Home | About NISO | Blog

Archive for October 28th, 2008

Google and publishers reach settlement on Google Books project

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Google, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers announced this morning a settlement in the ongoing court case  regarding the Google book digitization project launched in 2004.  

According to the release: 

“If approved, the Settlement will authorize Google to continue to scan in-copyright Books and Inserts; to develop an electronic Books database; to sell subscriptions to the Books database to schools, corporations and other institutions; to sell individual Books to consumers; and to place advertisements next to pages of Books. Google will pay Rightsholders, through a Book Rights Registry (“Registry”), 63% of all revenues earned from these uses, and the Registry will distribute those revenues to the Rightsholders of the Books and Inserts who register with the Registry. “ 

The proposed Settlement also will authorize Google to provide public and higher education libraries with free access to the Books database. Certain libraries that are providing Books to Google for scanning are authorized to make limited “non-display uses” of the Books.”

  

In addition:

Google will make payments totaling $125 million to establish the Book Rights Registry, to resolve existing claims by authors and publishers and to cover legal fees.  Of this total, Google will pay $34.5 million for the establishment and initial operations of the Book Rights Registry.  Google will also pay a minimum of $45 million to pay rightsholders whose Books and Inserts were digitized prior to the deadline for rightsholders to opt out of the settlement.

 
It was reasonably clear from the outset that there would be a settlement, since the activity that Google was undertaking was by most reasonable perspectives a violation of copyright for in-copyright works.  I think it is also clear that while the information will be available to patrons of the partner libraries, the rest of us will have to pay for access to Google’s library at some point down the road.  There is a lot to chew on here and something that we’ll be talking about for weeks and months to come. 

More information from Google is here.  From AAP here.

Microsoft, Open ID and the future of authentication

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Microsoft announced today that the company is throwing its weight behind the OpenID system.  Microsoft’s Live ID will become an OpenID with the launch of their OpenID Provider (OP), which will initially be launched within Microsoft’s Community Technology Preview testing service. ”The current Technology Preview release is for testing purposes only, and is not intended for widespread adoption at this stage. After a period of industry testing and feedback, we will be incorporating any necessary fixes and feature enhancements into the next revision, to be released to Production sometime in 2009.”

There is a list of non-compliant websites, which users are demanding the use of OpenID on their sites, Demand OpenID.  The site lists some of the most recognized sites on the web, such as Google, Twitter, FacebookWikipediaYoutube and del.icio.us.  It will be very interesting to see who else follows Microsoft’s lead in this area.

This action is not surprising given Microsoft’s support of Open Standards, which hit its stride with the standardization within ISO of OOXML earlier this year.  In the release, they note “We have been tracking the evolution of the OpenID specification, from its birth as just a dream and a vision through its development into a mature, de facto standard with terms that make it viable for us to implement it now.” The fact that Microsoft is awaiting the maturity of non-Microsoft standards before they throw their weight behind them indicates that there will be a competitive approach to standards development in the coming years and we will be in a period with a number of competing standards for several years. 

The New York Times covered the announcement in today’s edition.  Quoting from the article:

“This move by a traditionally proprietary organization like Microsoft could be the signal that gives the market – both large and small players combined – the confidence to invest more time and energy into the widespread adoption of OpenID. That is good news for OpenID proponents. And it’s equally good news for all of us who are interested in simplifying the management of our identity across the multitude of sites we use on a day-to-day basis.” 

Microsoft has a Windows Live ID blog where more information will be posted as the testing moves forward. The library and publishing communities have been dealing with the thorny issue of authentication for a number of years.  The application of OpenID solves part of the problem, but does not address the other key aspect of authentication: certification. There will still need to be some considerable work toward rationalizing authentication and identity management, making the process simpler for end-users through a single sign-on is a big step in the right direction.