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Google says it will ask permission from the publisher before it scans old issues

Newspapers want to go digital. This should be no surprise considering that the largest newspapers in the world are looking for ways to cut fixed costs, the majority of which are associated with printing and delivery of their traditional newspapers.

Newspapers are looking to move from the traditional printed paper we are all used to into a digitally delivered content via a device like the Plastic Logic product DailyTech reported on yesterday. In addition to delivering current news digitally, many newspapers are actively looking for ways to monetize their often vast back catalog of issues.

Google announced that it plans to begin digitizing newspaper archives, make them searchable via Google News at first, and later via the newspapers’ own website. Google already archives back issues of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Time. These publications were previously available in digital formats.

The paper digitizing service will make articles printed in the papers searchable by keyword and the articles will be displayed in their full layout as they originally appeared in the newspaper. Google already has a similar operation scanning books. In the book scanning program, Google got into some hot water over its failure to get permission before scanning copyrighted works. Microsoft at one time also ran a book scanning program, which was later halted because the book scanning program didn’t fit with Microsoft's goals.

For the newspaper scanning project, Google is seeking the permission of the newspapers before it scans them. Google plans to monetize the digital papers with ads along with the content. Google says it will share the ad revenue with the newspapers. The savings in scanning costs for papers looking to scan their old issues is often significant.

The New York Times quotes Tim Rozgonyi of The St. Petersburg Times saying, "We looked into it [digital scanning] years back, and it appeared to be exceedingly costly."

Despite the fact that Google would shoulder the compete cost of the scanning project, some newspapers are still dubious of Google according to The New York Times. Analyst Ken Doctor from research firm Outsell said, "The concern is that Google, in making all of the past newspaper content available, can greatly commoditize that content, just like news portals have commoditized current news content."

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By nekobawt on 9/9/2008 12:23:19 PM , Rating: 2
I'm wondering how that would change the face of research, though. Granted, I graduated from high school over 5 years ago, but when I was still writing research papers, my teachers were pretty dubious about the internet as a reliable source of data. If future professors were to allow this database to be a source, would students have to cite it as a website or a newspaper?

RE: Neat!
By icanhascpu on 9/9/2008 1:20:09 PM , Rating: 3

I'd be "dubious" about those teachers! You always get more than a few referances to keep facts straight anyway, silly bias most probably born of ignorance does not a good teacher make.

RE: Neat!
By BadAcid on 9/9/2008 2:17:32 PM , Rating: 2
No, lazy Wikipedia sourcing makes for poor students. Research on the internet is completely workable, but only if you stick to actual accredited sites, namely peer-reviewed journals' online publications, government agency sites, etc. It's good practice for teachers to not let students rely on Google to write research papers.

RE: Neat!
By SiliconJon on 9/9/2008 2:49:18 PM , Rating: 2
When I have heard instructors avoiding the "internet" as a source it was not to avoid using the internet to find a source so much as it was not to think anything you find on the internet to be a reputable source.

Regardless of how your find the newspaper, magazine, publication, etc, it's still the same publication so long as the method you are finding it with has no issues with content integrity. So a published paper found in the library manually is the same published paper found via google.

Teachers who truly mean that using the internet voids the source are to be questioned heavily as to their reasoning as they either don't understand the internet, or perhaps think their students to all be retarded, or maybe just have their life savings invested in the dewey decimal system.

RE: Neat!
By Solandri on 9/9/2008 3:19:39 PM , Rating: 3
That's pretty ironic. I was in grad school when the Internet became mainstream. Everyone was putting their research papers on the web so they could read them without having to wait for them to be published in journals. (Contrast this to 1989 when cold fusion research was shared via fax machine.) In fact that's the purpose Tim Berners-Lee envisioned when he came up with the idea for the WWW - sharing research papers.

RE: Neat!
By Zoomer on 9/9/2008 10:19:26 PM , Rating: 2
I guess these teachers were probably thinking of sources like DT comments, oh wait, I meant myspace.

RE: Neat!
By theendofallsongs on 9/9/2008 10:10:22 PM , Rating: 2
Teaching them how to use sources BESIDES the Internet is one thing. But no good teacher should be telling students to avoid the Internet as a source entirely.

RE: Neat!
By Indianapolis on 9/10/2008 9:53:22 AM , Rating: 2
Why would somebody be using newspapers as reliable sources anyway? Most newspapers lost their credibility a long time ago.

RE: Neat!
By Oregonian2 on 9/9/2008 1:48:59 PM , Rating: 2
I'm more curious about how complex a "murder she wrote" sort of TV show could get (or even in real life) when things in the past could be more easily researched and associations between events be more easily seen.

RE: Neat!
By whiskerwill on 9/9/2008 2:22:21 PM , Rating: 4
You cite based on the original source. If Google scans a paper, the source is that paper, not Google.

RE: Neat!
By pattycake0147 on 9/10/2008 12:29:15 AM , Rating: 2
I graduated from high school two years ago and my teachers wanted a mix of sources often including two reputable internet sources. Teachers aren't against the internet as a source as long as it is used in a academically sound way.

RE: Neat!
By Indianapolis on 9/10/2008 9:37:01 AM , Rating: 2
I've never heard my professors dismiss the *entire* internet as a source of research data. They usually draw a distinction between the web, and legitimate research databases--and with good reason. Anybody can publish a page on the web, and even pages hosted on .edu domains can be suspect. But the internet has countless databases of peer-reviewed research papers.

whats the problem
By tastyratz on 9/9/2008 1:21:07 PM , Rating: 3
Google says it will share the ad revenue with the newspapers.
Google says it will share the ad revenue with the newspapers.

Analyst Ken Doctor from research firm Outsell said, "The concern is that Google, in making all of the past newspaper content available, can greatly commoditize that content, just like news portals have commoditized current news content."
Analyst Ken Doctor from research firm Outsell said, "The concern is that Google, in making all of the past newspaper content available, can greatly commoditize that content, just like news portals have commoditized current news content."

So whats the problem here? As long as they can agree on percentages of ad revenue sharing... Google is going to take a product which they no longer make a profit from, put advertisements in, then share the revenue with the paper. At little to no cost to the paper they will be turning a profit - wouldn't that be the point? Unless they already did/plan to do this wouldn't turning this down be a bad business move?

RE: whats the problem
By Solandri on 9/9/2008 3:29:40 PM , Rating: 2
Copyright. Most of these problems were taken care of for contemporary publications by updating contracts, but a lot of the older publications still have question marks attached to them.

Back when the WWW first became mainstream, there was a lot of wrangling within the publishing industry. Standard copyright contracts (for photos, independent writers, etc) covered use of the material in the original publication, annual "best of the year" reprints, and a small number of future reprints. So for example if the NY Times bought that photo of the Titanic from someone in the UK, they would only have the rights to print it in their newspaper once, and a small number of reprints in the future.

Now suddenly Google puts it on the Internet. They claim it's ok since the NY Times will get ad revenue from it. But the NY Times now has hundreds of thousands photographers and authors ringing their phones demanding a cut of that ad revenue because their original contract terms didn't cover republication of the photo/article on the web.

RE: whats the problem
By Zoomer on 9/9/2008 10:21:50 PM , Rating: 2
There's also the issue of the newpaper's archive article retrival service, which charges a pretty hefty fee.

Animal Farm
By Smilin on 9/9/2008 5:56:41 PM , Rating: 3
So all the animals in the animal farm were looking up at where the laws were written. They could have sworn they were different now but that's the only place where they were written so they must be true.

Google is Fvcking scary.

Pretty Cool
By bhieb on 9/9/2008 12:09:16 PM , Rating: 2
They used to do a similar thing with catalogs, but I don't think it is current.

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