The University of California (UC) system announced on Wednesday that it has inked a pact with search giant Google to digitize millions of books in its libraries as part of the Mountain View, Calif.-based firm’s Google Books Library Project, an initiative that aims to digitize volumes from the world’s vast array of libraries and make content available online, The Daily Californian reports.
Robert Dynes, UC president, said in a release that the project “greatly expands our ability to give scholars and the public access to the kinds of information and ideas that drive scholarly innovation and public knowledge discourse,” according to The Daily Californian.
Others parties that have joined Google in its digitization efforts include the University of Michigan, Stanford University, Harvard University and the New York Public Library, among others, The Daily Californian reports.
The UC network includes 10 campuses across the state that are home to some 34 million library books, and though UC has not specified which books will be digitized, it has said millions of volumes will be scanned under the initiative, according to The Daily Californian.
As part of the deal, Google will foot the bill for the books’ scanning, and the UC system will be responsible for initial start-up fees and maintenance to the tune of one to multiple millions of dollars for the first year and hundreds of thousands of dollars each additional year, The Daily Californian reports.
After a volume is scanned, two digital copies will be provided—one to the UC and one to Google for use on the Web, according to The Daily Californian. For public books, users will be able to search texts and read complete versions, and excerpts of some copyrighted texts will also be available, The Daily Californian reports.
Google has come under fire in recent months because it digitizes some copyrighted materials without first obtaining approval from the works’ authors, and a number of authors and copyright holders have even filed suit against the search firm, according to The Daily Californian.
A handful of the parties involved in the Google Books Library Project have chosen not to scan copyrighted works, but the UC system will allow some copyrighted material to be digitized, The Daily Californian reports.
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