Friday, October 24, 2008

20,000 Publishers Now Partnering with Google in its Book Search

Over the space of a year Google has doubled the number of publishers with which it is partnering in Google’s Book Search project. There are now 20,000 publishers who are allowing Google to scan the full-text of their books so that internet users can access at least snippets (maybe more) of the works. Excerpt from a 15 October Reuters report:

"We're getting publishers get their content to more and more relevant people and, vice versa, we're getting users in contact with relevant content they probably didn't know existed," said Santiago de la Mora, head of book partnerships in Europe.

Speaking in an interview at the Frankfurt Book Fair, de la Mora said he did not want to single out individual publishers who had joined the programme in the last year.

But, when asked, he confirmed that Bertelsmann's Random House, the world's largest non-factual publisher, had signed up.

Google has been in legal dispute since 2005 with U.S. publishers over its practice of scanning in-copyright works it accesses through its U.S. library partners without explicit permission from copyright holders.

De la Mora was unforthcoming as to the number of books the company has scanned.

"The figure has not been changed. That's the official number," he said, referring to last year's announcement that Google had scanned more than a million books. "It's more than the figures. Let's not get bogged down."

Asked whether the project was getting the necessary resources from Google, de la Mora said, "It's a very ambitious project, I mean, clearly, it's an enormous undertaking, so it's huge, it's huge. And we're going as fast as possible. I mean, 100 languages, more than 1 million books, it's enormous." . . . .

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