Google intends to scan the more than 130 million published books in the world, but they are making enemies along the way
By 2010 there were almost 130 million published books in the world! In an effort to actively promote the democratization of knowledge, Google announced that it intended to scan all of the books which would total 4 billion digital pages and 2 trillion words!
Google plans to complete the project by the end of the decade, but the project is not without controversy.
Books are scanned at a rate of 1,000 pages per hour with an Elphel 323 camera and errors do sneak in. Some pages are unreadable or upside down or in the wrong order. The book information such as publishing dates, authors and publishers may even be incorrect or wrongly abbreviated.
Google has therefore been widely criticized for the lack of editing to correct the thousands of mistakes.
There have also been numerous lawsuits against the company for copyright infringement. Google has a very unorthodox policy of freely copying any work until the copyright holder actually instructs them to stop!
The China Written Works Copyright Society has accused Google of scanning 18,000 books by 570 Chinese writers without the writer or the publisher's authorization. The company refused to admit to having "infringed" copyright laws.
Although the project has the potential of becoming the largest body of human knowledge, there seem to be a few things that need ironing out first.