As widely reported already this week, Google has reached agreement with the CIC universities to expand its book scanning programme. This is from the Library Journal:
Google and the 12 universities in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) announced today that they have entered into an agreement to digitize up to 10 million bound volumes. In one swoop, the deal represents a two-thirds jump in the number of libraries and universities participating worldwide in the Google Books Library Project, from 15 to 25. Under the agreement, Google will digitize “significant portions from CIC library general collections,” with each university to contribute “collection areas of particular strength and distinction.”
… In addition, […] as a part of the agreement, the consortium will be able to create a “shared digital repository” that will enable CIC librarians to access the full content and “collectively archive and manage” as many as five million public domain works held across the CIC libraries.
Meantime (and with good timing), this same week Richard Charkin performed his adolescent stunt of (temporarily) stealing two Google laptops from their stand at the BookExpo America conference in New York to make a point about the Google scanning programme relying on opt-out rather than opt-in – as Charkin said,
Our justification for this appalling piece of criminal behaviour? The owner of the computer had not specifically told us not to steal it.
Still, anyone who reads the Chark Blog will know he blogs regularly on his traffic figures and discusses ways to increase them. No doubt having his “heist” reported in very high-traffic blogs like Boing-Boing and Engadget, and more seriously, Larry Lessig, will no doubt have done wonders for his page views.