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Bavarian library joins Google book search project

Google plans to digitize more than a million public-domain books in the Bavarian State Library, according to a Tuesday blog posting of Jens Redmer, head of Google Book Search in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The effort, which is set to include works by The Brothers Grimm, Goethe and Schiller, is part of Google's Library Project of scanning, indexing and making available for viewing over the Internet entire libraries of books. In addition to the German-language books, the Bavarian State Library has out-of-copyright works in French, Spanish, Latin, Italian and English.

Other libraries participating in Google's book-scanning project: Oxford University, University Complutense of Madrid, the Library of Barcelona, Harvard University, Stanford University, University of Michigan, the New York Public Library, University of Virginia, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Princeton University, University of California and the University of Texas at Austin. Google also is working on a pilot project with the Library of Congress.

As part of the its Book Search Library Project, Google is also scanning and indexing books that are not in the public domain. As a result, the company has been sued by U.S. publishers and authors and by claiming that Google is violating those books' copyright protection.

Google's defense is that its practice is covered by "fair use" because it allows only small excerpts of copyrighted material to be viewed without permission of the copyright holder or publisher.