What was I saying earlier about the need for good metadata in order to open up free content? The Times Higher Tweeted today on the Google Books metadata fiasco and ensuing online discussion on linguist and Professor Geoffrey Nunberg's blog. At the end of August he blogged about the millions of metadata errors on Google Books. At first you almost think this is funny but then it dawns on you how much information Google holds and how much trust is invested in them by their billions of users.
One thing that's pointed out on Geoff's blog post is that a crucial thing to remember is that Google Books will likely be 'The Library' in the future. No-one else will repeat the scanning they've done, so we're stuck with Google Books as our one online source for digitised books. This means that they absolutely have to get this right and, more importantly, that they must alert their users to its ongoing limitations.