Google launches ebook service

By Derek Sooman on August 30, 2006, 8:27 AM
Continuing to further expand their services, Google have launched a service that lets people download and print copies of certain books. For some titles, this is completely free of charge. The new "Google Book Search" includes a vast number of titles, some of the world's most well-known books that are out of copyright chief among them. The service has been made possible thanks to collaboration between Google and many University libraries such as those of Harvard and Oxford. The ultimate aim is to digitise major classics.

Google Book Search does not, however, allow users to download any books under copyright. However, if the publisher or author has given Google Book Search permission through its Partner Program, it is possible to view a preview containing a subset of the full content. Basic bibliographic information is available for many titles that are not yet a part of the Program.

"Since people can search the full text of these books, they can find previously buried information about historical events or people, places of interest and matters cultural or scientific.

"What has been tucked away in large research library collections and available only to a few, can now be discovered and read by people everywhere," said Sid Verba, Director of the Harvard University Library which is a partner in the Google Books Library Project.

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