Posts Tagged / Intellectual freedom

Chronicle: “As Libraries Go Digital, Sharing of Data Is at Odds With Tradition of Privacy”

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Information Ethics, Libraries, Privacy     Comments 6 Comments
Nov
7

The Chronicle of Higher Education has published an excellent article by Marc Parry on “As Libraries Go Digital, Sharing of Data Is at Odds With Tradition of Privacy,” noting that as libraries are beginning to collect and share patron data to build tools for recommending and discovering books, important concerns over patron privacy emerge, which threaten to hinder attempts by libraries to evolve into the digital age.

The article features great insights from Deborah Caldwell-Stone, deputy director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom at the American Library Association, as well as David Weinberger, co-director of the Harvard Library Innovation Lab, who also started the LibraryCloud project, which aims to help libraries share anonymized patron data and other metadata to help build innovative digital tools for libraries. (I’ve been involved in some of the privacy discussions surrounding LibraryCloud, although largely in the margins).

The Chronicle piece also quotes from an article I’ve written on this tension between libraries’ desire to build innovative and helpful digital tools and the longstanding librarian ethic of protecting patron privacy. The article, “Patron Privacy in the “2.0” Era: Avoiding the Faustian Bargain of Library 2.0,” will be published in the Journal of Information Ethics some time next year, but here is the abstract:

As libraries begin to embrace Web 2.0 technologies to serve patrons—ushering in the era of Library 2.0—unique dilemmas arise in the realm of information ethics, especially regarding patron privacy. The norms of Web 2.0 promote the open sharing of information—often personal information—and the design of many Library 2.0 services capitalize on access to patron information and might require additional tracking, collection, and aggregation of patron activities. Thus, embracing Library 2.0 potentially threatens the traditional ethics of librarianship, where protecting patron privacy and intellectual freedom has been held paramount. The question is not whether libraries will move towards Library 2.0, but how they will do it, and whether they can preserve the contextual integrity of patron privacy and maintain their professional librarian ethic, while also providing enhanced services to their patrons. This article will provide an ethical examination of the emergence of new Library 2.0 tools and technologies in relation to existing ethical norms of information flow within the library context. By doing so, librarians and information professionals will be better situated to avoid—or at least renegotiate—the impending Faustian bargain regarding patron privacy in the “2.0” era.

This tension between patron privacy and digital evolution in libraries is complex, and extremely important to negotiate properly to ensure the that the digital future of libraries doesn’t needlessly sacrifice patron privacy. Much of my research agenda for the next few years will focus on this very problem.

New Survey Confirms Librarians’ Commitment to Protecting Privacy Rights

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Libraries, Privacy, Publications     Comments No Comments
May
1

In celebration of Choose Privacy Week, the American Library Association‘s Office for Intellectual Freedom has released preliminary findings from a new survey on “Librarian Attitudes and Behaviors Regarding Informational Privacy” that I conducted on their behalf with generous support from the Open Society Foundation. The press release with preliminary results is copied below; the full report will be released in the coming weeks.

New survey confirms librarians’ commitment to protecting privacy rights

For Immediate Release
Tue, 05/01/2012 – 15:55

Contact: Jennifer Petersen
Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)

CHICAGO – In conjunction with Choose Privacy Week, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) released preliminary findings from a new survey measuring librarians’ views on privacy rights and protecting library users’ privacy.

The survey, which builds on an earlier 2008 survey assessing librarians’ attitudes about privacy, provides important data that will help ALA evaluate the state of privacy in the United States and libraries’ role in protecting library users’ privacy. The data will help guide ongoing planning for Choose Privacy Week and similar initiatives aimed at engaging librarians in public education and advocacy to advance privacy rights.

Some of the highlights from the 2012 survey include:

  • Librarians remain concerned about privacy and individuals’ desire to control access and use of personal information. Ninety-five percent agree or strongly agree that individuals should be able to control who sees their personal information, and more than 95 percent of respondents feel government agencies and businesses shouldn’t share personal information with third parties without authorization and should only be used for a specific purpose.
  • Librarians affirmed their commitment to the profession’s long-standing ethic of protecting library users’ privacy. Nearly 100 percent of respondents agreed that “Libraries should never share personal information, circulation records or Internet use records with third parties unless it has been authorized by the individual or by a court of law,” and 76 percent feel libraries are doing all they can to prevent unauthorized access to individual’s personal information and circulation records.  Overall, nearly 80 percent feel libraries should play a role in educating the general public about privacy issues.
  • When compared to the 2008 survey, the results showed that the responses given by the 2012 respondents generally mirrored those of the 2008 respondents, with data showing a slight decline in the level of concern over privacy. For example, in both surveys, the vast majority (95 percent in 2008, 90 percent in 2012) of respondents expressed concern that “companies are collecting too much personal information about me and other individuals.”  However those who “strongly” agreed dropped from 70 percent in 2008 to only 54 percent in 2012.

The 2012 survey also revealed some limitations in libraries’ handling of privacy issues.  While nearly 80 percent of the responding librarians said libraries should play a role in educating the general public about privacy, only 13 percent said their library had hosted a privacy information session, lecture, seminar or other event addressing privacy and surveillance. Similarly, while 100 percent agree that libraries should not release library records without a court order, only 51 percent indicate that their libraries offer training on handling requests for user records and only 57 percent indicate that their libraries effectively communicate the library’s privacy policies to their patrons.

The 2012 study is funded by a generous grant from the Open Society Foundations and is managed by Dr. Michael Zimmer, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Information Studies, and co-director of its Center for Information Policy Research.

The survey is part of ALA’s Choose Privacy Week and “Privacy for All” initiative, which conducted with the generous support of the Open Society Foundations.  Its website, www.privacyrevolution.org, provides access to privacy-related news, information and programming resources.

The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom established Choose Privacy Week in 2010 to help libraries work with their communities in navigating these complicated but vital issues.  It is a national public awareness campaign that aims to educate the public about their privacy rights and to deepen public awareness about the serious issue of government surveillance. The theme for Choose Privacy Week 2012 is “Freedom from Surveillance.”

For more information on Choose Privacy Week, visit www.privacyrevolution.org or contact Jennifer Petersen, ALA PR coordinator at (312) 280-5043, jpetersen@ala.org.

iConference 2012: The ethical (re)design of the Google Books project

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Events, Information Ethics, Search Engines, Values In Design     Comments No Comments
Feb
9

I’m currently in Toronto, Canada for iConference 2012, presented by the iSchools organization, a worldwide collective of 33 Information Schools. The theme of the conference is “Culture-Design-Society”, and I will be presenting a paper titled “The ethical (re)design of the Google Books project”. The paper is available in the ACM digital library; the abstract and copy of my slides are below.

Zimmer, M. (2012). The ethical (re)design of the Google Books project. In iConference ’12 Proceedings of the 2012 iConference, 363-369. DOI: 10.1145/2132176.2132223

Today, the Google Books project is at a relative standstill — lawsuits against the project remain outstanding as the courts rejected a proposed settlement agreement. The failure of the original vision for the Google Books project to become fully realized presents us with a unique opportunity to ensure that whatever final form Google Books will take in the future, it is designed to support the values respected within the domain of information ethics. This paper will proposed an ethical re-design of the Google Books project, focusing on three core ethical values of primary interest to librarian and information professionals: privacy, intellectual freedom, and public access to information. Advocating for these values in the next iteration of the mass digitization service can help ensure that the informational norms of the library are embraced and upheld.

 

Intellectual Freedom vs. WikiLeaks (Feb 24, Brookfield Public Library)

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Events, Information Law & Policy, Internet, Libraries     Comments No Comments
Feb
15

Building from the successful event on Minding the Gaps: WikiLeaks and Internet Security in the 21st Century held at UW-Milwaukee, I will be joining my colleague Dr. Joyce Latham to discuss Intellectual Freedom vs. WikiLeaks at the Brookfield Public Library on Thursday, February 24th from 7 to 8 PM.

Registration for this event is requested, but not required. To register or to request further information, please call 262-782-4140. Download the flier here, and please join us for this important discussion.

Jeremy Mauger: Google Book Search – The Decision Not to Digitize

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Information Law & Policy, Platforms     Comments No Comments
Jan
7

[This post is authored by SOIS PhD student Jeremy Mauger; access other student posts here.]

Section 3.7(e) Google’s Exclusion of Books

Google may, at its discretion, exclude particular Books from one or more Display Uses for editorial or non-editorial reasons. However, Google’s right to exclude Books for editorial reasons (i.e., not for quality, user experience, legal or other non-editorial reasons) is an issue of great sensitivity to Plaintiffs and Google.  Accordingly, because Plaintiffs, Google and the libraries all value the principle of freedom of expression, and agree that this principle is an important part of GBS and other Google Products and Services, Google agrees to notify the Registry of any such exclusion of a Book for editorial reasons and of any information Google has that is pertinent to the Registry’s use of such Book other than Confidential Information of Google and other than information that Google received from a third party under an obligation of confidentiality.

Google Book Search is a massive undertaking.  Its goal is to provide unprecedented access to digital copies of all kinds of literature – a vast library of material the likes of which has never before been assembled in a single resource.  However, the project has been criticized, not for what it is including, but for what it isn’t.  Because Google Book Search has the potential to be such a widely used resource, it has the responsibility to reflect an equally diverse range of opinions and perspectives in its collection.  The editorial decision to not include a book in this project could be considered censorship and sufficient justification for such exclusion should be required of Google.  Censorship of this kind could come in two forms – first in the decision to withhold a digitized book from display in the database or, second, by choosing not to digitize a book in the first place.  The first form has already been discussed in Michael Zimmer’s blog, so the second will be the focus of this piece.

The Google Book Search Amended Settlement Agreement carves out space allowing Google to exclude certain books from “Display Uses” for both editorial and non-editorial reasons.  Alexander Macgillivray, former Google employee and head of the legal team spearheading the settlement, has gone on record assuring the public that this exception merely reserves Google’s right to exclude, but that Google hasABSOLUTELY NO PLANS to remove any books for editorial reasons” (emphasis in original).  Despite this assurance, Section 3.7(e) implies that if, for any reason, Google does exercise this right then notice will be provided to a registry maintained by the Publisher’s Guild.  What Mr. Macgillivray and Section 3.7 do not address is the ability of Google and participating libraries to editorially exclude books from the digitization process in the first place.  Specifically, Section 3.7 discusses the exclusion of books from “Display Uses” which are defined within the Amended Settlement Agreement as “Snippet Display, Front Matter Display, Access Uses and Preview Uses” (Article 1, Section 1.52 at p. 8).  Each of these terms is further defined as display and use of material after it has already been digitized.  Again, there is no mention of the possibility that either Google or participating libraries may withhold certain books from the initial scanning process for editorial reasons.  Additionally, no requirement exists for the provision of notice to the registry for such exclusion of books from digitization.

It is conceivable that books may be excluded from the scanning process for completely legitimate reasons.  Perhaps a book is too fragile or irreplaceable to risk scanning it.  Perhaps the print is too faint or pages are missing.  These are all reasonable, non-editorial justifications for omitting a book from the digitization process.  However, it is equally conceivable that a book may not be scanned because it is too controversial, too outdated, or simply too unpopular to merit digitization.  One could easily imagine a librarian or Google scanning technician setting aside a copy of Little Black Sambo or The Anarchist’s Cookbook in order to preemptively avoid controversy.  To date there is no evidence that these books have been omitted from the scanning process, the point is that such exclusion based on the mere anticipation of ruffled feathers amounts to a priori censorship.  Without a reporting requirement similar to that included in Section 3.7, there is no transparency in the process.

Although this possibility may seem somewhat alarmist and is certainly hypothetical, a close reading of the Settlement Agreement should give one pause.  For instance, the Agreement clearly allows Google to pick and choose books from a library’s collection.  Even the definition of “Collection” within the agreement implies a certain amount of cherry-picking: “’Collection’ means the Books held by a Fully Participating Library or a Cooperating Library that have been Digitized or are targeted for Digitization pursuant to a Digitization Agreement between Google and such Fully Participating Library or such Cooperating Library, which Books may be some or all of such Fully Participating Library’s or such Cooperating Library’s holdings” (Article 1, Section 1.30 at p. 6, emphasis added).  Because these Digitization Agreements are not part of the public record, it remains unclear why only “some” of a participating library’s collection is being scanned and how such decisions are made.

More insidiously, in the final analysis Google Book Search is primarily a commercial enterprise.  Therefore, it isn’t unreasonable to assume that controversial, outdated, or unpopular material may be preemptively excluded from the scanning process because the potential market for such works is small or nonexistent.  Such exclusion may also shield Google from potentially costly litigation.  The alternative argument could certainly be made that Google has historically been inclusive of unpopular speech in its search index and that, “Nearly all known instances of the removal of content from Google’s index were, in one way or another, legally required” (see Zimmer blog post).  Mr. Macgillivray’s public statements also seem to indicate that this policy will extend to Google Book Search and that “Google does not plan to omit any books from the service, just as we have not omitted any books from our scanning based on their content or copyright status”.  While this promise and general policy of inclusion are reassuring, past practice is in no way a guarantee of future behavior.  Additionally, the inclusion of a website in Google’s search index costs almost nothing.  Google’s massive expenditure to refine the scanning process and the considerable per unit expense of digitizing a book may affect the calculus of inclusion.  Again, without some sort of public reporting requirements, we have no way of knowing if books are being excluded, why they’re being excluded, and how those decisions are being made.

If Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” and if Google Book Search aspires to that goal, then the threshold for not digitizing a book should be quite high indeed.  Google and the Amended Settlement Agreem
ent have created what amounts to a de facto monopoly – they are the sole online provider of these books.  No one else has the resources, technology, or access to material that Google does. Therefore, the threshold for exclusion should certainly be higher than commercial considerations of a book’s potential value in the marketplace or fear of controversy.  If, for some reason, a user is not able to access the totality of material at Google’s disposal then some justification should be required.  Public notification of these justifications should also be a necessary component for transparency – anything less is simply censorship.

West Bend Public Library Wins U-Illinois Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Information Ethics, Libraries     Comments No Comments
Dec
9

For its principled stance regarding the recent controversy over certain Young Adult books, the West Bend Community Memorial Library has been awarded the Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award by the faculty of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From the press release:

The faculty voted overwhelmingly to give this year’s award to the West Bend Library for its steadfast advocacy on behalf of intellectual freedom in the face of a library challenge that garnered national attention. The efforts of the library board, Library Director Michael Tyree, the library staff, and many supportive community members are to be commended.

“The West Bend librarians, library board, and library supporters demonstrated the strong and steadfast advocacy on behalf of intellectual freedom that is the focus of the Downs Award. Despite the enormous media attention that the controversy received, they were unwavering in their support of the public library’s responsibility to provide a diverse collection to serve *all* community members,” said Christine Jenkins, GSLIS associate professor and director of the Center for Children’s Books.

This is the second major award bestowed on the West Bend library and its supporters: in August, the Intellectual Freedom Round Table of the Wisconsin Library Association named them as winners of the 2009 Wisconsin ProQuest Intellectual Freedom Award.

Banned Books Week 2009: Ignorance is No Armor

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Information Ethics, Libraries     Comments 2 Comments
Sep
26

Today is the start of Banned Books Week 2009, the 28th annual celebration of the freedom to choose what we read, as well as the freedom to select from a full array of possibilities.

Hundreds of books are challenged in schools and libraries in the United States each year. Here’s a great map of challenges from 2007-2009, although I’m sure it under-represents the nature of the problem, as most challenges are never reported. (Note the West Bend library controversy is marked on the map.)

According to the American Library Association, there were 513 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2008. Here are the ten most challenged titles:

And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, and unsuited to age group

His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, and violence

TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group

Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, and violence

Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, and violence

The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group

Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group

Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen
Reasons: homosexuality and unsuited to age group

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group

Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Mericle Harper
Reasons: sexually explicit and unsuited to age group

The National Coalition Against Censorship has published a fantastic manifesto against the censoring of ideas. The text is pasted below the fold, and you can download the the full manifesto here.

To you zealots and bigots and false
patriots who live in fear of discourse.
You screamers and banners and burners
who would force books
off shelves in your brand name
of greater good.

You say you’re afraid for children,
innocents ripe for corruption
by perversion or sorcery on the page.
But sticks and stones do break
bones, and ignorance is no armor.
You do not speak for me,
and will not deny my kids magic
in favor of miracles.

You say you’re afraid for America,
the red, white and blue corroded
by terrorists, socialists, the sexually
confused. But we are a vast quilt
of patchwork cultures and multi-gendered
identities
. You cannot speak for those
whose ancestors braved
different seas.

You say you’re afraid for God,
the living word eroded by Muhammed
and Darwin and Magdalene.
But the omnipotent sculptor of heaven
and earth designed intelligence.
Surely you dare not speak
for the father, who opens
his arms to all
.

A word to the unwise.
Torch every book.
Char every page.
Burn every word to ash.
Ideas are incombustible.
And therein lies your real fear
.

Ignorance is no armor.

West Bend Public Library Wins Wisconsin ProQuest Intellectual Freedom Award

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Information Ethics, Libraries     Comments No Comments
Aug
31

In the wake of the ongoing controversy over select Young Adult books at the West Bend Community Memorial Library, the Intellectual Freedom Round Table of the Wisconsin Library Association has named Director Michael Tyree and Young Adult Librarian Kristin Pekoll, along with the other staff, members of the Library Board, supportive community members (especially blogger/organizer Maria Hanrahan), as winners of the 2009 Wisconsin ProQuest Intellectual Freedom Award.

The announcement can be found in the latest WLA newsletter (p. 11, authored by Elizabeth Buchanan and myself), and includes the following praise:

Our colleagues at West Bend Public Library were indeed tested. Going through any challenge requires commitment, professional integrity—and guts. It is a long mental and physical process and, with each day, a new commitment to the core values of intellectual freedom in our profession is required. Our colleagues met this challenge and, while this case may not be over, it is our hope that they can be proud of their actions and their firm standing in the face of strong controversy.

Congratulations!

Thoughts on Privacy and the Google Book Settlement

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Events, Information Ethics, Libraries, Privacy, Search Engines     Comments No Comments
Aug
28

Shortly, I will be presenting my thoughts on privacy and the Google Book Settlement at the “Google Books Settlement and the Future of Information Access” conference organized by the UC-Berkeley School of Information.

I speak last on a panel of esteemed experts, including Angela Maycock, Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association; Tom Leonard, University Librarian, UC Berkeley; and Jason Schultz, Associate Director of the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at U.C. Berkeley School of Law; fellow, Electronic Frontier Foundation.

They will certainly cover all the important terrain, so my remarks will focus on my desire to trust Google when they say they’re “thinking hard” about these issues and promise to “protect readers’ privacy rights”, while noting their track record is reason enough to cause us some pause, and is why we’re pushing so hard as advocates on these vital concerns.

I will also suggest a few tactics they can take to engage in the ethical-design of the proposed service, and will close with a call for coders to help develop a version of TrackMeNot for Book Search, thereby giving some power back to the users to obfuscate their book search activities.

A rough draft of my remarks are here, and a pdf of my slides are here.

You can follow the tweet stream for the conference at #gbsfia.

UPDATE: PCWorld has some coverage of our panel discussion: “Privacy Missing From Google Books Settlement”, which was also picked up by the New York Times.

YouTube video of the panel presentation is here.

Will Google Use "Editorial Discretion" to Exclude Books from Book Search?

Posted Posted by michaelzimmer in Information Ethics, Privacy, Search Engines     Comments 5 Comments
Jul
29

[Note: please be sure to read the comments with responses from Google's Alexander Macgillivray]

Joris van Hoboken recently brought this section of the Google Book Search Settlement Agreement to my attention:

Section 3.7(e) Google’s Exclusion of Books

Google may, at its discretion, exclude particular Books from one or more Display Uses for editorial or non-editorial reasons. However, Google’s right to exclude Books for editorial reasons (i.e., not for quality, user experience, legal or other non-editorial reasons) is an issue of great sensitivity to Plaintiffs and Google.  Accordingly, because Plaintiffs, Google and the libraries all value the principle of freedom of expression, and agree that this principle is an important part of GBS and other Google Products and Services, Google agrees to notify the Registry of any such exclusion of a Book for editorial reasons and of any information Google has that is pertinent to the Registry’s use of such Book other than Confidential Information of Google and other than information that Google received from a third party under an obligation of confidentiality.

In short, Google can refuse to provide access to a particular book in its Book Search service for “editorial reasons.” In such a case, Google will notify the Registry and provide the a digital copy of the book which could be made available outside of Google’s services (this provision is outlined in a subsection I haven’t reproduced here).

The Settlement Agreement is silent on what these “editorial reasons” might be. While it differentiates them from “non-editorial reasons”, which might include legal restrictions (the copyright holder hasn’t granted the necessary permissions, the book is child pornography and illegal in certain jurisdictions, etc) or technical limitations (the pages simply aren’t scannable, etc), there are no definitions, guidelines, or limitations on what kind of editorial discretion Google could perform in restricting access to certain texts.

Google’s approach to censoring content is a bit scattered, but clearly controversial. In its Web index, Google famously includes everything that is legal (including hate speech), and typically only excludes pages such as child pornography or those subject to a DMCA takedown notice. While you can filter your results to exclude some objectionable material, Google performs only minor censoring of its Web search product (notable exceptions include regional censorship in China or Germany, etc). Nearly all known instances of the removal of content from Google’s index were, in one way or another, legally required. Thus, framed in the language of Section 3.7(e) above, these were “non-editorial” exclusions. To date, I know of no purely “editorial” exclusions from Google’s index: even if they don’t like the site, they still include it.

On YouTube, Google takes a more aggressive stance towards censoring objectionable material, exerting editorial discretion in removing content that violates “community guidelines, which includes restrictions on pornography, sexually explicit content, graphic or gratuitous violence, or “videos showing bad stuff like animal abuse, drug abuse, under-age drinking and smoking, or bomb making”.

Now, I’m not sure how much input the YouTube “community” really has in crafting these guidelines, but Google appears to respect that YouTube started as, and continues to be, a user/community-driven space for sharing videos. As YouTube grew, certain norms of appropriate content emerged, and Google appears to be trying to respect and maintain those norms. By couching them as “community standards,” and giving individual users the ability to report problematic videos, Google has, at least in appearance, handed some of its editorial discretion to the YouTube community. But, at the end of the day, it remains Google who gives the thumbs up or thumbs down to a particular video, carrying with it potentially dangerous consequences.

If Google appears to be following the norms of appropriateness and access within the historical context of YouTube, will it do the same for books within Book Search? While an amateur-based online video sharing website might create certain community standards for appropriate material, the American Library Association has long held the position of ensuring and protecting patrons’ intellectual freedom and full access to information, recognizing the essential value of the freedom to read any and all materials that are legal for the library to possess.

[While librarians do exert discretion over books acquired, these decisions most commonly are made based on budget/space considerations (your local library branch can't buy and shelve all books), as well as regional considerations (there simply won't be too much demand for How to Build an Igloo at the San Antonio Public Library). But these kinds of constraints are just what the Google Book Search project are supposed to help overcome.]

So what kind of editorial discretion does Google contemplate given the inclusion of Section 3.7(e)? Will it respect the existing norms of access for books in public libraries, and include all materials that the law allows (essentially making Section 3.7(e) irrelevant)? Or will it create a YouTube-like policy that might exclude books deemed (by who?) to be offensive or otherwise filled with “bad stuff”?

This is a critical issue that the Settlement Agreement fails to adequately address. I will pose these questions at the Public Index, and hope that they might be further addressed at upcoming conferences discussing the Settlement. I welcome any further thoughts or reactions.