[okfn-discuss] Analysis of the BL/Google agreement

Philippe Aigrain philippe.aigrain at sopinspace.com
Fri Sep 2 14:21:34 UTC 2011

Can public libraries sell or capture the rights of the public?

On 12 May 2011, I participated in the Law and Access to Culture in the
Information Society conference organized by Fundació Antoni Tàpies in
Barcelona. I spoke in a panel with Simon Bell, Head of Strategic
Partnerships and Licensing of the British Library and Gloria
Pérez-Salmerón, the new Head of the Biblioteca Nacional de España. We
had friendly and constructive exchanges. Both speakers appeared to agree
with the commitment I was inviting them to take in favour of access to
knowledge and culture. Thanks to an initiative of the OpenRights group
in the UK, we are now in a position to judge how far this commitment
goes in the case of the British Library. OpenRights, arguing on the
basis of the Freedom of Information Act, was able to obtain a copy of
the recently signed agreement between the British Library and Google on
book digitizing.

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