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German publishers plan online library

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A group of German publishers are set to launch their own web-based library in order to fend off competition from internet search engines such as Google, who seek to put literature online.Google has sparked controversy with proposals to scan copyrighted works without permission to make them searchable online. But publishers fear the idea would give Internet companies a monopoly on culture in their selection of texts. The German association of book publishers has hit back by releasing details of their own network, scheduled for next year (06), which will allow the full texts of their books to be searched online without handing the texts over to the companies themselves. Google currently has agreements with publishers whereby it scans their books to allow readers to search the full texts online. The search results display only limited extracts. In the longer term, the German association wants to build its own search engine to offer services which could rival those offered by Google, Yahoo or Lycos, and even offer readers the chance to borrow books online. Matthias Ulmer, who is leading the project, says, "We don't want Google to hold the texts in its servers; we want the publishers to keep them." Ulmer believes the German project will create the first nationwide network of its kind. (SH/WNWR/SC)

(c) 2004 World Entertainment News Network

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