The Google Print Library Project came to a halt on Aug. 12, American Eastern Time, amid charges of copyright violations.
Started in last December, the project means to spend ten years in scanning more than 15 million books from libraries at Harvard, Stanford and the University of Michigan into its computers to build the world largest digitalized library online. By then people will be able to read the full text of large amounts of valuable academic documents, and the project is lauded by New York Times "a big step in global virtual libraries".
But the project, when just started, came under charges of copyright violation. Opponents including the Association of American University Presses believe that this program will bring a large-scale and systematic copyright violation, since Google has dropped a hint that it will scan copyright protected books from these libraries. The Association of American Publishers once asked Google to suspend its project for six months to solve copyright related problems.
Although Google took some measures: to provide full text of only works in public domain, that is, those on which copyrights have expired; but for books still under copyright protection, Google will scan the full text into its computer but only provide a searchable summary online. But publishers still hold that Google has no right to copy full text of books with copyrights and save them, in large amounts, into its own data bank.
Finally, Google has agreed to suspend its project to give publishers and other copyright holders the chance to opt out of having their protected works copied. It is learned that this ambitious program will restart only after November 1 at the earliest.
By People's Daily Online