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Google Gives Publishers Opt-Out From Library Scanning Project; One Group Still Not Happy

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Details on the Google Blog. The biggest change is that Google will allow publishers who are members of the Google Print program to explicity tell Google what library books they want digitized.

If you?re in the Publisher Program (or you decide to join it), you can now give us a list of the books that, if we scan them at a library, you?d like to have added immediately to your account...So now, any and all copyright holders ? both Google Print partners and non-partners ? can tell us which books they?d prefer that we not scan if we find them in a library. To allow plenty of time to review these new options, we won?t scan any in-copyright books from now until this November.

To be clear, Google will continue scanning public domain materials.

The Google Blog post also mentions that these changes came about after talks with "variety of constituencies" including various publishing groups (US and international) that have expressed concerns over the project. However, it looks like today's announcement has done little to stop these concerns from at least one group of publishers.

From the Association of Amercican Publishers:

Google's announcement does nothing to relieve the publishing industry's concerns," said Patricia Schroeder, AAP's President and CEO. Google's plan calls for digitally copying every work in the collections of three major libraries unless specifically denied permission for a particular work by the copyright owner. "Google's procedure shifts the responsibility for preventing infringement to the copyright owner rather than the user, turning every principle of copyright law on its ear," said Mrs. Schroeder...We were confident that by working together, Google and publishers could have produced a system that would work for everyone, and regret that Google has decided not to work with us on our alternative proposal," Mrs. Schroeder said.

Publishers and individual authors can learn more here.

Remember, Google Library scans the entire book but only show a few snippets around each search term if the book is still in copyright. Screenshots here illustrate what you'll see from a Google Library result vs a Google Print result. More about the differences between Google Print for Publishers and Google Library, here.

Next week, I'm hoping to do an email Q&A with a Google Print official, more later.

Finally, don't forget many other companies and projects are already providing unlimited full text access (not just snippets) to thousands of books. I name just a few of them here and here. This post looks at a few of my favorite specialty databases that offer access to books (thousands available).


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