Google resumes book scanning

Summary:The search giant risks the wrath of the book publishing industry as it resumes its strategy of scanning 'the libraries of the world', with a new focus on out-of-print titles

Google is to start scanning and copying the world's books again after announcing on Tuesday that its self-imposed suspension is over.

The company says it will resume scanning books but will focus on out-of-print titles and wants to get publishers' permission to scan in-print books as part of Google Print.

The company said in August it was temporarily halting scanning books after facing stiff opposition from book publishers and the prospect of a 'massive' copyright suit.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Google will be trying to get publishers' permission to digitise books that are still on sale in bookshops. Google claims that this strategy will not hurt book publishers as it tries to stay away from the readily available bestsellers and targets books that people find it harder to track down.

According to Google Print product manager Adam Smith, the August moratorium was held so that "any and all copyright holders can tell us which books they'd prefer that we not scan if we find them in a library".

Google launched its Google Print programme in October 2004. At the time, it claimed it was a way "for publishers to make their books discoverable by the millions of people who search on Google".

Topics: Tech Industry


Colin has been a computer journalist for some 30 years having started in the business the same year that the IBM PC was launched, although the first piece he wrote was about computer audit. He was at one time editor of Computing magazine in London and prior to that held a number of editing jobs, including time spent at the late DEC Compu... Full Bio

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