Friday, January 30, 2009

Google Adds Magazine Annex to Online Library

Google Books now has a magazine section. The search engine -- which only recently settled a longstanding dispute with book publishers over making their literature searchable on the Web -- put content from popular magazines online, though much of it will be years old. It's worked out a linking and revenue sharing plan with rights owners.

As part of its quest to corral more content published on paper, Google has made digital copies of more than 1 million articles from magazines that hit the newsstands decades ago.

Links and Revenue

For now, the old magazine articles can be found only through Google's search service for finding digital copies of books. However, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company plans to eventually include magazine articles in its general search results.

Users who want to restrict the scope of their inquiries to magazines can choose that option through the book search's "advanced" function.

Dozens of magazine publishers have agreed to let Google index their archives. The incentive: Google will link to the Web site of a participating magazine publisher and share some of the revenue that is expected to be generated from ads shown alongside the old articles.

Beyond the Net

The list of old magazines already available through Google includes past issues of New York Magazine, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science and Ebony.

Google has been trying to reel in more content from non-Internet sources for the past four years. The crusade began with agreements to copy books sitting on the shelves of several major libraries -- an ambitious project that triggered a copyright battle with publishers and authors that was finally settled in October.

Besides books and magazine articles, Google also provides a digital gateway to the archives of several newspapers and millions of old photos from Life magazine.


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