First Google Print books unveiled

Friday, November 4, 2005

Google Print allows users to search an online library of thousands of complete texts.

On Thursday, Google announced the first major expansion of Google Print -- allowing visitors to search and read a further 10,000 texts via the project's website. The new additions are out-of-copyright American literature and historical documents from the 19th century.

This initial expansion comprises documents from the New York Public Library and the libraries of Harvard University, Stanford University, Oxford University, and the University of Michigan. In a formal statement, University of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman said, "Today we welcome the world to our library. As educators we are inspired by the possibility of sharing these important works with people around the globe."

Since its initial announcement, the project has been the subject of legal threats from publishing companies and authors who want to ensure that Google does not scan and distribute copyrighted material without permission. As a result of the legal action the scanning of copyrighted material has been on hold, and there has been speculation that the project was a failure. However, Google has announced that it restarted scanning copyrighted works from the 1st of November.

Google's controversial service also faces competition from the Open Content Alliance, formed by internet companies including Yahoo! and the Internet Archive.