Yahoo to Support New Online Library

Yahoo said on Monday that it would lead a group that would aim to make books and traditional media more available on the Internet, while being respectful of copyrights.

Google had launched a similar project last year, but met strong resistance after authors sued the Web giant over "massive copyright infringement" last month.

The group is known as the Open Content Alliance, and the organization's planned massive repository of digitized media would be hosted by the non-profit group Internet Archive.

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Several other companies have announced their support for the project, including Adobe, HP Labs and O'Reilly Media, as well as the University of California and the University of Toronto.

"We are honored to participate in a program that helps further our vision of expanding all human knowledge by working with content creators to make their content available to a growing online audience," said David Mandelbrot, Yahoo vice president.

The content would be made available to anyone, including commercial sites. Any search engine would be able to index the content once it is made available through the OCA's own site. Yahoo would be responsible for building this part of the project.

To allay copyright fears, content would not be indexed without the expressed permission of the copyright holder, different from Google's initial approach.

The new project seems to have the support of authors. "We welcome the launch of the OCA because its approach respects the rights of publishers and other copyright owners," said Sally Morris, chief executive of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, said in a statement.

Google has expressed support for Yahoo's project as well, saying "We welcome efforts to make information accessible to the world."

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