Google Adds UC To Books Project

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Google Book Search announced the addition the University of California library to the Google Books Library Project. One of the world’s largest libraries, UC’s is made up of 100 libraries on 10 campuses and is considered to have the largest research and academic library in the world.

The UC library joins the ranks of University of Michigan, Harvard University, Stanford University, Oxford University and the New York Public Library in the controversial scanning program. Google is also conducting a pilot project with the Library of Congress.

Google says the project is great for readers, researchers, and book lovers as an entry point to great works of history and culture. The project, expected to take 10 years and cost $200 million, aims to make the books searchable online.

For books in the public domain, readers will be able to view, browse, and read the full texts, including many libraries’ historic and special collections. For books protected by copyright, users will just get basic background (such as the book’s title and the author’s name), at most a few lines of text related to their search, and information about where they can buy or borrow a book.

“The academic enterprise is fundamentally about discovery,” said John Oakley, Chair of UC’s systemwide Academic Senate and professor of law at UC Davis. “We contribute to it immeasurably by unlocking the wealth of information maintained within our libraries and exposing it to the latest that search technologies have to offer.”

While popular with academics and those who believe, like software, “books want to be free,” the initiative, especially when it involves the physical copying of copyrighted material and profiting from advertising along with it, has brought opposition and lawsuits from publishers groups worldwide.


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