Robert Darnton promises digital public library by 2013
April 3, 2012 | 11:05 am
By Paul Biba
From an article in Publishers Weekly:
Scholar and Harvard University librarian Robert Darnton vowed that the Digital Public Library of America, a nonprofit, nationwide effort to digitize and offer access to millions of free, digitized books and special collections would launch by April of 2013. “I make this promise to you,” Darnton said at the close of his talk, entitled “Digitize, Democratize: Libraries and the Future of Books”: “We will get this done.”
As for the DPLA, Darnton said the steering committee was wrestling with the issues of getting the project going, noting that copyright-related issues were the biggest challenge. The DPLA must accommodate the “legitimate interests of the book industry,” he noted, as well as the interests of image, sound recording and film rightsholders. His idea (which was not necessarily the idea of the DPLA steering committee) was to “steer clear of books currently in the marketplace.” He suggested “a moving wall” that would advance year by year as rights expired, as well as the ability for rightsholders to opt-in, should they wish to make their materials available, or opt-out, if a rightsholder decided they did not wish to participate. This plan, however, failed to address the millions of orphan works out there, Darnton acknowledged, a thorny issue that will almost certainly require some legislative action.
More in the article. Worth reading in full.