GBS: Stanford Signs Fully Participating Library Agreement

From the Stanford release:

Stanford University has affirmed its support for the recently amended Google Book Search settlement agreement, which is now before a federal court, by expanding its earlier agreement with Google Inc. to digitize its library materials.

Stanford’s expanded agreement, which establishes it as a Fully Participating Library under the terms of the amended settlement agreement, is a milestone in Stanford’s commitment to the program and to the provision of public access to millions of its books.

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.”

Am I correct in my statement that “fully participating library” means that Stanford has agreed to supply copyrighted materials to Google, whereas they only agreed to supply public-domain ones before?


Remember Stanford was the incubator, midwife, and biological parent of Google and remains a major shareholder, and beneficiary of all Google earns. This news is no surprise. More important is the Harvard position of complete detachment , criticism and rejection of the GBS.

Stanford has been applying Google with materials for several years. See:

I live in San Francisco. As I recall, at that time local newspapers said Stanford was only supplying public-domain materials (in themselves of considerable value). The timing of the switch to “fully participating” seems interesting to me. Stanford could wait a few more weeks to see what the Justice Department says, what the judge says … I am not saying there could not be a Settlement 3.0 or an appeal, but Stanford and Google are conspicuously not waiting to see for sure.


By the way, I am assuming that boilerplate, unsigned posted contracts for types of libraries may differ significantly from the finished contracts different libraries signed with Google.