In on fell swoop Google has significantly increased the number of libraries they have under contract and has introduced a new species of digitization; digital escrow.
By corralling the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), a consortium of the libraries of the Big Ten and the University of Chicago, Goggle brings the number of partner libraries to 25 and add over 78,000,000 potential items to their digi-mix.
Some of terms of the agreement:
-The CIC makes at least a 10,000,000 volume commitment.
-Google "reserves final discretion over which Available Content it will Digitize."
-Google shall own all rights to their copy and can use it at their discretion.
-Google will digitize both in-copyright and out-of-copyright material. The out of copyright material will be readily available to the CIC and the public.
and the kicker- Google will hold the in-copyright material in digital escrow until either they get permission from the copyright holder or the material enters the public domain.
In other words, they will scan them, hold them and when they can monetize them they will share them.
I still don't see how this benefits the general public but I do see how this new twist possibly influenced Simon & Schuster in their recent author contract alterations. If the publishers don't start hanging on to digital rights they will all eventually revert to Google.
List of some of the CIC collection hi-spots
Peter Brantley's post "Monetizing Libraries." Brantley is the director of the Digital Library Federation
Publisher's Weekly article "Google Scanning Deal Details Provoke Controversy"
The Reflective Librarian has a comparison of Google Book Search and Microsoft's Live Search
Book Patrol past Google posts