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Microsoft abandons book digitisation programme

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Microsoft is stopping its Live Search Books and Live Search Academic projects. It is also stopping its digitisation initiatives, including the library scanning and in-copyright book programmes, once its current contracts end.

The Live Search Books and Live Search Academic programmes digitised 750,000 books and indexed 80 million journal articles.

Microsoft says that believes that ‘the next generation of search is about the development of an underlying, sustainable business model for the search engine, consumer, and content partner.’ The company is encouraging libraries to build on the platforms developed with Kirtas, the Internet Archive, CCS, and others to create digital archives available to library users and search engines. 

It also intends to provide publishers with digital copies of their scanned books and is removing the contractual restrictions placed on the digitised library content. It is also making the scanning equipment available to its digitisation partners and libraries to continue digitisation programmes.