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Judge Chin dismisses suit over Google Books mass scanning as fair use, setting stage for appeal
November 14, 2013 | 8:26 pm

Juli already mentioned the big news of the day: Google has prevailed in the Authors Guild’s copyright case against it for scanning millions of books for its Google Books project. Judge Chin determined that Google Books constituted a fair use, granted Google’s motion for a summary judgment, and dismissed the case. But let’s look at the background a little. This ruling comes a few months after an appeals court ruled back at the beginning of July that Judge Chin needed to hold up on deciding whether the Authors Guild could claim class action status and look at the fair...

Lego Mindstorms + Kindle + Laptop = E-book Scanner
September 7, 2013 | 6:47 pm

Fullscreen capture 972013 54201 PMPaging Rube Goldberg… Found via BoingBoing, Arik Hesseldahl has a report at AllThingsD about an Austrian university professor who has used a Lego Mindstorm kit to hack together an e-book de-DRM scanner out of his Kindle and his laptop. Professor Peter Pergathofer built a Lego device that keys the page down button on the Kindle, then the space bar on the computer, to take a picture of one Kindle page at a time. The computer then submits the picture to a text recognition service to OCR it into a text file. Pergathofer created the project to protest against...

Custom Book Scanning: Worth it for those books you just can’t find in e-format
August 1, 2013 | 9:15 pm

Custom Book ScanningI know lots of e-book readers who virtually stop reading paper books once they discover e-books. I'm one of them. We recently sold/gave away more than half of our paper book collection. Basically we kept the hardcover books that look good on the shelf. But that leaves the question of how to replace beloved favorites. Some can be repurchased as e-books, and I've certainly done my share of that. However, as you know, publishers haven't released their entire backlist, which can leave you stuck. Of course, you could scan them yourself, and I know people who do that. But that's way...

The Internet Archive’s Open Library is violating authors’ copyrights
July 10, 2013 | 8:53 pm

Open Library is a project of Brewster Kahle’s Internet Archive. We’ve written about Kahle, the Archive, and Open Library a few times, including some times I’d forgotten about. Kahle’s Internet Archive was first founded as a way to keep a historical record of the ever-changing Internet for the benefit of future sociological and cultural researchers; it later expanded into archiving other media as well. More recently, Kahle started collecting print books, and scanning them as well as archiving them; it was his intention to collect and save one of every print book ever published. These scanned books would also...

New 3D-photographic scanner will capture 250 book pages per minute
November 19, 2012 | 9:45 pm

dnp1CNet has a report on a new book scanner (Japanese) from Dai Nippon Printing that takes and corrects three-dimensional images of book pages, allowing for them to be scanned at the amazing rate of 250 pages a minute, meaning that the average book could be captured in little more than two to three minutes tops. This is the result of the scanning development technology we covered in March of last year, created by University of Tokyo professors in the hope that it could be used for easy scanning and sharing of manga titles. (The manga studios were not amused.)...

1DollarScan and BOOKSCAN are popular in US and Japan
July 24, 2012 | 11:56 pm

Publishing Perspectives has an interesting look at Japanese jisui company BOOKSCAN and its American subsidiary 1DollarScan, via an interview with CEO Hiroshi Nakano. Jisui companies are the do-it-yourself e-book makers who will, for a fee, take customers’ paper books and scan them into e-books for them. This allows the customers to get rid of the bulky books and replace them with compact electrons—extremely important in space-cramped Japan. Both the Japanese and American companies charge rock bottom prices for scanning, and both have been highly successful—the Japanese branch more so than the American, but both have been doing pretty well....

Backslash backlash: In Carpe Diem, an e-book markup error also affects print editions
May 15, 2012 | 12:57 am

Carpe Diem - Sharon LeeWe’ve all encountered e-book scanning and markup errors , but most of these errors only affect the e-books themselves. It’s a rare error that actually feeds back into the print editions of the books, too! However, I recently came across just such an error. I was working on the TVTropes page for Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s Liaden Universe stories (warning: TVTropes links may be hazardous to your free time) when I got into an argument with another troper over the applicability of a particular trope to the series. Over the course of the argument, it came out that...

1DollarScan adds platform customization to its budget scanning program
April 2, 2012 | 11:50 pm

TechCrunch reports that 1DollarScan, a US subsidiary of Japanese jisui (third-party book-to-e-book scanning) company Bookscan, has introduced an improved formatting service called Fine Tune. Fine Tune promises to custom-format its scans so that they work better and load faster on all different platforms. For example, Fine Tuning for the iPhone, Android devices, or e-readers offers compression, margin removal (to make the PDF fit the screen shape better and waste less space on already-small screens), and optimization for the different resolutions or display technologies. CEO Hiroshi Nakano says this approach is particularly important for making inroads in...

Trading in paper books for e-books: Is it possible?
February 5, 2012 | 2:37 pm

In my email this morning, I received a notice from Quora that I had been invited to submit an answer for the following question: Are there any services or business models in which one can trade paperback or hardcover books for digital books, without having to pay full price again? After typing my answer, I thought it was interesting enough to repost here: Not that I've ever heard of—or no model that is legitimate under copyright law, anyway. The idea has been suggested by a number of people as something that publishers should...

Public-domain digitization projects increasingly have restrictive terms of use
December 30, 2011 | 4:15 pm

Digitization of public-domain works is a good thing, right? Most literature fans would be quick to agree. However, Glyn Moody writes on Techdirt that some of the new public digitization projects have terms and conditions that seem to be right out of the dark ages. The Cambridge University’s Digital Library, for example, places strict limits on what users can do with the books—non-commercial use only, no modification, no passing it on to third parties, and so on. A number of the works in Cambridge’s library date from well before the 1710 Statute of Anne invented modern copyright, suggesting that...

Japanese company Bookscan expands budget scanning operations to American shores
August 12, 2011 | 11:48 am

1dollarscanTechCrunch has a piece on a startup called 1DollarScan, a scanning and digitizing company that is offering extremely inexpensive scanning and digitizing services. An expansion of a similar operation in Japan called Bookscan, 1DollarScan’s prices start at $1 for digitizing ten photos or 100 pages from a book. I’m not sure exactly how this service will stand legal scrutiny. Consumers might have the fair-use right to scan and digitize their own books (though some will still argue vociferously against that), but it seems to me that a company that offered this service to other people for a profit is...

Plustek book scanner is well behind its time
July 28, 2011 | 11:37 am

book3800_3Wired’s Gadget Lab has a feature profiling a new, specifically-for-books flatbed scanner, the Plustek OpticBook 3800. The defining features of this scanner seem to be a thin bezel that allows all-the-way-to-spine scanning, and a specially padded liner to eliminate distortion. I’m actually a bit surprised that Wired is so excited over this scanner, given that in the last couple of years we’ve already seen a number of book scanning apparatuses (both do-it-yourself and commercial) that leave a one-page-at-a-time flatbed in the dust. The future of non-destructive book scanning seems to involve digital-camera rigs that can snap shots of two...