Google heads into the British Library armed with its scanner

St Pancras Reading Room at The British LibraryThe British Library has agreed to allow the Google Books service through its doors today, The Telegraph reports, bringing the digitising service to one of the worlds largest collections of books and pamphlets.

The agreement is similar to one Google already has in place with may libraries and publishers around the world, and makes copyright free works available in fully searchable form online. The British Library is a major edition to the initial five libraries participating in the scheme – Harvard, Michigan, Stanford, Oxford, and the New York Public Library.

Many groups however object to the scanning and digitising of the books, in late 2005 the Authors Guild of America and Association of American Publishers separately sued Google, citing "massive copyright infringement” over the scanning of copyright works, which Google argues against as works in copyright although full scanned only had short samples available for searching online, not the entire publication.

The agreement will be formally announced today.


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