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Free the Books

conjugating international copyright laws
As a Google Library Partner , The University of Texas Libraries will digitize at least one million books from the Libraries’ unique collections, starting with our Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. This rich collection holds over 800,000 titles about and from Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Librarians, faculty and alumni acquired these works by gift, exchange and purchase over eight decades to create a comprehensive collection to support teaching and research at the university.

Current technologies enable us to provide virtual access to these collections for study anywhere, but a tangle of international treaties and copyright laws complicates our use and distribution of foreign works. There is little guidance to help us reliably identify which of our books are already in the public domain so we are piloting a project to develop new tools for ourselves and for anyone who wants to tackle these difficult public domain problems. We will document our process, our progress and our results on these pages along with links to web resources we find useful. We invite suggestions and comments from other Google Library Partners and anyone undertaking similar or related projects. Comment on our posts.

Email us at freethebooks@gmail.com. We are here; we are building an evidence base and we are looking for virtual partners!

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 / conjugating international copyright laws

Archive for February, 2008

Reading great books online highlights policy debate

An interesting post today on TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home, about how the availability of great literature on the Web, because of the works’ public domain status in other countries, highlights the policy debate about the wisdom of term extension. Thus, disparities between terms of protection can be added to the long list of forces [...]

Are authors’ interests and publishers’ interests in GBS aligned?

We now have three requests from authors of Google-digitized books in our collection to make the books Open Access (that is, make them freely readable online). In some cases, their requests conflict with their publishers’ desires. Maria will post a note later that explores some of these requests in more detail, but for now, I [...]

Timbre roto. Grite!

In this morning’s email from H-LATAM, I received notice about the latest edition of Mundo Nuevo Nuevos Mundos, the electronic journal published by the Centre de Recherches sur les Mondes Américains (CERMA) of L’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. As I was rummaging through the journal’s inexhaustible collection of articles, bibliographies, summaries, [...]

Researching Scanned Books

Last Sunday February 3, Professor Michael Hancher of the English Department at the University of Minnesota posted on the discussion list of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) a Call for Papers to be presented at a special session of the next Modern Language Association (MLA) Convention. The convention is scheduled [...]