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Microsoft Ends Book Scanning Programs

 7:48 am on May 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

Microsoft said Friday it is ending its quest to create an online library of the world's books as the technology titan revamps its strategy to battle Internet search king Google.

Live Search Books and Live Search Academics projects are being cancelled and the websites will be taken down next week, Microsoft senior vice president of search Satya Nadella said in an online posting.

"This also means that we are winding down our digitization initiatives, including our library scanning and our in-copyright book programs," Nadella wrote.

Microsoft Ends Book Scanning Programs [news.yahoo.com]



 5:48 pm on May 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

That's too bad.


 9:19 pm on May 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

As a creator of copyrighted work I can only applaud less copyright infringements.

As a an opponent to MSFT's mission to monopolize everything in the digital world, it's good to see them back out of anything.

But as a neutral observe one wonders if MSFT even has a strategy.

  • Why invest in something with clear and obvious legal trouble down the road ?
  • Why invest in something to only swallow it back in, how do you justify the expenses made to your stakeholders ?
  • How do you justify to your stakeholders limiting yourself to a tactic of reacting to the market leader as a strategy ?

Note I said stakeholder, not just stockholders.


 6:28 am on May 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Why invest in something with clear and obvious legal trouble down the road ?

Because Google was doing it.

Web 1.0: Individual webmaster me too!

Web 2.0: Corporate shareholder pandering me too!


 11:38 pm on May 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think Microsoft, Yahoo and of course Google all have had book scanning projects. All historical works, any and everything that is public domain and all government documents SHOULD be scanned and made accessible to the world.

The Open Library organization is the Wiki of books online with approx. 200,000 full books, this is a great thing.

Copyright in all cases needs to be respected of course, but out of copyright works should be available and thats where the vast majority of these books fall into.


 3:44 pm on May 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

As a creator of copyrighted work I can only applaud less copyright infringements.

I don't know about all the initiatives, but I was chatting to a chap from the British Library only last week (at a Microsoft event!) and there they are only doing major works over 50 years old, which isn't exactly cleaner than clean, but relatively close.

It's a pity, but the machines sitting in the British library (four of them I am led to believe) probably won't go anywhere in a hurry...

[edited by: Receptional at 3:45 pm (utc) on May 27, 2008]


 11:09 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Take care with those 50 years after creation: that's US law, not international.
e.g. where I live copyright remains for 70 years after the death of the author, i.e. always longer than what the US has, sometimes significantly so.

But I can live with it if it's documents that are truly and fully in the public domain. Still it doesn't make up for utter lack of strategy of Ballmer and co.

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