Google Book Search Goes to Germany

    March 7, 2007

The Bavarian State Library has decided to partake in Googles project to scan books from the world’s great collections.  As one of the largest libraries in the German-speaking world, the library has around nine million volumes and will make around one million books available to Google search. 

A library spokesman said Google would scan many books in German, but some may include Italian, French, Spanish, Latin and English.  All included books have the copyright expired.  German law currently protects copyrighted books for 70 years after the author’s death.  Google Germany spokesman Stefan Keuchel expects consumers to find downloaded books online in the future.
"And it’s pleasing not just for us, but also for Google users, particularly in the German-speaking world, because the deal means that we’ll be able to significantly raise the number of German books in the Google Book Search."

Keuchel considers this a significant step for Google.  Other library participants consist of the Complutense University of Madrid, the Bodleian Library at Oxford, The National Library of Catalonia, several U.S. universities and the New York Public Library

Google Spokeswoman Jin Cui said Google has worked with around 20 publishing houses for the Chinese version of its book search service.  Users can find this on the Internet at     

Microsoft has critiqued the Google Book Search.  Various authors and publishers sued Google in 2005 to block scanning copyrighted books for fear of consumers no longer purchasing the printed version.  Google disputes by saying they create the “electronic equivalent of a library card catalog for copyrighted works” and plans to issue full texts of out-of-copyright books in the public.