In the October 8, 2004 newsletter, I wrote about Google's plans to scan millions of books and to make them available to everyone on the web at no charge. You can read that newsletter article here with follow-up articles in the December 15, 2004 newsletter here and in the May 26, 2005 newsletter here.
Google's plans sent shockwaves throughout the publishing industry as well as amongst librarians worldwide. Many expressed concerns about Google's plans to scan copyrighted books as well as those that do not enjoy copyright protection. Now it looks like the management team at Google has heard those concerns: the company is slowing down the project. Google revealed this week that the company will delay scanning copyrighted texts until November. Apparently, that gives the company time to work out agreements with several industry trade groups.
In a blog post yesterday, Google Print Product Manager Adam M. Smith said that company made changes to the project designed to better meet the needs of publishers. Google now allows both its publishing partners and other book publishers to upload a list of books they don't want included in Google Print. Publishers can also request that a book be removed at any time from Google's search results.
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. So now, any and all copyright holders - both Google Print partners and non-partners - can tell us which books they'd prefer that we not scan if we find them in a library.
To allow time to review the new options it is offering publishers, Google will refrain from scanning any copyrighted books until November, Smith wrote.