Search giant Google Inc. has expanded Google Print, its controversial book-scanning project, into eight European countries.
Native language sites have been launched in France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Spain. At each of the new Google Print locations, users can see snippets of the book where their search term appears.
Several European book publishers, located in Spain, Holland, France and Italy, are supplying some or all of their book collections to Google, according to published reports.
Just as with its debut in the United States, Google Prints European expansion has created a big stir. A month before the new Google Print sites were operational, a European Commissioner, Vivane Reding, announced the EUs own book digitization project, indicating that it was to counter Google Print. Leaders of Germany, Italy, Hungary, Poland and Spain said they would support the effort EU effort.
Google Prints English-language version, located on the Internet at print.google.com, also drew heated criticism when it was launched months ago. The Authors Guild, a non-profit group representing authors, in September filed a lawsuit seeking to stop Google Print, claiming the project violated their copyrights.