Why Digitise?

Much of the (media) discussion on digitisation of books (etc) relates to the copyright issues; therefore this article by Katie Hafner (well-known technology journalist, author of Where Wizards Stay Up Late and other things) is very welcome. She reviews the cultural significance of digitisation (or the lack thereof), and the financial obstacles that are hampering the well-intentioned.

On the legal side, though, this weekend’s Guardian covered the Google Books issue, unusually from the UK perspective (the Bodleian at Oxford is part of Google’s project). It’s a good overview (explaining in particular that the UK work is out-of-copyright books only), and poses the interesting question:

It’s unclear, for example, what would happen if a British library decided to ship copyrighted works to the US, to have them scanned there.

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