This ComputerWorld post discusses a recent setback in Google’s attempt to become the world’s online library — the world’s exclusive online library, that is.
Google has been signing contracts with major libraries (including, um… one that’s pretty close to home), to scan their holdings and make them available online. A consortium of New England libraries recently decided to sign on with the Open Content Alliance instead. The OCA is trying to do the same thing as Google, but where Google will retain exclusive control of the materials, OCA will make the scanned books available for free to any website.
The catch: where Google can do it for free, OCA needs to charge $30 per book.