Google has suspended plans to build the world's biggest online library to allow publishers more time to identify copyrighted material.
The Google Print plan was announced last year, and seven of the world's biggest libraries have agreed to put their content online. The eventual plan is to scan every book in the world so it can be read online, either in its entirety if the copyright has elapsed or just a summary if not.
"We think most publishers and authors will choose to participate in the publisher program in order to introduce their work to countless readers around the world. But we know that not everyone agrees, and we want to do our best to respect their views too," said Adam M. Smith, Google Print product manager in the company blog.
"So now, any and all copyright holders can tell us which books they¹d prefer us not to scan if we find them in a library. To allow plenty of time to review these new options, we won¹t scan any in-copyright books from now until this November," said Smith.
The move is unlikely to mollify commercial publishers, who are accusing Google of abusing the law on copyright material.
"Google's announcement does nothing to relieve the publishing industry's concerns," said Patricia Schroeder, president of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), which publishes 80 per cent of the books sold in America.
"Google¹s procedure shifts the responsibility for preventing infringement to the copyright owner rather than the user, turning every principle of copyright law on its ear,² Schroeder concluded.
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