Dear Mary Minow:
The U of Michigan has posted their confidential agreement with Google in response to my freedom of information request. See the link at the top of www.google-watch.org/appeal.html
I have some observations after reading this thing. Either the U of M decided that Google deserved a big fat Christmas present last December, or U of M's lawyers all had hangovers from a Christmas party.
Google gets to do anything it wants with the public domain material it digitizes, and U of M cannot do anything with this material other than use it on their own website, assuming that measures are taken to prevent crawling, scraping, or other types of automatic retrieval. As for copyrighted material, Google decides what is "fair use" and what isn't, and U of M is out of the picture.
The only place where I saw the word "privacy" in the agreement is here:
This was interesting:
"6.3 Confidentiality (Exceptions) Google understands that U of M, as a public institution, is subject to the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, and any disclosure of Confidential Information required by that statute will not constitute a breach of this agreement."
The whole agreement was confidential. The U of M is the only one of the five libraries that is not private, and subject to government regulation. Clearly, Google was hoping that no one would notice. They were almost right -- it was nearly five months before I decided to search for "freedom of information" and "university of michigan." Shame on me, and even more shame on everyone else. But the most shame on Google and the U of M, who should have taken one look at the situation and decided to skip all the confidentiality language from the start.
This is, after all, clearly a public policy issue. Remember, Google is on a mission from God to organize all the world's information. That's just about as public as you can get.
-- Daniel Brandt