Stanford Endorses Google Settlement, Expands Scanning Agreement

As the battle over the Google settlement drags on, Stanford makes the sort of rare move of endorsing the revised settlement and expanding its involvement in the project. On Monday, Stanford published a release on its Website stating that the university is “expanding its earlier agreement with Google Inc. to digitize its library materials.”

In Stanford’s new agreement, the university library becomes “a Fully Participating Library.” Here’s a bit more from the release:

University Librarian Michael A. Keller said, “We are highly supportive of the amended settlement, which offers an enormous public good, making the full text of millions of books available to the American public.”

Keller added that another effect of the settlement is to respect the rights and prerogatives of authors and publishers at the same time as it increases public access. “The settlement creates a working partnership among authors, publishers, libraries and Google that will usher in a revolutionary change in access to books on library shelves, even beyond the incredibly powerful vision that Google Books first developed. It’s no longer just about finding books of potential interest; it makes them vastly more readily readable. The agreement also compensates authors and publishers for the use of works that, by virtue of being out of print, would not have earned the rightsholders any income – a novel and, for most authors, a most welcome innovation.”

This is some big weight thrown behind Google, but there’s big weight against the settlement too. Google’s already scanned 1/7 million of Stanford’s books, and this expanded agreement will throw millions more into the mix.