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Google Donates $3M to Digitize Docs
By Ed Oswald, BetaNews
November 22, 2005, 12:53 PM
Google on Tuesday announced that it would be making a $3 million donation to the Library of Congress to begin an effort to create digital copies of rare documents from around the globe, called the "World Digital Library."
The project would be similar to the Library's American Memory project, which it first started work on in 1994. The site now includes more than 10 million items on various topics, including the nation's founding, baseball cards and documents from World War I and II.
Plans are currently in place to digitize works for The National Library and Archives of Egypt, starting with Islamic science documents from the 10th Century. The Library hopes to pen more agreements to expand the service to China, India and the rest of the Islamic world.
The Library of Congress is also inviting other contributors to chip in and help with what is expected to be a costly endeavor. The American Memory project has already brought in $48 million in private donations as well as $15 million contributed from the federal government.
It is likely that some of the documents scanned by the Library of Congress would make it into Google's Book Search service. Since most would be handwritten, the technology isn't yet capable to recognize those documents, but Google expects to eventually figure out a way to index those as well.
These documents would also be free of the copyright issues that have nagged the service in the past. Already, two groups have sued Google over copyright infringement: The Author's Guild and the Association of American Publishers.
They're moving beyond scanning books, and now starting to scan other stuff, like important documents from musems.
Im sure thatll be handy eventualy, like when documents get to old to read or take care of properly. But why woul the Authors guild and assosiation of publishers sue Google? Like there trying to make books available for everyone who has acces to the internet, whats wrong with that?