Google’s decision to exclude foreign-language texts comes after months of persistent criticism from many European officials. Copyright holders also would have to give more explicit permission to sell digital book copies if another version is being sold anywhere else in the world.
Google’s court settlement drew harsh criticism from European publishers.
The proposals “do not mark any progress on the essential question of non-English language works pirated by Google,” said a statement by the Publisher’s Association (SNE), which groups most of France’s publishers. “The SNE is maintaining its position by asking Google to respect the essential principle of prior consent by authors and publishers for use of their works.”
Erika Linke, who served as president of the Association of College and Research Libraries, said Google’s agreement to remove non-English works from its scanning project could stifle enthusiasm among college librarians anxiously waiting for the program to launch.
“It changes the value of it in a way,” said Linke, associate dean of libraries at Carnegie Mellon University. “It makes a big difference” for students researching non-English texts, she said.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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