From the press release MSN Search Announces MSN Book Search we learn

SAN FRANCISCO — Oct. 25, 2005 — MSN Search today announced its intention to launch MSN® Book Search, which will support MSN Search’s efforts to help people find exactly what they’re looking for on the Web, including the content from books, academic materials, periodicals and other print resources. MSN Search intends to launch an initial beta of this offering next year. MSN also intends to join the Open Content Alliance (OCA) and work with the organization to scan and digitize publicly available print materials, as well as work with copyright owners to legally scan protected materials.

"With MSN Book Search, we are excited to be working with libraries worldwide to digitize and index information from the world’s printed materials, taking another step in our efforts to better answer people’s questions with trusted content from the best sources," said Christopher Payne, corporate vice president of MSN Search at Microsoft Corp. "We believe people will benefit from the ability to not just view a page, but to easily act on that data in contextually relevant ways, both online in the search experience and in the applications they are using."

MSN will first make available books that are in the public domain and is working with the Internet Archive to digitize the material. MSN will then work to extend its offering to other types of offline content. The digitized content will primarily be print material that has not been copyrighted, and Microsoft will clearly respect all copyrights and work with each partner providing the information to work out mutually agreeable protections for copyrights.

If you're keeping track that means all three major search engines (Yahoo!, Google and MSN) have announced book search engines. So far only Google is facing lawsuits from publishers because it plans to digitize copyrighted works unless the copyright holders explicitly opt-out. Expecting that publishers and authors will have to go to each search engine vendor that plans to offer a book search service to explicitly tell them not to redistribute their works seems to be putting an unnecessary burden on copyright holders and runs counter to the spirit of copyrights. 

The lawsuits around Google Print may turn out to be an interesting turning point in how copyright is viewed in the digital era.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005 3:15:41 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
Heh. Wondered why you were bothering to criticise Google Print's opt-out policy.

Does MSN have any strategy at all apart from cloning everything Google does?
Wednesday, October 26, 2005 4:50:56 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
>Does MSN have any strategy at all apart from cloning everything Google does?

I was going to ask the same about Google. Email, maps, IM, RSS reader? One would think that the Google strategy is simply to come up with AJAX-y versions of stuff being shipped by Yahoo! and MSN. ;)
Thursday, November 3, 2005 11:19:37 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Who cares about products that aren't even in beta yet. Why does M$ announce crappy products that no one can use? Office live -2006? If you talk about a product, then deliver it. MS is trying to get a news cycle because they can't deliver any inovative products.
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