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[InetBib] European Digital Library und Google

zur allgemeinen Information aus AMIA-L nach International Herald Tribune von gestern.
Peter Delin

[AMIA-L] European libraries and film archives talking with Google


International Herald Tribune
European libraries face problems in digitalizing
By Doreen Carvajal
Sunday, October 28, 2007

PARIS: In the early stages of its planning, the European Digital Library held the promise of a counterstrike to Google domination of digital archives through the search engine's vast book search project and powerful alliances with American universities.

But as the European project prepares for its debut early next year, the 80 museums, film institutes and national libraries involved are facing the reality of limited government funding for the enormous task of digitizing material, and they are now developing a new realism about striking a variety of alliances with private companies, including national deals with Google.

"The basic problem is that there isn't enough money to digitize everything we want to," said Stephen Bury, head of European and American collections at the British national library, which is digitizing 100,000 out-of-print books from the 19th century with its partner, Microsoft.

"We're aware that there are some downsides to it because the commercial companies are obviously in it either for shareholder profit or doing it to get a public feel-good factor. We're aware and we're not going to be caught out."

The European Commission has contributed about ¤60 million, or $85 million, to develop a digital library system that can be shared by a wide number of national libraries and cultural institutions. But it is not financing basic digitization, which the commission estimated would cost ¤250 million over four years. Some major libraries are still pressing for more public financing, but European officials are clearly encouraging private alliances.


Claudia Dillmann, the director of the German Film Institute, which is a member of the European Digital Library project, said that her organization was already talking to Google and pondering new ways of charging fees for copyrighted material, like allowing low-resolution viewing of some films and then charging for better-quality resolution.

"If it's useful, I would always be in favor of that," she said. "Each partner in the project has to decide for itself. Of course, we are talking about them helping with digitization, although we haven't decided to do so. But I would never think about not talking with Google."

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