GBS: Interesting Points from UW-Madison’s Letter


The University of Wisconsin at Madison is a Google scanning partner and was one of the first libraries to sign an amended agreement after the settlement was announced. Their letter supporting the settlement says a few things that haven’t been said before.

The letter invokes the Wisconsin Idea, as articulated by UW-Madison President Charles Van Hise in 1904, when he said he’d “never be content until the beneficent influence of the university reaches every home in the state.” It’s nice to see a library articulating its public mission to make its collections as broadly available as possible. Other publicly minded librarians have reached different conclusions, but UW-Madison does a good job of connecting its view of the settlement to its fundamental principles.

The letter mentions some of the library’s special collections that are being digitized, including genealogical materials and its Native American and African American collections. These details give the letter a specificity that’s been missing from some of the other letters in support.

I also found this paragraph noteworthy:

This aspect of the settlement [print-on-demand, one of the optional New Revenue Models] could also alter or eliminate the traditional interlibrary loan process. In the end, it may be more effective, in respect to both cost and time, to buy a single print copy on demand than to borrow and ship a copy from another library, resulting in additional fair compensation for the authors and publishers.


This aspect of the settlement [print-on-demand, one of the optional New Revenue Models] could also alter or eliminate the traditional interlibrary loan process.

Since May, when I discovered that the University of Wisconsin, in a commercial partnership with Google Inc. had digitized my book, I have considered their digital files as digital printing plates of my book. I am still awaiting their apology for this infringement of my copyright. Douglas Fevens, Halifax, Nova Scotia The University of Wisconsin, Google, & Me


Having read a lot of authors’ submissions about this settlement, I think the problem is that the settlement is about money. What the authors are about is the right to say NO, a right to refuse consent to a use of the product of all their labour in a way that is offensive and insulting to them and a violation of all the work and sweat that they put into making these books.


In response to The Capital TimesQ & A with UW System President Kevin Reilly” I left this comment:

Douglas_Fevens said on: March 6, 2010, 2:19 pm

Mr. Reilly, The Wisconsin Idea, is a noble goal, however it just becomes rhetoric if it is not exemplified in the university’s actions. The UW-Madison web page, “Why UW-Madison Libraries are participating in the Google Library Initiative” states: “This effort truly exemplifies the vision of The Wisconsin Idea—the notion that the boundaries of the university are limitless.” [http://www.library.wisc.edu/digitization/#uw-participation]

From http://www.library.wisc.edu/digitization/#intentions

What the UW-Madison Libraries will not do “The Libraries will not violate copyright laws. This includes taking every effort to not violate the rights of content owners to control the distribution and use of works under copyright.”

Mr. Reilly, when the University of Wisconsin-Google de facto commercial partnership digitized my work and made it available on the internet I lost control of the distribution and use of my work. You violated my copyrights. The Wisconsin Idea is tarnished.

Douglas Fevens, Halifax, Nova Scotia (If you are interested I have a blog here at Madison.com I call “University of Wisconsin-Google Digitization Project.” The quickest way to find it is by clicking on “Douglas_Fevens” above and going to “My Groups.”)

Douglas Fevens, Halifax, Nova Scotia— The University of Wisconsin, Google, & Me


I see where the Capital Times has made “Q & A with UW System President Kevin Reilly” a featured article on its home page. This morning I left this comment:

Douglas_Fevens said on: March 12, 2010, 5:11 am

emphasized text Mr. Reilly, in a letter dated November 17, 2009 to me, Chancellor Carolyn “Biddy” Martin, University of Wisconsin-Madison stated:

“While the University is not a party to this agreement, [Google Book Settlement] we are closely adhering to all aspects of the agreement as they apply to authors and publishers.”

Professor David Nimmer [http://www.law.ucla.edu/home/index.asp?page=642] said in a submission to the February 18, 2010 Google Book Settlement Fairness Hearing [Pages 44-50 of the transcript found here: http://thepublicindex.org/docs/case_order/fairness-hearing-transcript.pdf.]

“In other words, the parties are saying the settlement agreement is lawful because the settlement agreement says that the settlement agreement is lawful. Well, that is complete sophistry, your Honor, and it turns copyright law on its head.” [Page 46 - Lines 6-9]

It would seem Mr Reilly that Chancellor Martin maybe “closely adhering” to an illegal document. As the University of Wisconsin - Google partnership is a de facto commercial enterprise, I expect an apology for your infringement of my copyrights to Fevens, a family history.

Douglas Fevens, Halifax, Nova Scotia (If you are interested I have a blog here at Madison.com I call “University of Wisconsin-Google Digitization Project.” The quickest way to find it is by clicking on “Douglas_Fevens” above and going to “My Groups.”)

Douglas Fevens, Halifax, Nova Scotia— The University of Wisconsin, Google, & Me


Chancellor Biddy Martin leads UW-Madison delegation to China

One idea that she’ll be discussing is the Wisconsin Idea, the principal that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom.

I wonder if she will be asked to take sides in the Google - China fray. Douglas Fevens, Halifax, Nova Scotia— The University of Wisconsin, Google, & Me


From The Wisconsin State Journal: At UW-Madison, campaign warns free songs, movies come at a price

My comment on the article:

Douglas_Fevens said on: July 5, 2010, 5:37 am — A campaign against piracy coming from an institution that in partnership with Google knowingly used pirated copies of my book, “Fevens, a family history” in their libraries. — Douglas Fevens, — Halifax, Nova Scotia — The University of Wisconsin, Google, & Me — http://www.facebook.com/douglas.fevens

(If you are interested I have a blog here at Madison.com I call “University of Wisconsin-Google Digitization Project.” The quickest way to find it is by clicking on “Douglas_Fevens” above and going to “My Groups.”)


I have wrote the University of Wisconsin demanding that they return their copy of my book to me. I have posted the letter to my Facebook page: A letter to Mr. Kevin P. Reilly, President University of Wisconsin System


Published letter to the editor of The Capital Times of Madison, Wisconsin.


I have added The University of Wisconsin and School Bullying to my blog, University of Wisconsin-Google Digitization Project, at Madison.com (The Capital Times). It is also on my Facebook page here.


[Please note this comment is not in the HathiTrust thread.]

Re my comment of December 22, 2010

It has been over 10 months since the university received my letter, and I have not heard from them, and I guess I won`t. You would think that if are refusing to return my book, they would at least return the money order.

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