Oct 172005

Yahoo has announced plans to build a vast archive of copyrighted books, something no other search engine so far has succeeded in doing. Yahoo is partnering with the Open Content Alliance to provide public access to digital versions of books, academic papers, video and audio. Yahoo will provide the search capabilities to the Open Content Alliance website.

According to the OCA website, “The Open Content Alliance (OCA) represents the collaborative efforts of a group of cultural, technology, nonprofit, and governmental organizations from around the world that will help build a permanent archive of multilingual digitized text and multimedia content. Content in the OCA archive will be accessible soon through this website and through Yahoo!”

Much of the material for the website will be submitted directly by publishers and authors. Only copyrighted material that has the express written consent of the publishers and authors will be indexed, however, which means initially the archive will be lacking much of what brick and mortar libraries can offer. But the intent is a rather novel one favored by writers, authors and publishers in that it is permission driven.

Other participants in the Alliance include the University of California and the University of Toronto, Adobe Systems Inc, Hewlett-Packard Co., the Internet Archive, and O’Reilly Media Inc.