Grey weather, blustery conditions: out-of-print works in the eye of the storm

Using digital technology to bring out-of-print works back into circulation is a marvellous idea. Yet the highly anticipated projects currently underway hold a number of economic and legal traps. Adopting a balanced model giving access to this rich heritage, bearing in mind the expectations not only of publishers, but also of authors and libraries, is the challenge facing several such programmes, most of which are backed, directly or indirectly, by Google. The article focuses on what promises to be a turning point in this key process.