Brussels to study copyright issues arising from digital library
The European Commission is to set up a European digital library able to display around six million books, photographs and films and available to all internet users by 2010.
Following a period of consultation, the commission on Thursday (2 March) announced that it would study the copyright issues that might arise with the library and help speed up the project by co-funding a network of digitisation sites.
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Two million works are expected to be online via the library by 2008, the commission said.
"[It] can enable you to tap into Europe’s collective memory with a click of your mouse," Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding said in a statement.
The library will be based on the infrastructure of an already existing European network that allows access to digital resources held in national libraries, AFP reports.
The commission plans for the digital library, were first announced last September, and have generally been welcomed by libraries, publishers and universities across Europe.
The digital library should have the full collaboration of national libraries by the end of 2006, the commission said.
US Internet search giant Google started an international race to build an online library when it announced plans in December 2004 to digitise books and documents from a handful of big libraries.
Since then, US Internet and software giants Yahoo, Microsoft and Amazon have announced separate plans while France, upset that private companies took the lead, has pushed for the creation of a public digital library, AFP reports.