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Submitted By vincentverbaeys
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September 22, 2005

Just one generation ago, the movie studios were up in arms about a new technology known as the video-cassette recorder. Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America, testified to Congress in 1982 that "the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone." A movie studio sued Sony for manufacturing and selling the Betamax, the first widely marketed VCR. The case went all the way up to the Supreme Court, which in a 5-4 decision finally made it clear that using a VCR to tape TV shows was fair use. The decision not only legitimized the new consumer technology, and all the benefits it brought to the public, but also ended up helping those same movie studios earn billions of dollars from the home video market that the VCR enabled.

It's worth remembering that case when thinking about the lawsuit filed yesterday against Google by the Author's Guild, for digitizing copyrighted books from libraries and making them searchable online. (Although the books are searchable, no more than a handful of sentence-sized snippets can be read online, unless the book is in the public domain or the publishers give permission for more to be viewable.)

Once again, the issue boils down to fair use in a new application that could greatly benefit the public and bring new revenues and other benefits to copyright holders. While this particular issue has not yet been decided in court, and various legal scholars have taken both sides of the issue, Google has what looks like a good case for fair use both for the service itself and for the digitization necessary to provide it. In the actual service, the snippets provided to readers are very small, cannot reasonably substitute for access to the entire work, and will probably have a net-positive effect for the market for the work. The digitization, not unlike the complete home taping of a TV show, is not distributed, and is the minimum necessary to support the ultimate use-- in this case, full-text searching to identify books one may wish to track down and read.

Even when full text is not available online to the public, as it is in the books listed here at The Online Books Page, simply providing the ability to search a vast library of materials can do a lot to help people find books that would be useful to them, and then read them by checking them out of a library or buying them. The resulting purchases by libraries and consumers could potentially mean a lot more revenue for authors, publishers, and other copyright holders.

Which is why I'm hoping for an outcome that supports the Google Library project. While a Betamax-style court ruling affirming that providing a full-text search engine for copyrighted books is fair use would be one such favorable outcome, and one that would set a useful precedent, a settlement based on such mutual understanding would be a lot less expensive for the Author's Guild and for Google, and I hope that the parties can come to such a settlement. (I especially hope that the academic groups that were making threatening noises against Google in the preceding months simmer down as well. Academics should be in the best positions to understand the benefits of liberal fair-use rights for education and research, and thus for creating the monographs that we write and that Google seeks to index.)

Congress may also be able to help here. One of the reasons the "opt in" policy favored by some publisher groups won't work particularly well for doing library-scale text searching is that copyright holders of many older books are now unreachable, and their books are out of print, but still of interest to some readers and researchers. Enacting reasonable rules for the reuse of "orphaned works", the recent subject of hearings by the Library of Congress, would make it easier for indexers like Google and publishers to come to workable, amicable arrangements for applications like Google Print. It would also enable neglected works to more easily benefit and educate readers around the world. Congress also has the power to more clearly note fair-use exemptions in the area of search indexing, which would make it easier both for this project and for other search applications-- including those we use regularly-- to operate without fear of unwarranted legal action.

I'm also looking forward to a lot of public domain material soon being made freely readable in full online via the Google Lihrary project and other mass-digitization efforts mentioned in this forum. I hope that the public-domain side of the Google Print service can continue unabated even as this lawsuit continues.

John Mark Ockerbloom, Editor

August 25, 2005

The editor of this site is taking a vacation for the end of the summer. There will be no updates to the site (or only minimal ones) between tonight and September 7. But he leaves you behind with many books to choose from on the existing site. We'll be back with lots more new listings in September!

August 17, 2005

The Online Books Page, and other Penn Library web servers, will be unavailable for several hours on Saturday, August 20, while upgrades are made to the Penn Library's electrical system.

So select your online weekend reading in advance, and have a good weekend! We've been adding lots of books lately, and may well be picking up the pace substantially over the next few months.

April 28, 2005

Several projects have now been announced to digitize millions of titles and put them online for free access. We're hoping that these will see fruition in the next few years, and are working behind the scenes to try to accommodate them.

The latest such initiative, announced by 19 European national libraries (see Deutsche Welle story) pledges support for a European project to "safeguard literature". As of yet, the project has not been formally funded, but the story implies an interest in building on smaller-scale projects like Gallica, run by France's national library

This joins the already-underway Google Library Project, which already plans to digitize millions of volumes from 5 libraries in the US and the UK, and make the public domain titles freely readable online. Before this, Carnegie Mellon University had announced the Million Book Project, which so far has scanned about 10,000 volumes using scanners in India, China, and elsewhere.

We welcome these initiatives, firmly believing "the more, the merrier" when it comes to putting books online for free. While we haven't been listing many new titles lately, we have been working behind the scenes to upgrade our infrastructure to handle the much higher volume of books online that these projects may produce. The first visible sign of these upgrades has been in our browsing interfaces, which now show slices out of the collection, and provide some new tools for getting quickly to the slices you want, instead of simply outputting everything that begins with a given letter all at once. Also planned are upgrades to our search, as well as new facilities for bulk-loading large chunks of cataloging information via technologies like OAI and similar initiatives. (Our first round of upgrades also included new facilities for automated output; see, for instance, our RSS feed for new additions.)

It will take a while for these mass digitization projects to bear fruit. And the demands of high-quantity projects might not produce the best experience at first. Google Print, for instance, currently restricts access outside the US even to titles that are public domain outside the US, and within the US they put up some roadblocks to printing and saving images even to public domain titles. Gallica's interface might not be the easiest to use for non-French speakers, or for folks who don't use the Adobe Reader plugin to load books a page at a time. The Million Book Project also has to work out quality control issues with respect to its scans, metadata, and interface.

But the books are coming, and hopefully over time the reading experience will improve. We hope to continue to provide one-stop easy access to the best offerings of both these massive projects and countless smaller initiatives as well. Like the large projects, we will undoubtedly have to struggle to balance quantity and quality, and bulk-loaded cataloging information is probably not going to be as good in some ways as the manually cataloged entries we've accumulated to date, at least initially. We welcome suggestions and assistance in our attempts to provide the best access to lots of books with minimal overhead.

We're quite excited about the future, and hope you are too. May your reading choices be enjoyable and plentiful!

John Mark Ockerbloom, Editor

October 16, 2003

Project Gutenberg announced yesterday that it had reached its long-standing goal of releasing 10,000 free titles to the Internet, and that it would soon also release a DVD of most of these titles.
Founded in 1971 by Michael Hart, and built and maintained by hundreds of volunteers, Project Gutenberg is the longest-running project producing and distributing online books. It's also one of the Net's largest and best-known such projects. Its mission, according to its stated history and philosophy, is to "make information, books and other materials available to the general public in forms a vast majority of the computers, programs and people can easily read, use, quote, and search."

Gutenberg's output has expanded greatly recently, with half of the 10,000 titles released in the last 18 months. Much of the surge has been due to the work of the Distributed Proofreaders project, the Gutenberg Radio project for computer-generated audio editions, and Gutenberg Australia, the first of what may be several non-US-based Gutenberg branches. (The surge has been strong enough that The Online Books Page has fallen a few months behind in listing Gutenberg titles, but we hope to close this gap before long.) Along with new releases, Gutenberg has also re-released a number of older titles with new formats and corrections from volunteers, which the project is always interested in receiving.

Michael Hart, still directing the project after 32 years, also announced that nearly all of these titles would be released on a single DVD shortly. (The only titles left off would be the human genome data and the audio books, for space reasons, and the Gutenberg Australia releases, for copyright reasons.)

With its original goal now met, Gutenberg has no intention of slowing down. Michael Hart ultimately hopes that all public domain books (and as many copyrighted books as possible) will eventually be available through Gutenberg, and is now contemplating what milestones to aim for next.

Congratulations to Project Gutenberg and all its volunteers! And I look forward to seeing title #1,000,000 someday.

June 30, 2003

In June of 1993, 10 years ago this month, I announced the CMU School of Computer Science web site to the world. Among the pages on the new site was a page linking to a few places you could find books on the Net.
The original announcement that went out to the Net didn't even mention the books page. It was just another page on a departmental web site. It had a few links to some books that Robert Stockton, a collegue of mine, had adapted for the Web from Project Gutenberg. And it had a few links to Project Gutenberg's main FTP site, and some other book FTP and Gopher sites. Gutenberg itself had fewer than 100 books, but its founder was claiming that they'd have over 10,000 before long. Most folks, myself included, found it hard to believe there'd be that many online in the foreseeable future.

Within a year or so, it was clear that this books page wasn't just going to be just another web page. People wanted a one-stop site for looking up titles and authors; I obliged. (Not a big deal, I thought, with fewer than 100 books per site.) Then they started sending me information about more books I should list. I soon had to go to a database, which I figured would hold things for a while. (My database program originally had an upper limit of 10,000 titles; I figured I wasn't likely to exceed that any time soon.)

As more books went online, new issues arose. Proposals to censor the Net emerged at the university, and then in the government: I started Banned Books Online to alert folks of what this could mean for online books and for free expression in general. Copyright law also shifted over the years, becoming more and more restrictive just as the Net was making the benefits of free online books apparent to citizens at large. So I started to gather information about copyright, and pass along messages urging copyright reform, and trying to organize folks producing and using online books. The Book People list was one of the results.

"Where are the women?" a friend of mine asked one day, enraged that the early offerings of the Net, like those in the typical unversity "canon" were nearly all male. Thus did Mary Mark begin A Celebration of Women Writers, as a partner site to mine. (In the years to follow, we'd also become partners in marriage and parenthood too. We're happy to report that both of our kids are already enthusiastically picking up the books that are all around the house, though we haven't let them at the scanner yet.)

Despite my "day job" being computer science, the site was rapidly pulling me toward the library world. Not long after graduation, then, I was happy to take up Penn's offer to work in their library designing digital library programs and projects. And, yes, as time permitted, continuing to develop The Online Books Page.

At the 10-year mark, we now have 20,000 active listings of freely readable books and serials. I'm also very pleased to report that, the same day we hit 20,000 listings overall, we also reached 4,000 listings of books by women. 20% might not seem like much, but back when Mary started the Celebration, the figure wasn't much more than 10%. Over 200 of these books were put up by Mary herself, many with help from her Build-a-Book collarborators, on the Celebration website. And I think that her site has helped inspire many other folks to put up books by women as well, which we've subsequently listed.

Several thousand more books are online, just waiting to be listed. (OAI technology and database upgrades I'll be installing later this year, as soon as I get a bit more Spare Time[tm], should speed up these listings considerably.) Gutenberg alone now has more than 8,000 etexts of various sizes, and is on track to have 10,000 within the year. And many other sites are now breaking new ground in online books, such as the Distributed Proofreaders high-volume book production, the California eScholarship initiative putting recent scholarly works online, or the Internet Public Library's online listings and services, just to name a few.

People occasionally write to me to thank me for all these books, apparently under the impression that I'm responsible for putting them up. But actually, I've produced almost none of them. I've tried my best to be a catalyst and guide for these online books, but without all you folks producing, reading, and sharing these books online, my site would still be a little static web page, rather than one of many gateways to an ever-growing library online.

Thank you all for your work, your sharing, and your reading. And I'm looking forward to many more things to celebrate in many more anniversaries to come.

John Mark Ockerbloom
Editor, The Online Books Page

June 29, 2003

Two new bills introduced in the US Congress this past week aim to increase public access to literature.
HR 2601, the Public Domain Enhancement Act, would require that the owners of copyrighted works from the US more than 50 years old file with the Copyright Office and pay a nominal fee ($1 in the bill as proposed) in order to keep the copyright in force. Works not so renewed would fall into the public domain. The documentation included with the fee would also make it easier for folks who wanted to get permissions for older works that remain in copyright to find the current owners of the copyright.

I encourage folks in the US to write their legislators asking them to support and co-sponsor this bill. This will be needed to get it out of committee and passed into law. It could allow many more books that are no longer commercially exploited to be reused and put online by the public, while not putting undue burdens on those that want to keep their copyrights on older work. Potentially, this bill could thus undo much of the damage of recent copyright extensions. For more information, see (You can sign an online petition there in favor of the Act; for maximum effect, though, write your Congressfolk personally as well.)

Another bill, HR 2613, would place in the public domain research articles produced by certain federally funded research projects. Although these projects are funded by taxpayer dollars, the reports they produce are often far out of reach of the public, published in subscription journals that in some cases can cost more than $19,000 per year for a single subscription! The intent of this bill is to make this work freely readable by all, to advance the progress of science and medicine around the world. (I haven't yet seen a text for this bill, but look up HR 2613 at in the next few days.) Much of the groundwork for this bill has been laid by the Public Library of Science project.

With or without this bill, academic researchers have been increasingly resisting a system in which they write and review articles for free, and then their institutions have to buy them back from for-profit publishers at exorbitant prices. In response, a number of scholarly, peer-reviewed journals now provide their content free for all to read, either immediately, or after a short delay. In the coming weeks, we'll be listing many such journals in the Serials section of The Online Books Page, when these journals are tracked by major universities, and have at least a year's worth of content permanently and freely available for all to read. I hope that scholars will increasingly support and write for these journals, both to relieve the financial pressure on their own institutions paying ever-larger serials fees, and to share their knowledge with the world.

John Mark Ockerbloom, Editor

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...that will change the world. It must be a project that represents a topic they care about. Students must first sign up for a Google account and then register for the competition. They may work alone or in teams; all work but be original ideas submitted by students. Parental consent is required. For more details, visit Copyright © 2016 All Rights Reserved.  This ebook is the personal copy of Corketa Martin ( SCHOLARSHIPS WITH JUNE DEADLINES #74 – AWG Minority Scholarship Program For Women: The AWG Minority Scholarship program encourages young minority women to pursue courses of education and careers in the field of geosciences. The program, not only provides financial aid to assist with tuition and book, but also matches students with mentors who can offer guidance and support. Funded by the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG), an international organization devoted to enhancing the quality and level of participation of women in geosciences, the program requires that all applicants to this scholarship are women who are either AfricanAmerican, Hispanic, or Native American. For more details, visit #75 – AIChE Minority Scholarship Award: The AIChE Minority Scholarship Award recognizes minority high school seniors who plan to attend a fouryear college or university and pursue a degree in chemical engineering. Eligible students include Copyright © 2016 All Rights Reserved.  This ebook is the personal copy of......

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Books use of Hindi, Hindi Fortnight was celebrated during September 14-28, 2007. On the occasion, various Hindi competitions namely Hindi Noting and Drafting, Essay Writing, Hindi Typing and Shorthand, Poem Recital and Debate etc. were conducted and cash awards were given to the winners on the merits. In compliance of the decision of the Hindi Salahkar Samiti, the amount as well as the numbers of prizes were substantially enhanced. A Complaints Committee for considering complaints of sexual harassment of women employees in the Department of Economic Affairs has been set up. The composition of the Committee is given in Table 1.5. vii) The amount of first, second and third prizes under the Scheme of Incentive on Original Book writing in Hindi on Economic subjects have been enhanced from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 50,000, Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 30,000 respectively. 8. 4 Use of Hindi in Official Work viii) The website of the Department was rendered bilingual. Besides other material, all Budget documents, Economic Survey and other publications and important circulars are uploaded simultaneously in Hindi and English. 3. 4. 5. Possibility of receiving the claims with projects through E-submission has been tested and the work is in progress. This will help in early submission of claims to donors. A Dynamic web-site which would enable any user to generate customised repor t according to their......

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