The potential for a global digital library is increasingly viewed as one of the most exciting opportunities of the Internet age. Countries are working to digitize their works (I wrote four years ago about the possibility of Canada doing so) and the private sector has been active as well. By far the best known – and most contentious – initiative is the Google Book Search initiative. Working with university libraries around the world, Google has been digitizing millions of books. The Google Book Search initiative led to a pair of U.S. lawsuits over whether the plan qualified as fair use, which in turn led to a settlement with implications for authors around the world.
This week's Friday Forum takes a look at the digitizing issue with particular focus on Google Book Search. It starts with Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive and his vision for building a free digital library. The talked was delivered at the EG Conference in 2007.