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June 27, 2005

Michigan's Contract with Google Becomes Public

"The University of Michigan has posted its contract with Google for digitizing seven million books from the Michigan library. (Thanks to Danny Sullivan in yesterday's SearchEngineWatch.) We all knew that Google would give participating libraries a copy of the digital files. But we didn't know whether the libraries would be free to provide open access to the files for the public-domain books. The Michigan-Google contract answers that question. Here's the relevant provision:

4.4.1 Use of U of M Digital Copy on U of M Website. U of M shall have the right to use the U of M Digital Copy, in whole or in part at U of M's sole discretion, as part of services offered on U of M's website. U of M shall implement technological measures (e.g. through use of the robots.txt protocol) to restrict automated access to any portion of the U of M Digital Copy or the portions of the U of M website on which any portion of the U of M Digital Copy is available. U of M shall also make reasonable efforts (including but not limited to restrictions placed in Terms of Use for the U of M website) to prevent third parties from (a) downloading or otherwise obtaining any portion of the U of M Digital Copy for commercial purposes, (b) redistributing any portions of the U of M Digital Copy, or (c) automated and systematic downloading from its website image files from the U of M Digital Copy. U of M shall also cooperate in good faith with Google to mutually develop methods and systems for ensuring that the substantial portions of the U of M Digital Copy are not downloaded from the services offered on the U of M's website or otherwise disseminated to the public at large.As I read this, Michigan can provide free online access to full-text, public-domain books for reading and printing. It can even allow individual downloads as long as downloading does not become "systematic" and downloads are not redistributed. Michigan must block commercial reuse and even crawling by other search engines. The contract expires on April 30, 2009, but section 4.4 is one of the sections that will survive the expiration or termination of the contract."

Source: Peter Suber. Michigan's contract with Google. OA News Blog. (17 June 2005) [FullText]

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