as reading the book. That’s why Google Books is a different product from the book itself." In other words, Google says that being able to search books on its site—which it describes as the equivalent of a giant library card catalogue—is not the same as making the books themselves available. But the publishers cite another factor in fair-use analysis: the amount of the copyrighted work that is used in the creation of the new one. Google is copying entire books, which doesn’t sound "fair" to the plaintiff publishers and authors.

Has Authorama.com "Set Free" 100 Public Domain Books from Google Book Search?

In a posting on Google Blogoscoped, Philipp Lenssen has announced that he has put up 100 public domain books from Google Book Search on Authorama.

Regarding his action, Lenssen says:

In other words, Google imposes restrictions on these books which the public domain does not impose*. I’m no lawyer, and maybe Google can print whatever guidelines they want onto those books. . . and being no lawyer, most people won’t know if the guidelines are a polite request, or legally enforceable terms**. But as a proof of concept—the concept of the public domain—I’ve now ‘set free’ 100 books I downloaded from Google Book Search by republishing them on my public domain books site, Authorama. I’m not doing this out of disrespect for the Google Books program (which I think is cool, and I’ll credit Google on Authorama) but out of respect for the public domain (which I think is even cooler).

Since Lenssen has retained Google’s usage guidelines in the e-books, it’s unclear how they have been "set free," in spite of the following statement on Authorama’s Books from Google Book Search page:

The following books were downloaded from Google Book Search and are made available here as public domain. You can download, republish, mix and mash these books, for private or public, commercial or non-commercial use.

Leaving aside the above statement, Lenssen’s action appears to violate the following Google usage guideline, where Google asks that users:

Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

However, in the above guideline, Google uses the word "request," which suggests voluntary, rather than mandatory, compliance. Google also requests attribution and watermark retention.

Maintain attribution The Google ‘watermark’ you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it.

Note the use of the word "please."

It’s not clear how to determine if Google’s watermark remains in the Authorama files, but, given the retention of the usage guidelines, it likely does.

So, do Google’s public domain books really need to be "set free"? In its usage guidelines, Google appears to make compliance requests, not compliance requirements. Are such requests binding or not? If so, the language could be clearer. For example, here’s a possible rewording:

Make non-commercial use of the files Google Book Search is for individual use only, and its files can only be used for personal, non-commercial purposes. All other use is prohibited.

Rice University Press Publishes Its First Open Access Digital Document

The recently re-established Rice University Press, which was reborn as a digital press, has published its first e-report: Art History and Its Publications in the Electronic Age by Hilary Ballon (Professor and Director of Art Humanities at the Columbia University Department of Art History and Archaeology) and Mariet Westermann (Director and Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University).

The introduction notes:

Just as we were finishing our report, Rice University Press announced that it would re-launch itself as a fully electronic press with a special commitment to art history. We were delighted to find Rice willing to partner with the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to publish our report electronically, with the kinds of hyper-linking, response capability, and print-on-demand options we consider vital to the success of scholarly publication on line. At Rice University Press, Chuck Henry, Chuck Bearden, and Kathi Fletcher generously steered us through the technological and legal process. We received enthusiastic support at CLIR from Susan Perry, Michael Ann Holly, Kathlin Smith, and Ann Okerson.

Like all digital works to be published by the press, this one is under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license. At this time, it does not appear that a print-on-demand version of the work is available from Rice University Press.

The Ohio State University Press Open Access Initiative

The Ohio State University Press is providing free access to over 30 out-of-print books that it has published as part of its open access initiative. Chapters and other book sections are provided as PDF files. The books remain under traditional copyright statements.

Examples include:

Digital University/Library Presses, Part 1: ANU E Press

Established in May 2004, the ANU E Press at the Australian National University fosters new scholarly publishing models, such as:

  • the production of electronic editions of academic monographs of interest to both scholarly and general-interest readers
  • web-based dissemination of digitally reformatted publications
  • support for presentation and dissemination of interactive publications and teaching materials
  • the development of technologies that enhance peer review while accelerating dissemination of scholarly publication

The ANU E Press has the following features:

  • open e-publication
  • institution-based repositories with appropriate listings and metadata/discovery mechanisms
  • a centralised repository
  • a low-cost, common-good funding model
  • moderation/peer review
  • copyright preserved by creators
  • facilities for access to and transfer of electronic information, for example, a print-on-demand facility

A representative ANU E Press title is Negotiating the Sacred: Blasphemy and Sacrilege in a Multicultural Society, which is freely available in HTML, PDF, and mobile device formats and can be ordered as a print-on-demand book.

A complete list of titles is available.

For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions Web page.

Open Access to Books: The Case of the Open Access Bibliography

In March 2005, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) published my book the Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 License. At the same time, a PDF version of the book was made freely available at the University of Houston Libraries Web site, and a PDF of the frontmatter, "Preface," and "Key Open Access Concepts" sections of the book was made freely available at the ARL Web site. The complete OAB PDF was moved to my new escholarlypub.com Web site in June, and an HTML version of "Key Open Access Concepts" was made available as well. In February 2006, author and title indexes for the OAB were made available in HTML form, and, in March 2006, the entire OAB was made available in HTML form.

The OAB deals with a topic that is of keen interest to a relatively small segment of the reading public. Moreover, it’s primarily a very detailed bibliography. The question is: Was it worth putting up all of these free digital versions of the book and creating these auxiliary digital materials?

From March through May 2005, there were 29,255 requests for the OAB PDF. From June 2005 through June 2006, there were another 15,272 requests for the OAB PDF; 17,952 requests for chapters or sections of the HTML version of the OAB; 11,610 requests for the HTML version of "Key Open Access Concepts"; 3,183 requests for the author index; and 2,918 requests for the title index. I don’t have use statistics for the ARL PDF of the first few sections of the book. (The June 2005 through June 2006 statistics are from Urchin; when I analyze the log files in analog, they may vary slightly.)

Print runs for scholarly books are notoriously short, often in the hundreds. I suspect most scholarly publishers would be delighted to sell 500 copies of a specialized bibliography, many of which would end up on library shelves. However, by making the Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals freely available in digital form, over 44,500 copies of the complete book, over 29,500 chapters (or other book sections), and over 6,100 author or title indexes have been distributed to users worldwide. Thanks to ARL, the OAB has had greater visibility and impact than it would have had under the conventional publishing model.

The Caravan Project: One Book, Five Distribution Formats

BusinessWeek reports that Peter Osnos, founder and Editor-at-Large of Public Affairs, is working with Borders, selected independent bookstores, six nonprofit publishers, and Ingram Industries to experiment with a new book publishing model. The idea is this: publish the book in five formats (audio, chapter, hardcover, digital, and print-on-demand) and let customers decide which one(s) they want. Larger publishers have reservations about the Caravan Project’s experiment. The article states that "going this far this fast unnerves publishers," and it quotes Al Greco (of the Book Industry Study Group): "they are terrified of being Napsterized."

Source: Lowry, Tom. "Getting Out Of A Bind." BusinessWeek, 10 April 2006, 79-80.

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