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Libraries, Google, OCA make first page of the New York Times

Zowie! The front page of the NYT — above the fold, no less — has a gorgeously long article about research libraries rejecting scanning deals with Google and Microsoft and choosing instead to go with the underdog, crunchy-goodnik Open Content Alliance.

Among other things, it feels gratifying (if a little alternate-universe) to see the national paper of record discuss this issue on the front page. Those of us who have been bleating about this for a while can feel a little less voice-crying-in-the-wilderness.

I’m assuming, or at least hoping, that Siva and other pundits will be all over this today like white on rice.

Several good grafs from the article:

Several major research libraries have rebuffed offers from Google and Microsoft to scan their books into computer databases, saying they are put off by restrictions these companies want to place on the new digital collections.

The research libraries, including a large consortium in the Boston area, are instead signing on with the Open Content Alliance, a nonprofit effort aimed at making their materials broadly available. …

“Scanning the great libraries is a wonderful idea, but if only one corporation controls access to this digital collection, we’ll have handed too much control to a private entity,” Mr. Kahle said.

Funny, I had just written in an internal report that it was a mistake to underestimate Brewster Kahle.

Thank you, NYT! (If I see a purple cow fly by, I will know I’m still dreaming…)

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