A quick catch up. Robert Darnton, head of Harvard U Libraries, wrote a long item in the New York Review of Books stating his views on the proposed settlement of the suit filed against Google by associations of publishers and authors. Darnton doesn’t like some of the provisions and is suspicious of others. Paul Courant is Head of the libraries at UMich and is much more optimistic about the deal and what it means for libraries. He runs a blog called Au Courant and he recently posted a reply and partial rejoinder to the Darnton article. Some in the Library Kingdom are wroth with Google for, in their view, reneging on their alleged promise of a vigorous fair use defense. Others say, stop being a bunch of chumps. A decision against Google would have been a blow to fair use doctrine, and the action itself would have taken years….like Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce in that novel by Dickens…which one was it again? As Paul Newman put it in The Hustler “25% of something big is better than 100% of nothing”. So librarians should lighten up and realize that access to online versions of millions of books is very close, so, wake up. It’s not clear that the judge in the case will accept the terms, and even so, it will be a while before all the pieces are in place and running. This is potentially a very, very big deal for all of scholarship and research, and I’ll just post the links by the two worthies, and urge to you read their remarks.