Google sued over book digitization project

The Association of American Publishers today announced a lawsuit against Google for copyright infringement over the joint project to digitize books from major research libraries, including the University of Michigan. The AAP has been in talks with Google over publisher’s concerns over scanning material that is still under copyright, even though Google planned to make only a small portion of those works available to the public — talks broke down on Tuesday, and the suit was filed today. The publishers contend that scanning entire works is a violation of copyright law; Google is claiming fair use. Read more about it at the Street.com and at Reuters; ZDNet’s story has an early response by Google, and Business Week has an excellent article laying out the stakes. Many librarians hope this will go to the Supreme court to clarify very murky issues of copyright and fair use in the digital age.

Copyright versus fair use? You can get an overview at WCC’s own copyright website.

Book award season begins

British playwright Harold Pinter has just won the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature.

The 2005 Man Booker Award winner for 2005 is The Sea, by John Banville

The shortlist (announced in September) was:

The Sea by John Banville
Arthur & George by Julian Barnes
A Long Long Way by Barry Sebastian
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Accidental by Ali Smith
On Beauty by Zadie Smith

The National Book Award finalists have been announced (the winners will be announced Nov 16th):

Fiction: The March by E.L. Doctorow; Veronica by Mary Gaitskill; Trance by Christopher Sorrentino; Holy Skirts by Rene Steinke; Europe Central by William T. Vollmann.

Nonfiction: Out of Eden: An Odyssey of Ecological Invasion by Alan Burdick; Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Restless Genius by Leo Damrosch; The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion; 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn; Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free and Empire’s Slaves by Adam Hochschild.

Poetry: Where Shall I Wander by John Ashberry; Star Dust by Frank Bidart; Habitat: New and Selected Poems, 1965-2005 by Brendan Galvin; Migration: New and Selected Poems by W.S. Merwin; The Moment’s Equation by Vern Rutsala.

Young People’s Literature: The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall; Where I Want to Be by Adele Griffin; Inexcusable by Chris Lynch; Autobiography of My Dead Brother by Walter Dean Myers; Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles.

And never forget the annual Bulwer-Lytton award for worst writing (as they say on their web page, “Where www stands for wretched writers welcome”) who pronounced Dan McKay of Fargo ND this year’s winner. While submissions for the Bulwer-Lytton are from the authors themselves (we too could aspire to the B-L award), their page includes a “Sticks and Stones” link “For real, honest-to-Gawd, not-made-up Lyttonian wonders (that is, sentences by published authors).” Run by the San Jose State University’s Dept. of English and Comparative Literature.

Audio Reserves for Dave Thomas’s Geology Classes on ERes

Working with Geology Instructor Dave Thomas, Andrea Hemphill of Library Access Services and Josh Pardon of Media Services have made digital audio files of the Geology 100 lectures available via the library’s ERes Digital Reserve system. The recordings of Dave Thomas’s lectures were formerly on reserve at the library on audio cassettes (what we at the library call a rapidly dying format) — when the time came for the lectures to be updated, Josh Pardon worked with Thomas to record the lectures digitially. Andrea Hemphill, the Reserves staff member at the Library, handled the uploading and cataloging into the ERes system. Students can listen to the lectures over the internet using Real Player, Windows Media Player,Quicktime or other easily available free software capable of playing mp3 files.