“it’s not clear”

May 23, 2009

Wired weighs in on U Mich’s renegotiation with the Google Books library project, and the title pretty well sums up their interpretation “UMich gets Better Deal in Google’s Library of the Future Project.” (Is that what’s called now? Cripes. All your book are belong to us.)

What cracks me up is the final, puzzled line.

Google will sell full-text access to all the books in its index to libraries and institutions, but critics say the price of that will be set very high . . .

That’s why giving UM (and possibly the other scanning libraries) some method to contest the price matters. But it’s not clear why UM would protest the pricing of such institutional subscriptions, because the changes also mean Google will subsidize the entire cost of UM’s institutional subscriptions.

Man, these guys truly do not get libraries!