The EU goes down the GooglePrint and Yahoo path.
From the Register
“Without a collective memory, we are nothing, and can achieve nothing. It defines our identity and we use it continuously for education, work and leisure,” said Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. “The internet is the most powerful new tool we have had for storing and sharing information since the Gutenberg press, so let’s use it to make the material in Europe’s libraries and archives accessible to all.”
Google’s library project takes the book collections of several research libraries – about 15 million books – and makes this content searchable online. According to the Commission, Google’s initiative “triggered a reflection on how to deal with our European cultural heritage in the digital age.”
Google has faced problems: some copyright holders whose books featured in the libraries were upset and are currently suing the search company. The Commission hopes to avoid such problems by addressing copyright issues upfront. It does not depend on legal change in order to succeed; it can also work within today’s laws. Its only driver for adjusting the laws is to increase the range of material on offer. Without change, the Commission can still stock works in which copyrights have expired or where permission is granted by copyright holders.