Episode 68 – OMG No GBS

4 April, 20114 comments

Two big stories dominate this edition of the podcast: the rejection of the Google Books settlement and the request for a professor’s personal email. Tom, Mills, Amanda, and Dan discuss why the settlement between Google and the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers didn’t pass muster, and what the ramifications of the ruling are. We also look in-depth at what it means to have an university-provided email address given the Wisconsin GOP’s request to gain access to William Cronon’s email messages. On a lighter note, the Digital Campus team tries to decide if the addition of OMG and LOL to the OED spells the end of civilization.

[Editor’s Note: We recorded this podcast on 3/31/11, before the resolution of the Cronon affair.]

Additional links mentioned on the podcast:
‘Academic Freedom’ Offers Little Protection Against New Efforts to Obtain Professors’ E-Mails
Tyler Cowen’s Ethnic Dining Guide

Running time: 50:05
Download the .mp3



Categorized under books, email

4 comments to “Episode 68 – OMG No GBS”

  1. John Muccigrosso : 4th April, 2011


    CORpora, not corPORa.

    Yours in Latinity.

    Who believed Google on the “indexing” beard?

  2. Peter Hirtle : 10th April, 2011

    I was surprised that a group of academics that actually use older material weren’t more critical of the GBS ruling. Chin’s decision means that there will be no full-text access to orphan works until Congress acts. And given that rights holders won’t even allow books to be indexed without their permission, it is unlikely they would ever support Congressional efforts to limit their rights to control the use of the full text of their content. And if Google’s indexing is not a fair use, then it will have to destroy the copies at Google and in the HathiTrust. Goodbye research corpus.

    Google had pledged in the settlement to work for new orphan works legislation. The best solution for academia would have been to see GBS be approved as a short-term solution, and then work on a more equitable solution in Congress. And remember: GBS also had a solution to the other great problematic issue, namely who exactly owns the digital rights in these books. No one has talked about a Congressional solution to that mess. This is why only one individual among major academic librarians spoke out against the settlement – it was a positive step for scholarship.

    One last thing: While the negotiations are secret, there have been reports that it was Michael Boni of the Authors Guild, and not Google, that suggested that the win-win solution was for Google to get into the bookselling business.

  3. Erik : 13th April, 2011

    Great discussion as usual. I don’t mean to get all William F. Buckley on you, but I believe OMG and LOL are not acronyms, but abbreviations or initialisms. My understanding of acronyms is that they are pronounceable (e.g. “NATO,” “scuba,” but not “e.g.”).

  4. Ian Thomas : 11th May, 2011

    I could be wrong on this, but could there be some FERPA risk in using students non-.edu email address? Though unlikely, it wouldn’t be difficult to make a new email address impersonating a student in an attempt to gain private information from a professor.

    That’s the main reason I won’t discuss academic information with students over any email address not administered by the university.

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