Google Print Goes to Europe

Book publishers in five European companies can opt in to Google’s Print Publishers Program.

Publishers in France, Italy, Germany, Holland and Spain can sign up online and then send their books to Google. Google will scan the books and add the full texts to its searchable index.

When users click on search results from that book, they’ll see “Buy This Book” links leading them to online retailers. Publishers also will receive a cut of any revenue generated by pay-per-click advertising shown against the search results.

The news follows yesterday’s announcement that Google rolled out domain-specific versions of its English-language book search to 14 countries.

Participating publishers already include Grupo Planeta and Grupo Anaya in Spain; De Boeck and Editions De L’Eclat of France; Springer Science & Business Media in Holland; and the Italian Giunti Editore.

“We are expanding the program to make it available to all publishers of all sizes in a number of new languages,” said Jim Gerber, Google director of content partnerships.

The indexed book content will be searchable via Google Book Search or regular Web search in all versions of Google, both domestic and international.

“As with the current books in the English language, if a publisher chooses to limit the places where the book is searchable by geography, we’ll be able to do that,” Gerber said. “But in general, most publishers choose to promote the book worldwide.”

As part of its announcement to publishers of the new program, Google spelled out some details about how it will protect their material. Publishers can specify how much of a book a user will be able to view, with a minimum of 20 percent of the book’s entire contents. Google also disables the print, cut, copy and save functionality on all pages displaying book content.

Google still may copy books without publishers’ permission, as part of its Library Project, the e-mail missive said. But in such cases, searchers will only be able to view three snippets containing a few sentences around the keyword.

Jim Gerber, Google’s director of content partnerships, told that many publishers have seen benefits in getting international visibility for their books.

“They get reporting on the amount of visitors to those pages, so they may choose to put a book back in print or in print-on-demand,” he said. “And most publishers have opted to include the advertising, so at the very least they can start earning revenue on those results.”

Google had halted the scanning of works under copyright in the stacks of its library partners, but it will resume that scanning on Nov. 1.

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