The October 3, 2005 article by Scott Carlson and Jeffrey R. Young at the Chronicle points out that Yahoo Inc. has formed the alliance with “the University of California, the University of Toronto, and several archives and technology companies….”
The Open Content Alliance (http://www.opencontentalliance.org/) was the idea of Brewster Kahle, Internet Archive director. Other alliance participants are Adobe, the European Archive, the National Archives of England, O’Reilly Media, and Hewlett Packard Labs.
In contrast to the Google Print digitization project which is now subject to the lawsuit in Author’s Guild v. Google, on which we have posted previously here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here, Yahoo will not scan (digitize?) any copyright books unless copyright holders give explicit permission for them to do so (opt-in).
Several thousands of public domain works have already been scanned, though the quality for the work that we chose to look at first, a work entitled Merlin, which took ages to download, is less than perfect. In addition, these are just mere scans and not digitizations of the text, so that the text of this work is not yet searchable, which is the most important element of any such library project.
And yet, this is already quite interesting reading, for this volume of Merlin is apparently a “lost” public domain Trilogy of Merlin published many years ago, author as yet unkown. It will be interesting to see how this compares with the newer copyrighted Trilogy of Merlin, which has been quite a successful book.