Friday, November 13, 2009

Europe split on Google book plans; BBC News, 11/13/09

David Reid, BBC News; Europe split on Google book plans:

Google plans to put millions of the world's books online and create the world's largest virtual library by 2010.

"The European Union has its own project to digitise library collections which was first mooted as a counter to Google.

The Europeana project aims to keep art, culture and out-of-print books free from commercial control.

Not everyone is opposed to Google's plans - some libraries view the firm's commercial ambitions as a chance to get their collections digitised for free.

Patrick Bazin, director of the library in the French city of Lyon, explained that if libraries do not digitize their collections, they run the risk of disappearing from the cultural landscape.
He added that Google's investment could be used to his library's advantage.

"Our aim is not to supply a private company with digital versions of our books, but to have digital versions so we can build a digital library.

"We estimated that to digitise the 500,000 books we are going to would cost us 60m euros. We don't have 60m euros," he explained."

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