Press: “‘You can’t take the sky from me’: the DPLA and the open Web”

Posted by Kenny Whitebloom on January 19, 2012 in Press.

“A group of people including Professor Darnton propose to change this situation, to open up access to knowledge by creating a National Digital Library for the public – the Digital Public Library of America. The DPLA will be a distributed system aggregating different digital collections already existing in America’s libraries. It will work with HathiTrust, Brewster Kahle’s Internet Archive, the Library of Congress, various universities, and government sources (primarily US states which have digitised newspaper collections). This aggregation will then be open to everyone in the United States (and beyond) to allow them to access their cultural heritage. This expansive vision has massive financial and legal obstacles. In terms of cost, a somewhat comparable project, Europeana, runs on a budget of €5 million a year; Brewster Kahle estimates the cost of digitisation at $30 million for a large library. But America is unique in having private foundations which are willing to donate money for public goods: it’s an economic culture that doesn’t exist to the same degree in Britain and makes the DPLA a unique undertaking. In terms of law, the DPLA will of course respect copyright law and in the first instance will focus on ebooks in the public domain and, where possible, orphan works.”

From Simon Barron’s post on Undaimonia, “Your can’t take the sky from me”: the DPLA and the open Web

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