March 18, 2007

Google --libraries--copyright

Google’s Moon Shot The quest for the universal library.
copyright, google, libraries

I've just read this great report about google, libraries and copyright and recommend it in entirety!
Publishers have sued Google for breaching copyright. A settlement seems likely, but it may not be in the public’s interest.

Every weekday, a truck pulls up to the Cecil H. Green Library, on the campus of Stanford University, and collects at least a thousand books, which are taken to an undisclosed location and scanned, page by page, into an enormous database being created by Google. The company is also retrieving books from libraries at several other leading universities, including Harvard and Oxford, as well as the New York Public Library. At the University of Michigan, Google’s original partner in Google Book Search, tens of thousands of books are processed each week on the company’s custom-made scanning equipment.

Google intends to scan every book ever published, and to make the full texts searchable, in the same way that Web sites can be searched on the company’s engine at At the books site, which is up and running in a beta (or testing) version, at, you can enter a word or phrase—say, Ahab and whale—and the search returns a list of works in which the terms appear, in this case nearly eight hundred titles, including numerous editions of Herman Melville’s novel. Clicking on “Moby-Dick, or The Whale” calls up Chapter 28, in which Ahab is introduced. You can scroll through the chapter, search for other terms that appear in the book, and compare it with other editions. Google won’t say how many books are in its database, but the site’s value as a research tool is apparent; on it you can find a history of Urdu newspapers, an 1892 edition of Jane Austen’s letters, several guides to writing haiku, and a Harvard alumni directory from 1919.

No one really knows how many books there are. The most volumes listed in any catalogue is thirty-two million, the number in WorldCat, a database of titles from more than twenty-five thousand libraries around the world. Google aims to scan at least that many. “We think that we can do it all inside of ten years,”

Google’s Moon Shot The quest for the universal library.
by Jeffrey Toobin
February 5, 2007

See New Zealand's 1994 Copyright Act at the link below

Update November 2007

Question about copyright legislation in New Zealand - whether someone could print off a whole Act. No longer covered by Crown copyright since 2001..

According to the Paliamentary Counsel Office from 1/4/01 there is not even Crown Copyright on NZ Bills, Acts, Regulations, Bylaws, NZ Parliamentary debates, Select Committee reports, court or tribunal judgements, or reports of Royal commissions, commissions of inquiry, ministerial inquiries, or statutory inquiries.

So the answer is Yes, it is okay to print off or photocopy a whole Act.

copyright, google, libraries

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