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Open Content Alliance Will Scan Boston’s Books

The Open Content Alliance, Brewster Kahle’s alternative to Google’s much-discussed book-scanning project, announced this week that it would digitize public-domain material from the 19 institutions in the Boston Library Consortium.

The alliance was created in 2005 by Mr. Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, who has criticized Google’s digitizing project for scanning snippets of copyrighted texts and for tying material to its own search engine. Books scanned by the Open Content Alliance are public-domain texts that can be scanned in full and indexed by every search engine.

Mr. Kahle and his corporate sponsors, including Adobe, Yahoo, and Hewlett-Packard, haven’t grabbed as many headlines as Google, but they appear to be making steady progress. About 40 institutions have signed on, and pages are being digitized at six scanning centers across the country.

The newest location, at the Boston Public Library, will let the alliance scan books at a cost of just 10 cents per page, project officials said in a statement. —Brock Read

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