Google Books more open than Open Content Alliance?

In Mass book digitization: The deeper story of Google Books and the Open Content Alliance, Kalev Leetaru takes a comparative look at the Google Books Search project and the Open Content Alliance:

Upon delving deeper into the underpinnings of both projects, we find Google achieves greater transparency in many regards, while OCA’s operational reality is more proprietary than often thought. Further, significant concerns are raised about the long–term sustainability of the OCA rights model, its metadata management, and its transparency that must be addressed as OCA moves forward.

From the article, similarities between Google Books and OCA are:

  • Both operate as a black box outsourcing agent.
  • Neither publishes official technical reports.
  • Both digitize in–copyright works.
  • Both use manual page turning and digital camera capture.
  • Both permit libraries to redistribute materials digitized from their collections.
  • Both permit unlimited personal use of out–of–copyright works.
  • Both enforce some restrictions on redistribution or commercial use.

Read the full article in First Monday.

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