Google and the British Library launched a project to digitize 250,000 books from the British Library. This project is a major undertaking scan conducted by the Mountain View company, which already offers 13 million books in digital form.
Google will pay for digitization of some 40 million pages, which will be available on its search engine, available for download and playback on Google Books. It will also be possible to find books on the website of the British Library, which stores in its digital archive. The books cover the period 1700-1870 and events like the French Revolution and the abolition of slavery.
In Europe, the giant will scan the Web works as royalty-free but it is not the case in the United States where, as a result of such transactions in the context of partnership funds, a legal battle committed in 2005 between authors, publishers and Google. The case remains unresolved.
The British Library is working with several partners to digitize its collection and hopes to provide the public with digital versions of its 150 million items by 2020.
An earlier partnership with the giant Microsoft has digitized 65 million books of the 19th century, many of which are now available via an application on iPad.
(Source: Press and Policy, The Guardian and CNet)