What Makes Google Tick? A Pointer to an Analysis

Why does Google do what it does? A report by the faberNovel management consulting firm describes Google’s “key success factors” and how it goes about achieving them. The report talks about “Google as platform” and goes on to describe how it makes money serving the network effects of that platform. For instance, it subsidizes one side of its platform — search engine users searching for free — to gain large amounts of traffic (eyeballs) that advertisers want (the network effect). Even more than that, though, Google sees advertising as a form of information in and of itself. The report says: “With [its system of selecting ads to be placed on a page], Google is able to claim that their ads are in fact a way for them to provide additional information to the user.”

Google Book Search Settlement and Library Consortia

The Google Book Search Settlement Agreement includes two points where library consortia come into play: discounts for institutional subscriptions and receipt of digitized books by members of a consortium. The Google Book Search Settlement calls such consortia “Institutional Consortia” and the definition of that phrase and the places in the Settlement where it occurs are extracted below.

This is a review of the Settlement document as it was submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in the case of The Author’s Guild et al v. Google Inc. The court has given preliminary approval of the Settlement, but it might still change.

Preliminary Court Approval of Google Book Settlement; Final Approval Hearing Set

The Associate Press reported on Monday evening that the court has given preliminary approval to the settlement negotiated between Google and book authors and publishers over the use of copyrighted materials in the Google Book Search Library project. In giving preliminary approval, Judge John E. Sprizzo authorized the publication of the notice of settlement and set a final settlement fairness hearing for June 11, 2009.

Timeline


The judge’s decision sets in motion a series of events over the next eight months:

Google Book Search Settlement: Public Access Service

One of the very relevant aspects of the Google Book Search Settlement Agreement to libraries is the provision that allows for free public access to the full text of books in public and academic libraries. The Notice of Settlement summary says: “Google will provide, on request, ‘Public Access’ licenses for free through a dedicated computer terminal at each public library building and through an agreed number of dedicated computer terminals at non-profit higher educational institutions located in the United States.” (Notice; Q9(F)(1)(c); p. 18) The details beyond the summary are quite a bit more interesting and, of course, have tidbits of useful information that isn’t in the summary.

Is OCLC’s Change of WorldCat Record Use/Transfer Policy Related to the Google Book Search Agreement?

Update

On the Code4Lib IRC channel Thursday afternoon, Roy Tennant, Senior Program Officer at OCLC Programs and Research, said that there is absolutely no connection between the policy change and the Google Book Search settlement.

The Original Post

Google Book Search Settlement: Reviewing the Notice of Settlement

Beyond the public pronouncements of the Google Books Settlement1 are the documents that form the meat of the agreement. The full text of the proposed settlement agreement is 141 pages plus another 162 pages of appendices. The Proposed Notice of Class Action Settlement itself — a summary of the complete settlement — is 38 pages, and is what is reviewed in this post. (The proposed settlement agreement may be covered in a future post.) The Notice of Settlement is chock full of interesting nuggets and hints of even more interesting things in the complete summary agreement. Even the printed version of the summary posted here is about 10 pages long.

Google Book Search Settlement: Introduction, Public Announcements

Announced today was a settlement between Google and the plaintiffs — the Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers and individual authors and publishers — in the class action lawsuit about materials scanned for the Google Book Search application through the Google Book Search Library Project. This posting on DLTJ includes a brief summary of the agreement and links to the primary source public announcements and documents. Subsequent postings to DLTJ will include analysis and commentary on the agreement.

On the Internet, How Do You Know If You Are Talking to a Dog?

Published in The New Yorker July 5, 1993.
Image from The Cartoon Bank

The famous 1993 cartoon from The New Yorker has the caption “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” The question at the moment is: when you’re on the internet, how do you know you are not talking to a dog? When you ask to connect to a remote service, you expect to connect to that remote service. You probably don’t even think about the possibility that “myspace.com” might not be “myspace.com”. But what if you couldn’t rely on that? How about “mybank.com”? Believe it or not, you may exist in such a world today. Last week, US-CERT issued a “Vulnerability Note” on Multiple DNS implementations vulnerable to cache poisoning. What does that mean? Read on…

Vint Cerf on the Origins of 32-bit IP Addressing

Via a weekly wrap-up post by Dion Almaer on the Google Code Blog comes mention of a Google Tech Talk video from their IPv6 Conference 2008. It is a panel discussion called “What will the IPv6 Internet look like?” and it offers insight into the difficulties of transitioning to the next generation IP transport protocol. Although it has been years since I’ve seen the business end of managing an actual IP network, I found the discussion a fascinating look at the issues that are ahead of network engineers and device manufacturers around the world.

Google and DataNet: Two Ships Passing in the Night, or Maybe Something More?

Wired Magazine’s blog network says “Google to Host Terabytes of Open-Source Science Data” while the National Science Foundation (NSF) is reviewing submissions to the DataNet solicitation “to catalyze the development of a system of science and engineering data collections that is open, extensible and evolvable.” On the surface, you might think they are working on the same project, but there is more here than meets the eye (or, rather, the ear listening to these two sound-bites).

Disclosure: OhioLINK is a named party in a submission by The Ohio State University to the NSF DataNet solicitation. We’re looking forward to a positive reception to our proposal in the first round of DataNet reviews.