Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Brewster Kahle Interviewed in LJ

Via BG Sloan on LITA list, Open Content Alliance's Brewster Kahle interviewed in 8/15/07 issue of Library Journal about the future of libraries as public domain gets digitized as well as prospects for the Open Content Alliance.

Some snippets courtesy of Matt W. ...

You've been critical of Google's library partnerships. What is Google
doing right and/or wrong?

Two problems: one is perpetual restrictions on the public domain.
Another is that these negotiations are all going on in secret. It
shouldn't take a subpoena to get information from a librarian. But in
this new world order, both perpetual restrictions and gag orders are
being put in place on libraries by a corporate enterprise. The idea
of making all books accessible online in new and different ways is
all good news. But if you do this in a way that the materials that
have been housed in libraries for centuries are made available only
through one corporate interface, that is an Orwellian future.


Google's pitch to libraries can be awfully attractive, and it is so
ubiquitous. How does the OCA compete for library partners?

Revolutions aren't started by majorities. They come from leaders who
see things that need to be done. Boston Public Library, for example,
has been courted by Google, but it has said it is going to remain
open. The Library of Congress also announced it is going to work with
the Open Content Alliance. That's what it takes. It takes guts on the
part of our leadership to keep librarians first-class members of this
information world, not just in a service role of feeding the machine
and then checking out at the end of the day because everything's
going to be handled by some great search engine in the sky. No. It
should be handled by us. We have the tools to build this open world
right now. We can invest in ourselves, in the traditions that we come
from. This is a choice.

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