Google Back in Book Business

Google plans to resume scanning copyrighted library
books into its search engine today after temporarily shelving the project
because of copyright concerns.

Google’s Print Library Project, which was announced in December and halted
in August because of widespread objections from publishers and authors, will start cataloging again.

Adam Smith, senior business product manager for Google Print writing in a
company blog, said the focus of the project is on scanning books that are
unique to libraries, including many public domain books, orphaned works and
out-of-print titles.

“We’re starting with library stacks that mostly contain older and
out-of-circulation books, but also some newer books,” Smith wrote. “That
said, we want to make all books easier to find, and as we get through the
older parts of the libraries we’ll start scanning the stacks that house
newer books.”

The search engine giant said it will resume scanning the collections of
Stanford University and the University of Michigan.

Google halted the project to give concerned publishers time to decide on one of two
options.

They could give Google a list of books they want added to their
accounts if Google scanned them from the library, or publishers and
copyright holders could give the company a list of books they didn’t want
scanned.

In September the Authors Guild filed a suit in federal court charging that Google’s plan to
digitize the entire collections of five libraries violated the copyrights of
those books’ authors.

And last month, the American Association of Publishers has continued protesting the book scanning, arguing it shouldn’t have to opt out of the Google Library Project.

Google isn’t the only search entity in the book-scanning business.

Yahoo also announced plans to help build the online library of copyrighted books as part of the Open Content Alliance, a consortium of big businesses, non-profit groups and universities that will digitize hundreds of thousands of books and technical papers and make them available on the Web for almost universal access.

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