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Google Books (previously known as Google Book Search and Google Print and by its code-name Project Ocean) is a service from
Google Inc. Google LLC is an American multinational technology company that specializes in Internet The Internet (Capitalization of Internet, or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet pro ...

Google Inc.
that searches the full text of books and magazines that Google has scanned, converted to text using
optical character recognition Optical character recognition or optical character reader (OCR) is the electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control ...
(OCR), and stored in its digital database. The basic Google book link is found at https://books.google.com/. The "advanced" interface allowing more specific searches is found at https://books.google.com/advanced_book_search Books are provided either by publishers and authors through the Google Books Partner Program, or by Google's library partners through the Library Project. Additionally, Google has partnered with a number of magazine publishers to digitize their archives. The Publisher Program was first known as Google Print when it was introduced at the
Frankfurt Book Fair The Frankfurt Book Fair (German: Frankfurter Buchmesse, FBM) is the world's largest trade fair for books, based both on the number of publishing companies represented, and the number of visitors. It is considered to be the most important book fa ...
in October 2004. The Google Books Library Project, which scans works in the collections of library partners and adds them to the digital inventory, was announced in December 2004. The Google Books initiative has been hailed for its potential to offer unprecedented access to what may become the largest online body of human knowledge and promoting the
democratization of knowledge The democratization of knowledge is the acquisition and spread of knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (procedural knowledge), or objects ( ...
.Malte Herwig, "Google's Total Library", ''Spiegel Online International'', Mar. 28, 2007.
/ref> However, it has also been criticized for potential copyright violations, and lack of editing to correct the many errors introduced into the scanned texts by the OCR process. , the number of scanned book titles was over 25 million, but the scanning process has slowed in American academic libraries. Google estimated in 2010 that there were about 130 million distinct titles in the world,Google: 129 Million Different Books Have Been Published
PC World
and stated that it intended to scan all of them. , Google celebrated 15 years of Google Books and provided the number of scanned books as more than 40 million titles. Google Book's scanning efforts have been subject to litigation, including '' Authors Guild v. Google'', a class-action lawsuit in the United States. This was a major case that came close to changing copyright practices for
orphan work An orphan work is a copyright-protected work for which rightsholders are positively indeterminate or uncontactable. Sometimes the names of the originators or rightsholders are known, yet it is impossible to contact them because additional details c ...
s in the United States.


Details

Results from Google Books show up in both the universal
Google Search Google Search (also known simply as Google), is a search engine provided by Google. Handling over 3.5 billion searches per day, it has a 92% share of the global search engine market. It is also the most-visited website in the world. The order ...
and in the dedicated Google Books search website (''books.google.com''). In response to search queries, Google Books allows users to view full pages from books in which the search terms appear if the book is out of copyright or if the copyright owner has given permission. If Google believes the book is still under copyright, a user sees "snippets" of text around the queried search terms. All instances of the search terms in the book text appear with a yellow highlight. The four access levels used on Google Books are: * Full view: Books in the
public domain The public domain consists of all the to which no intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable. As examples, the works of , , and are in the public domain eit ...

public domain
are available for "full view" and can be downloaded for free. In-print books acquired through the Partner Program are also available for full view if the publisher has given permission, although this is rare. * Preview: For in-print books where permission has been granted, the number of viewable pages is limited to a "preview" set by a variety of access restrictions and security measures, some based on user-tracking. Usually, the publisher can set the percentage of the book available for preview. Users are restricted from copying, downloading or printing book previews. A watermark reading "Copyrighted material" appears at the bottom of pages. All books acquired through the Partner Program are available for preview. * Snippet view: A "snippet view" – two to three lines of text surrounding the queried search term – is displayed in cases where Google does not have permission of the copyright owner to display a preview. This could be because Google cannot identify the owner or the owner declined permission. If a search term appears many times in a book, Google displays no more than three snippets, thus preventing the user from viewing too much of the book. Also, Google does not display any snippets for certain reference books, such as dictionaries, where the display of even snippets can harm the market for the work. Google maintains that no permission is required under copyright law to display the snippet view. * No preview: Google also displays search results for books that have not been digitized. As these books have not been scanned, their text is not searchable and only the
metadata Metadata is " that provides information about other data", but not the content of the data, such as the text of a message or the image itself. There are many distinct types of metadata, including: * Descriptive metadata — the descriptive info ...

metadata
such as the title, author, publisher, number of pages, ISBN, subject and copyright information, and in some cases, a table of contents and book summary is available. In effect, this is similar to an online library card catalog. In response to criticism from groups such as the
American Association of Publishers American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States ** Americans, citizens and nationals of the United States of America ** American ancestry, people who self-id ...
and the
Authors Guild The Authors Guild is America's oldest and largest professional organization for writers and provides advocacy on issues of free expression and copyright protection. Since its founding in 1912 as the Authors League of America, it has counted among i ...
, Google announced an
opt-outThe term opt-out refers to several methods by which individuals can avoid receiving unsolicited product or service information. This ability is usually associated with direct marketing campaigns such as, e-mail marketing, or direct mail. A list of th ...
policy in August 2005, through which copyright owners could provide a list of titles that they do not want scanned, and the request would be respected. The company also stated that it would not scan any in-copyright books between August and 1 November 2005, to provide the owners with the opportunity to decide which books to exclude from the Project. Thus, copyright owners have three choices with respect to any work: # It can participate in the Partner Program to make a book available for preview or full view, in which case it would share revenue derived from the display of pages from the work in response to user queries. # It can let Google scan the book under the Library Project and display snippets in response to user queries. # It can opt out of the Library Project, in which case Google will not scan the book. If the book has already been scanned, Google will reset its access level as 'No preview'. Most scanned works are no longer in print or commercially available. In addition to procuring books from libraries, Google also obtains books from its publisher partners, through the "Partner Program" – designed to help publishers and authors promote their books. Publishers and authors submit either a digital copy of their book in
EPUB EPUB is an that uses the ".epub" . The term is short for ''electronic publication'' and is sometimes styled ''ePub''. EPUB is supported by many s, and compatible software is available for most smartphones, tablets, and computers. EPUB is a pu ...
or
PDF Portable Document Format (PDF), standardized as ISO 32000, is a file format ogg-file: 154 kilobytes. A file format is a standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for pe ...
format, or a print copy to Google, which is made available on Google Books for preview. The publisher can control the percentage of the book available for preview, with the minimum being 20%. They can also choose to make the book fully viewable, and even allow users to download a PDF copy. Books can also be made available for sale on Google Play. Unlike the Library Project, this does not raise any copyright concerns as it is conducted pursuant to an agreement with the publisher. The publisher can choose to withdraw from the agreement at any time. For many books, Google Books displays the original page numbers. However,
Tim Parks Timothy Harold Parks (born 19 December 1954) is a British novelist, translator, author and professor of literature. Career He is the author of eighteen novels (notably '' Europa'', which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize The Booker Priz ...
, writing in ''The New York Review of Books'' in 2014, noted that Google had stopped providing page numbers for many recent publications (likely the ones acquired through the Partner Program) "presumably in alliance with the publishers, in order to force those of us who need to prepare footnotes to buy paper editions."


Scanning of books

The project began in 2002 under the codename Project Ocean. Google co-founder
Larry Page Lawrence Edward Page (born March 26, 1973) is an American computer scientist A computer scientist is a person who has acquired the knowledge of computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, a ...

Larry Page
had always had an interest in digitizing books. When he and
Marissa Mayer Marissa Ann Mayer (; born May 30, 1975) is an American businesswoman and investor. She is an information technology executive, and co-founder of Sunshine Contact. Mayer formerly served as the President (corporate title), president and chief execut ...

Marissa Mayer
began experimenting with
book scanning A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data. It provides context for data and enables decision making process. For example, a single customer’s sale at a restaurant is data – t ...
in 2002, it took 40 minutes for them to digitize a 300-page book. But soon after the technology had been developed to the extent that scanning operators could scan up to 6000 pages an hour. Google established designated scanning centers to which books were transported by trucks. The stations could digitize at the rate of 1,000 pages per hour. The books were placed in a custom-built mechanical cradle that adjusted the book spine in place while an array of lights and optical instruments scanned the two open pages. Each page would have two cameras directed at it capturing the image, while a range finder
LIDAR Lidar (, also LIDAR, or LiDAR; sometimes LADAR) is a method for determining (variable distance) by targeting an object with a and measuring the time for the reflected light to return to the receiver. Lidar can also be used to make digital ...
overlaid a three-dimensional laser grid on the book's surface to capture the curvature of the paper. A human operator would turn the pages by hand, using a foot pedal to take the photographs. With no need to flatten the pages or align them perfectly, Google's system not only reached a remarkable efficiency and speed but also helped protect the fragile collections from being over-handled. Afterwards, the crude images went through three levels of processing: first, de-warping algorithms used the LIDAR data fix the pages' curvature. Then,
optical character recognition Optical character recognition or optical character reader (OCR) is the electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control ...
(OCR) software transformed the raw images into text, and, lastly, another round of algorithms extracted page numbers, footnotes, illustrations and diagrams. Many of the books are scanned using a customized
Elphel Elphel, Inc. designs and manufactures open hardware Open-source hardware (OSH) consists of physical artifacts of technology designed and offered by the open-design movement. Both free and open-source software Free and open-source software ( ...
323 camera at a rate of 1,000 pages per hour. A
patent A patent is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depe ...

patent
awarded to Google in 2009 revealed that Google had come up with an innovative system for scanning books that uses two cameras and infrared light to automatically correct for the curvature of pages in a book. By constructing a 3D model of each page and then "de-warping" it, Google is able to present flat-looking pages without having to really make the pages flat, which requires the use of destructive methods such as unbinding or glass plates to individually flatten each page, which is inefficient for large scale scanning.


Website functionality

For each work, Google Books automatically generates an overview page. This page displays information extracted from the book—its publishing details, a high frequency word map, the table of contents—as well as secondary material, such as summaries, reader reviews, and links to other relevant texts. A visitor to the page, for instance, might see a list of books that share a similar genre and theme, or they might see a list of current scholarship on the book. This content, moreover, offers interactive possibilities for users signed into their
Google account A Google Account is a user account that is required for access, authentication and authorization to certain online Google services. It is also often used as single sign on for third party services. Usage A Google Account is required for Gmail, Go ...
. They can export the bibliographic data and
citation A citation is a reference Reference is a relationship between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or link to, another object. The first object in this relation is said to ''refer to'' the second o ...

citation
s in , write their own reviews, add it their library to be tagged, organized, and shared with other people. Thus, Google Books collects these more interpretive elements from a range of sources, including the users, third-party sites like
Goodreads Goodreads is an American social cataloging A social cataloging application is a web application designed to help users to catalog things—books (like Goodreads), CDs, etc.—owned or otherwise of interest to them. The phrase refers to two char ...
, and often the book's author and publisher. In fact, to encourage authors to upload their own books, Google has added several functionalities to the website. The authors can allow visitors to download their ebook for free, or they can set their own purchase price. They can change the price back and forth, offering discounts whenever it suits them. Also, if a book's author chooses to add an ISBN,
LCCN The Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) is a serially based system of numbering cataloged records in the Library of Congress The Library of Congress (LC) is the research library A library is a curated collection of sources of in ...
or
OCLC OCLC, Inc., doing business as A trade name, trading name, or business name is a pseudonym A pseudonym () or alias () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, w ...
record number, the service will update the book's url to include it. Then, the author can set a specific page as the link's anchor. This option makes their book more easily discoverable.


Ngram Viewer

The Ngram Viewer is a service connected to Google Books that graphs the frequency of word usage across their book collection. The service is important for historians and linguists as it can provide an inside look into human culture through word use throughout time periods. This program has fallen under criticism because of errors in the metadata used in the program.


Content issues and criticism

The project has received criticism that its stated aim of preserving orphaned and out-of-print works is at risk due to scanned data having errors and such problems not being solved. Users can report errors in Google scanned books at
support.google.com/books/partner/troubleshooter/2983879
'.


Scanning errors

The scanning process is subject to errors. For example, some pages may be unreadable, upside down, or in the wrong order. Scholars have even reported crumpled pages, obscuring thumbs and fingers, and smeared or blurry images. On this issue, a declaration from Google at the end of scanned books says: As of 2009, Google stated that they would start using
reCAPTCHA reCAPTCHA is a CAPTCHA system that enables web hosts to distinguish between human and automated access to websites. The original version asked users to decipher hard to read text or match images. Version 2 also asked users to decipher text or m ...
to help fix the errors found in Google Book scans. This method would only improve scanned words that are hard to recognize because of the scanning process and cannot solve errors such as turned pages or blocked words.


Errors in metadata

Scholars have frequently reported rampant errors in the
metadata Metadata is " that provides information about other data", but not the content of the data, such as the text of a message or the image itself. There are many distinct types of metadata, including: * Descriptive metadata — the descriptive info ...

metadata
information on Google Books – including misattributed authors and erroneous dates of publication. Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguist researching on the changes in word usage over time noticed that a search for books published before 1950 and containing the word "internet" turned up an unlikely 527 results. Woody Allen is mentioned in 325 books ostensibly published before he was born. Google responded to Nunberg by blaming the bulk of errors on the outside contractors. Other metadata errors reported include publication dates before the author's birth (e.g. 182 works by Charles Dickens prior to his birth in 1812); incorrect subject classifications (an edition of ''Moby Dick'' found under "computers", a biography of Mae West classified under "religion"), conflicting classifications (10 editions of Whitman's ''Leaves of Grass'' all classified as both "fiction" and "nonfiction"), incorrectly spelled titles, authors, and publishers (''Moby Dick: or the White "Wall"''), and metadata for one book incorrectly appended to a completely different book (the metadata for an 1818 mathematical work leads to a 1963 romance novel). Metadata errors based on incorrect scanned dates makes research using the Google Books Project database difficult. Google has shown only limited interest in cleaning up these errors.


Language issues

Some European politicians and intellectuals have criticized Google's effort on
linguistic imperialism Linguistic imperialism or language imperialism is occasionally defined as "the transfer of a dominant language to other people". This language "transfer" (or rather unilateral imposition) comes about because of imperialism. The transfer is consid ...
grounds. They argue that because the vast majority of books proposed to be scanned are in English, it will result in disproportionate representation of natural languages in the digital world. German, Russian, French, and Spanish, for instance, are popular languages in scholarship. The disproportionate online emphasis on English, however, could shape access to historical scholarship, and, ultimately, the growth and direction of future scholarship. Among these critics is , the former president of the ''
Bibliothèque nationale de France The Bibliothèque nationale de France (, "National Library of France"; BnF) is the national library A national library is a library A library is a curated collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a ...
''.


Google Books versus Google Scholar

While Google Books has digitized large numbers of journal back issues, its scans do not include the metadata required for identifying specific articles in specific issues. This has led the makers of
Google Scholar Google Scholar is a freely accessible web search engine that indexes the full text or metadata Metadata is " data" that provides information about other data". In other words, it is "data about data". Many distinct types of metadata exist, inc ...
to start their own program to digitize and host older journal articles (in agreement with their publishers).


Library partners

The Google Books Library Project is aimed at scanning and making searchable the collections of several major research
libraries A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order to meet the user's needs on a daily basis. A library provi ...

libraries
. Along with
bibliographic 250px, Bibliographies at the University Library of Graz Bibliography (from and ), as a discipline, is traditionally the academic study of books as physical, cultural objects; in this sense, it is also known as bibliology (from ). English auth ...
information, snippets of text from a book are often viewable. If a book is out of
copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. ...

copyright
and in the public domain, the book is fully available to read or
download In computer network A computer network is a group of computers that use a set of common communication protocols over digital signal, digital interconnections for the purpose of sharing resources located on or provided by the Node (networki ...

download
. In-copyright books scanned through the Library Project are made available on Google Books for snippet view. Regarding the quality of scans, Google acknowledges that they are "not always of sufficiently high quality" to be offered for sale on Google Play. Also, because of supposed technical constraints, Google does not replace scans with higher quality versions that may be provided by the publishers. The project is the subject of the '' Authors Guild v. Google'' lawsuit, filed in 2005 and ruled in favor of Google in 2013, and again, on appeal, in 2015. Copyright owners can claim the rights for a scanned book and make it available for preview or full view (by "transferring" it to their Partner Program account), or request Google to prevent the book text from being searched. The number of institutions participating in the Library Project has grown since its inception.


Initial partners

*
Harvard University Harvard University is a Private university, private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1636 as Harvard College and named for its first benefactor, the History of the Puritans in North America, Puritan cler ...

Harvard University
,
Harvard University Library The Harvard Library is the umbrella organization for the Harvard University Harvard University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success fo ...
*: The Harvard University Library and Google conducted a pilot throughout 2005. The project continued, with the aim of increasing online access to the holdings of the Harvard University Library, which includes more than 15.8 million volumes. While physical access to Harvard's library materials is generally restricted to current Harvard students, faculty, and researchers, or to scholars who can come to Cambridge, the Harvard-Google Project has been designed to enable both members of the Harvard community and users everywhere to discover works in the Harvard collection. *
University of Michigan The University of Michigan (Michigan, or UMich) is a public university, public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Founded in 1817 by an act of the old Michigan Territory, as the History of the University of Michigan#The Catholepistemiad ( ...

University of Michigan
,
University of Michigan Library The University of Michigan Library is the university library system of the University of Michigan, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the United States. The University of Michigan Library ranks as the List of the largest librarie ...
:: As of March 2012, 5.5 million volumes were scanned. *
New York Public Library The New York Public Library (NYPL) is a public library system in New York City. With nearly 53 million items and 92 locations, the New York Public Library is the second largest public library in the United States (behind the Library of Congress) ...

New York Public Library
*: In this pilot program, NYPL is working with Google to offer a collection of its public domain books, which will be scanned in their entirety and made available for free to the public online. Users will be able to search and browse the full text of these works. When the scanning process is complete, the books may be accessed from both The New York Public Library's website and from the Google search engine. *
University of Oxford The University of Oxford is a collegiate university, collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the List of oldest universit ...
,
Bodleian Library The Bodleian Library () is the main research library A research library is a library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housi ...

Bodleian Library
*
Stanford University Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Du ...

Stanford University
,
Stanford University Libraries The Stanford University Libraries (SUL), formerly known as "Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources" ("SULAIR"), is the library system of Stanford University in California. It encompasses more than 24 libraries in all. Seve ...
( SULAIR)


Additional partners

Other institutional partners have joined the project since the partnership was first announced: *
Austrian National Library The Austrian National Library (german: Österreichische Nationalbibliothek) is the largest library in Austria, with more than 12 million items in its various collections. The library is located in the Hofburg#Neue Burg, Neue Burg Wing of the Hofburg ...
*
Bavarian State Library The Bavarian State Library (german: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, abbreviated BSB, called ''Bibliotheca Regia Monacensis'' before 1919) in Munich is the central "Landesbibliothek", i. e. the state library A library is a collection of mater ...
* Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon *
Big Ten Academic Alliance The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA), formerly the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), is the academic consortium A consortium (plural: consortia) is an Voluntary association, association of two or more individuals, companies, organizat ...
*
Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a in . Established in 1754 as King's College on the grounds of in , Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in and ...

Columbia University
, Columbia University Library System *
Complutense University of Madrid The Complutense University of Madrid ( es, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, links=no, ''Universidad de Madrid'', ''Universidad Central de Madrid''; la, Universitas Complutensis Matritensis, links=no) is a public university, public research un ...
*
Cornell University Cornell University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly two ...
,
Cornell University Library The Cornell University Library is the library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order to meet ...
*
Ghent University Ghent University ( nl, Universiteit Gent, abbreviated as UGent) is a public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totality of such groupings. ...

Ghent University
,
Ghent University Library Ghent University Library ( nl, Universiteitsbibliotheek Gent) is located in the city of Ghent Ghent ( ; nl, Gent}, ; french: Gand, ; traditional English: Gaunt) is a city and a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrativ ...
/
Boekentoren 240px, The Boekentoren The Boekentoren ( Dutch for ''Book Tower'') is a famous building located in Ghent Ghent ( ; nl, Gent}, ; french: Gand, ; traditional English: Gaunt) is a city and a municipality A municipality is usually a single ad ...
*
Keio University , mottoeng = The pen is mightier than the sword 200px, An illustration of Cardinal Richelieu holding a sword, by H. A. Ogden, 1892, from ''The Works of Edward Bulwer Lytton'' "The pen is mightier than the sword" is a metonymic adage An ada ...

Keio University
, Keio Media Centers (Libraries) *
National Library of Catalonia The Library of Catalonia ( ca, Biblioteca de Catalunya, ) is the Catalan national library, located in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The primary mission of the Library of Catalonia is to collect, preserve, and spread Catalan bibliographic productio ...
, ''
Biblioteca de Catalunya The Library of Catalonia ( ca, Biblioteca de Catalunya, ) is the Catalan national library, located in Barcelona Barcelona ( , , ) is a city on the coast of northeastern Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community o ...

Biblioteca de Catalunya
'' *
Princeton University Princeton University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly tw ...

Princeton University
,
Princeton University Library Princeton University Library is the main library system of Princeton University. With holdings of more than 7 million books, 6 million microforms, and 48,000 linear feet of manuscripts, it is among the largest libraries in the world by number of v ...

Princeton University Library
*
University of California The University of California (UC) is a public university, public Land-grant university, land-grant research university, research university system in the U.S. state of California. The system is composed of the campuses at University of Califor ...
,
California Digital Library The California Digital Library (CDL) was founded by the University of California in 1997. Under the leadership of then UC President Richard C. Atkinson, the CDL’s original mission was to forge a better system for scholarly information management a ...
*
University of Lausanne The University of Lausanne (UNIL; french: links=no, Université de Lausanne) in Lausanne , neighboring_municipalities= Bottens, Bretigny-sur-Morrens, Chavannes-près-Renens, Cheseaux-sur-Lausanne, Crissier, Cugy, Vaud, Cugy, Écublens, Vaud, ...

University of Lausanne
,
Cantonal and University Library of Lausanne The Cantonal and University Library of Lausanne (''Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire de Lausanne'', BCU) was founded in the 16th century and became one of the most important public libraries in Switzerland. History The University of La ...
*
University of Mysore The University of Mysore is a public state university in Mysore, Karnataka, India. The university was founded during the reign of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the Maharaja of Mysore. It opened on 27 July 1916. Its first chancellor (education), ch ...
, Mysore University Library *
University of Texas at Austin The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin, UT, or Texas) is a public university, public research university in Austin, Texas, founded in 1883. The University of Texas was included in the Association of American Universities in 1929. The i ...
, University of Texas Libraries ::The partnership was for digitizing the library's Latin American collection – about half a million volumes. *
University of Virginia The University of Virginia (U.Va. or UVA) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisat ...

University of Virginia
,
University of Virginia Library The University of Virginia (U.Va. or UVA) is a public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totality of such groupings. This is a diffe ...
*
University of Wisconsin–Madison The University of Wisconsin–Madison (University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin, UW, UW–Madison, or simply Madison) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of deliberately managing the release and spread of i ...
, :: As of March 2012, about 600,000 volumes had been scanned.


History

2002: A group of team members at Google officially launch the "secret 'books' project." Google founders
Sergey Brin Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin (russian: Серге́й Миха́йлович Брин, tr. ''Sergéj Mixájlovič Brin''; born August 21, 1973) is an American computer scientist and Internet entrepreneur. Together with Larry Page Lawrence ...
and
Larry Page Lawrence Edward Page (born March 26, 1973) is an American computer scientist A computer scientist is a person who has acquired the knowledge of computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, a ...

Larry Page
came up with the idea that later became Google Books while still graduate students at Stanford in 1996. The history page on the Google Books website describes their initial vision for this project: "in a future world in which vast collections of books are digitized, people would use a '
web crawler A Web crawler, sometimes called a spider or spiderbot and often shortened to crawler, is an Internet bot An Internet bot, web Web most often refers to: * Spider web A spider web, spiderweb, spider's web, or cobweb (from the archaic word ...
' to index the books' content and analyze the connections between them, determining any given book's relevance and usefulness by tracking the number and quality of citations from other books." This team visited the sites of some of the larger digitization efforts at that time including the Library of Congress's American Memory Project,
Project Gutenberg Project Gutenberg (PG) is a volunteer Volunteering is a voluntary act of an individual or group freely giving time and labour for community service. Many volunteers are specifically trained in the areas they work, such as medicine, educati ...
, and the Universal Library to find out how they work, as well as the University of Michigan, Page's alma mater, and the base for such digitization projects as
JSTOR JSTOR (; short for ''Journal Storage'') is a digital library founded in 1995 in New York City. Originally containing digitized Digitization
and Making of America. In a conversation with the at that time University President , when Page found out that the University's current estimate for scanning all the library's volumes was 1,000 years, Page reportedly told Coleman that he "believes Google can help make it happen in six." 2003: The team works to develop a high-speed scanning process as well as software for resolving issues in odd type sizes, unusual fonts, and "other unexpected peculiarities." December 2004: Google signaled an extension to its Google Print initiative known as the Google Print Library Project.O'Sullivan, Joseph and Adam Smith
"All booked up,"
''Googleblog.'' December 14, 2004.
Google announced partnerships with several high-profile university and public libraries, including the
University of Michigan The University of Michigan (Michigan, or UMich) is a public university, public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Founded in 1817 by an act of the old Michigan Territory, as the History of the University of Michigan#The Catholepistemiad ( ...

University of Michigan
,
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Harvard
(
Harvard University Library The Harvard Library is the umbrella organization for the Harvard University Harvard University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success fo ...
),
Stanford Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a Private university, private research university in Stanford, California. The campus occupies , among the largest in the United States, and enrolls over 17,000 students. Sta ...

Stanford
(
Green Library The Cecil H. Green Library (commonly known as Green Library) is the main library on the Stanford University , mottoeng = "The wind of freedom blows" , type = Private university, Private research university , academic_affiliations = Associati ...
),
Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' u ...

Oxford
(
Bodleian Library The Bodleian Library () is the main research library A research library is a library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housi ...

Bodleian Library
), and the
New York Public Library The New York Public Library (NYPL) is a public library system in New York City. With nearly 53 million items and 92 locations, the New York Public Library is the second largest public library in the United States (behind the Library of Congress) ...

New York Public Library
. According to press releases and university librarians, Google planned to digitize and make available through its Google Books service approximately 15 million volumes within a decade. The announcement soon triggered controversy, as publisher and author associations challenged Google's plans to digitize, not just books in the public domain, but also titles still under copyright. September–October 2005: Two lawsuits against Google charge that the company has not respected
copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. ...

copyright
s and has failed to properly compensate authors and publishers. One is a class action suit on behalf of authors (Authors Guild v. Google, Sept. 20 2005) and the other is a civil lawsuit brought by five large publishers and the
Association of American PublishersThe Association of American Publishers (AAP) is the national trade association of the American book publishing industry. AAP lobbies for book, journal, and education publishers in the United States. AAP members include most of the major commercial p ...
. ( McGraw Hill v. Google, Oct. 19 2005) Copyright infringement suits against Google and their settlement: November 2005: Google changed the name of this service from Google Print to Google Book Search. Its program enabling publishers and authors to include their books in the service was renamed Google Books Partner Program, and the partnership with libraries became
Google Books Library Project Google LLC is an American Multinational corporation, multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products, which include online advertising, online advertising technologies, a search engine, cloud comp ...
. 2006: Google added a "download a pdf" button to all its out-of-copyright, public domain books. It also added a new browsing interface along with new "About this Book" pages. August 2006: The University of California System announced that it would join the Books digitization project. This includes a portion of the 34 million volumes within the approximately 100 libraries managed by the System. September 2006: The
Complutense University of Madrid The Complutense University of Madrid ( es, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, links=no, ''Universidad de Madrid'', ''Universidad Central de Madrid''; la, Universitas Complutensis Matritensis, links=no) is a public university, public research un ...
became the first Spanish-language library to join the Google Books Library Project. October 2006: The
University of Wisconsin–Madison The University of Wisconsin–Madison (University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin, UW, UW–Madison, or simply Madison) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of deliberately managing the release and spread of i ...
announced that it would join the Book Search digitization project along with the
Wisconsin Historical Society The Wisconsin Historical Society (officially the State Historical Society of Wisconsin) is simultaneously a state agency and a private membership organization whose purpose is to maintain, promote and spread knowledge relating to the history ...
Library. Combined, the libraries have 7.2 million holdings. November 2006: The
University of Virginia The University of Virginia (U.Va. or UVA) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisat ...

University of Virginia
joined the project. Its libraries contain more than five million volumes and more than 17 million manuscripts, rare books and archives. January 2007: The
University of Texas at Austin The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin, UT, or Texas) is a public university, public research university in Austin, Texas, founded in 1883. The University of Texas was included in the Association of American Universities in 1929. The i ...
announced that it would join the Book Search digitization project. At least one million volumes would be digitized from the university's 13 library locations. March 2007: The
Bavarian State Library The Bavarian State Library (german: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, abbreviated BSB, called ''Bibliotheca Regia Monacensis'' before 1919) in Munich is the central "Landesbibliothek", i. e. the state library A library is a collection of mater ...
announced a partnership with Google to scan more than a million public domain and out-of-print works in German as well as English, French, Italian, Latin, and Spanish. May 2007: A book digitizing project partnership was announced jointly by Google and the
Cantonal and University Library of Lausanne The Cantonal and University Library of Lausanne (''Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire de Lausanne'', BCU) was founded in the 16th century and became one of the most important public libraries in Switzerland. History The University of La ...
. May 2007: The
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Library of
Ghent University Ghent University ( nl, Universiteit Gent, abbreviated as UGent) is a public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totality of such groupings. ...

Ghent University
announced that it would participate with Google in digitizing and making digitized versions of 19th century books in the French and Dutch languages available online. May 2007: Mysore University announces Google will digitize over 800,000 books and manuscripts–including around 100,000 manuscripts written in Sanskrit or Kannada on both paper and palm leaves. June 2007: The
Committee on Institutional Cooperation The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA), formerly the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), is the academic consortium of the universities in the Big Ten Conference. The consortium was renamed on June 29, 2016. Member universities Image:CICL ...
(rebranded as the
Big Ten Academic Alliance The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA), formerly the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), is the academic consortium A consortium (plural: consortia) is an Voluntary association, association of two or more individuals, companies, organizat ...
in 2016) announced that its twelve member libraries would participate in scanning 10 million books over the course of the next six years. July 2007:
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Keio University
became Google's first library partner in
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Japan
with the announcement that they would digitize at least 120,000 public domain books. August 2007: Google announced that it would digitize up to 500,000 both copyrighted and public domain items from
Cornell University Library The Cornell University Library is the library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order to meet ...
. Google would also provide a digital copy of all works scanned to be incorporated into the university's own library system. September 2007: Google added a feature that allows users to share snippets of books that are in the public domain. The snippets may appear exactly as they do in the scan of the book, or as plain text. September 2007: Google debuted a new feature called "My Library" which allows users to create personal customized libraries, selections of books that they can label, review, rate, or full-text search. December 2007:
Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a in . Established in 1754 as King's College on the grounds of in , Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in and ...

Columbia University
was added as a partner in digitizing public domain works. May 2008:
Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporation which produces Software, computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services. Its best-know ...

Microsoft
tapered off and planned to end its scanning project, which had reached 750,000 books and 80 million journal articles. October 2008: A settlement was reached between the publishing industry and Google after two years of negotiation. Google agreed to compensate authors and publishers in exchange for the right to make millions of books available to the public. October 2008: The
HathiTrust HathiTrust Digital Library is a large-scale collaborative repository of digital content from research libraries including content digitized via Google Books Google Books (previously known as Google Book Search and Google Print and by its c ...

HathiTrust
"Shared Digital Repository" (later known as the HathiTrust Digital Library) is launched jointly by the
Committee on Institutional Cooperation The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA), formerly the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), is the academic consortium of the universities in the Big Ten Conference. The consortium was renamed on June 29, 2016. Member universities Image:CICL ...
and the 11 university libraries in the University of California system, all of which were Google partner libraries, in order to archive and provide academic access to books from their collections scanned by Google and others. November 2008: Google reached the 7 million book mark for items scanned by Google and by their publishing partners. 1 million were in full preview mode and 1 million were fully viewable and downloadable public domain works. About five million were
out of print An out-of-print (OOP) or out-of-commerce item or work, is something that is no longer being published. The term applies to all types of printed matter, visual media, sound recordings, and video recordings. See also *Abandonware *Cut-out (re ...
. December 2008: Google announced the inclusion of magazines in Google Books. Titles include ''
New York Magazine ''New York'' is an American biweekly magazine concerned with life, culture, politics, and style generally, and with a particular emphasis on New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the List of United States ci ...
'', ''
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'', and ''
Popular Mechanics ''Popular Mechanics'' (sometimes PM or PopMech) is a magazine A magazine is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial publications that appear i ...

Popular Mechanics
'' February 2009: Google launched a mobile version of Google Book Search, allowing iPhone and Android phone users to read over 1.5 million public domain works in the US (and over 500,000 outside the US) using a mobile browser. Instead of page images, the plain text of the book is displayed. May 2009: At the annual
BookExpo BookExpo America (commonly referred to within the book publishing industry as BEA) was an annual book trade fair in the United States. BEA is almost always held in a major city over four days in late May and/or early June. Nearly all significant b ...
convention in New York, Google signaled its intent to introduce a program that would enable publishers to sell digital versions of their newest books direct to consumers through Google. December 2009: A French court shut down the scanning of copyrighted books published in France, saying this violated copyright laws. It was the first major legal loss for the scanning project. April 2010: Visual artists were not included in the previous lawsuit and settlement, are the plaintiff groups in another lawsuit, and say they intend to bring more than just Google Books under scrutiny. "The new class action," read the statement, "goes beyond Google's Library Project, and includes Google's other systematic and pervasive infringements of the rights of photographers, illustrators and other visual artists." May 2010: It was reported that Google would launch a digital book store called Google Editions. It would compete with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple and other electronic book retailers with its own e-book store. Unlike others, Google Editions would be completely online and would not require a specific device (such as kindle, Nook, or iPad). June 2010: Google passed 12 million books scanned. August 2010: It was announced that Google intends to scan all known existing 129,864,880 books within a decade, amounting to over 4 billion
digital page Pagination, also known as paging, is the process of dividing a document into discrete pages Page most commonly refers to: * Page (paper) A page is one side of a leaf A leaf (plural leaves) is the principal lateral appendage of the va ...
s and 2 trillion words in total. December 2010: Google eBooks (Google Editions) was launched in the US. December 2010: Google launched the Ngram Viewer, which collects and graphs data on word usage across its book collection. March 2011: A federal judge rejected the settlement reached between the publishing industry and Google. March 2012: Google passed 20 million books scanned.Howard, Jennife
''Google Begins to Scale Back Its Scanning of Books From University Libraries''
March 9, 2012
March 2012: Google reached a settlement with publishers. January 2013: The documentary ''Google and the World Brain'' was shown at the Sundance Film Festival. November 2013: Ruling in '' Authors Guild v. Google'', US District Judge Denny Chin sides with Google, citing fair use. The authors said they would appeal. October 2015: The appeals court sided with Google, declaring that Google did not violate copyright law. According to the New York Times, Google has scanned more than 25 million books. April 2016: The US Supreme Court declined to hear the Authors Guild's appeal, which means the lower court's decision stood, and Google would be allowed to scan library books and display snippets in search results without violating the law.


Status

Google has been quite secretive regarding its plans on the future of the Google Books project. Scanning operations had been slowing down since at least 2012, as confirmed by the librarians at several of Google's partner institutions. At University of Wisconsin, the speed had reduced to less than half of what it was in 2006. However, the librarians have said that the dwindling pace could be a natural result of maturation of the project – initially stacks of books were entirely taken up for scanning whereas now only the titles that had not already been scanned needed to be considered. The company's own Google Books timeline page did not mention anything after 2007 even in 2017, and the Google Books blog was merged into the Google Search blog in 2012. Despite winning the decade-long litigation in 2017, ''The Atlantic'' has said that Google has "all but shut down its scanning operation." In April 2017, ''Wired (magazine), Wired'' reported that there were only a few Google employees working on the project, and new books were still being scanned, but at a significantly lower rate. It commented that the decade-long legal battle had caused Google to lose its ambition.


Legal issues

Through the project, library books were being digitized somewhat indiscriminately regardless of copyright status, which led to a number of lawsuits against Google. By the end of 2008, Google had reportedly digitized over seven million books, of which only about one million were works in the public domain. Of the rest, one million were in copyright and in print, and five million were in copyright but out of print. In 2005, a group of authors and publishers brought a major class-action lawsuit against Google for infringement on the copyrighted works. Google argued that it was preserving "orphaned works" – books still under copyright, but whose copyright holders could not be located. The
Authors Guild The Authors Guild is America's oldest and largest professional organization for writers and provides advocacy on issues of free expression and copyright protection. Since its founding in 1912 as the Authors League of America, it has counted among i ...
and
Association of American PublishersThe Association of American Publishers (AAP) is the national trade association of the American book publishing industry. AAP lobbies for book, journal, and education publishers in the United States. AAP members include most of the major commercial p ...
separately sued Google in 2005 for its book project, citing "massive copyright infringement." Google countered that its project represented a fair use and is the digital age equivalent of a card catalog with every word in the publication indexed. The lawsuits were consolidated, and eventually a Google Book Search Settlement Agreement, settlement was proposed. The settlement received significant criticism on a wide variety of grounds, including antitrust, privacy, and inadequacy of the proposed classes of authors and publishers. The settlement was eventually rejected, and the publishers settled with Google soon after. The Authors Guild continued its case, and in 2011 their proposed class certification, class was certified. Google appealed that decision, with a number of amicus curiae, amici asserting the inadequacy of the class, and the Second Circuit rejected the class certification in July 2013, remanding the case to the District Court for consideration of Google's fair use defense. In 2015 Authors Guild filed another appeal against Google to be considered by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. Google won the case unanimously based on the argument that they were not showing people the full texts but instead snippets, and they are not allowing people to illegally read the book. In a report, courts stated that they did not infringe on copyright laws, as they were protected under the fair use clause. Authors Guild tried again in 2016 to appeal the decision and this time took their case to be considered by the Supreme Court. The case was rejected, leaving the Second Circuit's decision on the case intact, meaning that Google did not violate copyright laws. This case also set a precedent for other similar cases in regards to fair use laws, as it further clarified the law and expanded it. Such clarification affects other scanning projects similar to Google. Other lawsuits followed the Authors Guild's lead. In 2006 a German lawsuit, previously filed, was withdrawn. In June 2006, Hervé de la Martinière, a French publisher known as La Martinière and Éditions du Seuil, announced its intention to sue Google France. In 2009, the Paris Civil Court awarded 300,000 EUR (approximately 430,000 USD) in damages and interest and ordered Google to pay 10,000 EUR a day until it removes the publisher's books from its database. The court wrote, "Google violated author copyright laws by fully reproducing and making accessible" books that Seuil owns without its permission and that Google "committed acts of breach of copyright, which are of harm to the publishers". Google said it will appeal. Syndicat National de l'Edition, which joined the lawsuit, said Google has scanned about 100,000 French works under copyright. In December 2009, Chinese author Mian Mian filed a civil lawsuit for $8,900 against Google for scanning her novel, ''Acid Lovers''. This is the first such lawsuit to be filed against Google in China. Also, in November that year, the China Written Works Copyright Society (CWWCS) accused Google of scanning 18,000 books by 570 Chinese writers without authorization. Google agreed on Nov 20 to provide a list of Chinese books it had scanned, but the company refused to admit having "infringed" copyright laws. In March 2007, Thomas Rubin, associate general counsel for copyright, trademark, and trade secrets at Microsoft, accused Google of violating copyright law with their book search service. Rubin specifically criticized Google's policy of freely copying any work until notified by the copyright holder to stop. Google licensing of public domain works is also an area of concern due to using of digital watermarking techniques with the books. Some published works that are in the public domain, such as all Copyright status of work by the U.S. government, works created by the U.S. Federal government, are still treated like other works under copyright, and therefore locked after 1922.


Similar projects

*
Project Gutenberg Project Gutenberg (PG) is a volunteer Volunteering is a voluntary act of an individual or group freely giving time and labour for community service. Many volunteers are specifically trained in the areas they work, such as medicine, educati ...
is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, to "encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks". It was founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart and is the oldest digital library. , Project Gutenberg reached 50,000 items in its collection. * Internet Archive is a non-profit which digitizes over 1000 books a day, as well as mirrors books from Google Books and other sources. , it hosted over 2.8 million public domain books, greater than the approximate 1 million public domain books at Google Books. Open Library, a sister project of Internet Archive, lends 80,000 scanned and purchased commercial ebooks to the visitors of 150 libraries. *
HathiTrust HathiTrust Digital Library is a large-scale collaborative repository of digital content from research libraries including content digitized via Google Books Google Books (previously known as Google Book Search and Google Print and by its c ...

HathiTrust
maintains HathiTrust Digital Library since October 13, 2008, which preserves and provides access to material scanned by Google, some of the Internet Archive books, and some scanned locally by partner institutions. , it includes about 6 million volumes, over 1 million of which are public domain (at least in the US). *
ACLS Humanities E-Book
an online collection of over 5,400 books of high quality in the humanities and related social sciences, accessible through institutional subscription. * Microsoft funded the scanning of 300,000 books to create Live Search Books in late 2006. It ran until May 2008, when the project was abandoned and the books were made freely available on the Internet Archive. * The National Digital Library of India (NDLI) is a project under Ministry of Human Resource Development, India. The objective is to integrate several national and international digital libraries in one single web-portal. The NDLI provides free of cost access to many books in English and the Indian languages. * Europeana links to roughly 10 million digital objects , including video, photos, paintings, audio, maps, manuscripts, printed books, and newspapers from the past 2,000 years of European history from over 1,000 archives in the European Union. * Gallica from the French National Library links to about 4,000,000 digitized books, newspapers, manuscripts, maps and drawings, etc. Created in 1997, the digital library continues to expand at a rate of about 5000 new documents per month. Since the end of 2008, most of the new scanned documents are available in image and text formats. Most of these documents are written in French. * Wikisource * Runivers


See also

* A9.com, Amazon.com's book search * Book Rights Registry * Digital library * List of digital library projects * Universal library * National electronic library


References


Further reading

* *


External links

* *
About Google Books
* * * * * {{Authority control Google Books, Google Search, Books Google services, Books Full-text scholarly online databases Scholarly search services Computer-related introductions in 2004