Google’s Secret Agreement?

From Television Archiving:

The University of California’s secret agreement with Google for book digitization promises to improve access to parts of its library collections, but the contractual restrictions UC has accepted may enrich Google’s shareholders at public expense”

Academia is usually suspicious of the business world, however I think the concerns are valid here. Google is a private company, who have very secretive ways, in sharp contrast to academia, which tends to value transparency and sharing. If this endevour is about freeing the worlds information, then why all the reported NDAs surrounding digitizing library books?

Clearly, UC’s high level goals are laudable. The Google people I’ve met believe in the company motto, “don’t be evil.” And it is not really in the public interest to side with the publishers who are the loudest voices now attacking Google, and a primary cause of the all the secrecy. Yet by acquiescing to Google’s demands for secrecy, UC has compromised the public interest, and set a dangerous precedent for the rest of the academic community

It is a public good from more information to be more available to many, but the question remains: why all the secrecy?

I don’t get it.

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