microsoft joins open content alliance 10.26.2005, 9:06 AM
posted by ben vershbow
Microsoft's forthcoming "MSN Book Search" is the latest entity to join the Open Content Alliance, the non-controversial rival to Google Print. ZDNet says: "Microsoft has committed to paying for the digitization of 150,000 books in the first year, which will be about $5 million, assuming costs of about 10 cents a page and 300 pages, on average, per book..."
Apparently having learned from Google's mistakes, OCA operates under a strict "opt-in" policy for publishers vis-a-vis copyrighted works (whereas with Google, publishers have until November 1 to opt out). Judging by the growing roster of participants, including Yahoo, the National Archives of Britain, the University of California, Columbia University, and Rice University, not to mention the Internet Archive, it would seem that less hubris equals more results, or at least lower legal fees. Supposedly there is some communication between Google and OCA about potential cooperation.
Also story in NY Times.
Posted by ben vershbow on October 26, 2005 9:06 AM
tags: Libraries, Search and the Web, Microsoft, OCA, books, brewster_kahle, copyright, google, google_print, library, open_content_alliance, search, web, yahoo
Jeremy Maddock on October 26, 2005 2:42 AM:
Collaboration on the project would be a nice touch. If all three of the search engine giants worked together for once, who knows what they could achieve.
The question is whether they'll be able to keep this project seperate from their intense competition in other areas. Only time will tell I suppose.
ben vershbow on October 26, 2005 2:27 PM:
The good news is that Google's move has spurred other major technology companies to get in on the archiving game, putting major print resources on the web.
The worrisome news is that this is going to be a commercial contest -- not exactly good conditions for designing an internet library that should last for generations. I'm heartened by the OCA's initial focus on the public domain, and by the fact that the project is being led by Brewster Kahle and Rick Prelinger, arguably the web's greatest activist archivists. But with giants like Adobe, Yahoo, and now Microsoft ponying up serious money, I worry what constraints they might place on a project whose most important stakeholders are (or should be) the public.