Google Print Extends, Embraces European Books

    September 1, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Google has extended its controversial book scanning and indexing program to non-English language works.

The Mountain View home of Google wants to assemble the collective works of Europe’s cultural centers into an accessible digital index, available as a reference source to all. Or, Google wants to take hundreds of years of European printed works and turn them into grist for the AdWords and AdSense mill. Either viewpoint could be true, from a certain point of view.

Danny Sullivan observed on the Search Engine Watch blog today how Google Print has expanded its invitation to non-English language works. Additional content on Google Print pages in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and Spain tells publishers in those countries how they can get involved.

Previously, Google had announced it would stop scanning books until November, placing the program on hiatus as it seeks to balance the program against complaints from publishers. Google has said it will not scan books publishers ask them to exclude. Publishers claim that violates copyright practices.

Places like France have been extremely critical of Google Print. The head of France’s National Library complained the plan would include more English than non-English works, and the revenue generated by Google would be “accentuating the imbalance.”

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.