An agreement signed between Microsoft and the British Library will allow Bill Gates’ company to digitize and search for books with an offer of 100,000 titles, which total about 25 million pages.
The Microsoft project, which was recently announced, puts the software, Google and Yahoo. The three companies are carrying out identical projects in their objectives, but which differ in form. The differences have put Google under fire and motivated the discontent of publishers, who complain about the lack of respect for copyright.
To avoid this confrontation, Microsoft and Yahoo decided to move forward, in a first phase, with the digitization of documents that are already in the public domain and therefore are not protected by this mechanism.
To develop this first aspect of the project, aimed at books without copyright Microsoft has established a partnership with the Open Content Alliance (formed by Yahoo) that will allow the availability online of 150 thousand titles, to which is added another 100 thousand titles given by the British Library.
Speaking to the BBC, the library has already shown its satisfaction with the initiative, which in the opinion of director Lynne Brindley «guarantees access to the vast library collection at all times.»
The Microsoft project advances next year and will be available through MSN. Meanwhile, competitor Google announced this week that its Google Print Library service already has 10,000 books available, titles that are also in the public domain.
2005-11-03 – Google makes more than 10,000 books available on Google Print
2005-10-27 – Microsoft prepares project to digitize books