Katie Hafner, writing in the New York Times, characterises Yahoo's decision to digitise thousands of books as a direct challenge to Google.
"An unusual alliance of corporations, nonprofit groups and universities plans to announce today an ambitious plan to digitize hundreds of thousands of books over the next several years and put them on the Internet, with the full text accessible to anyone.
The effort is being led by Yahoo, which appears to be taking direct aim at a similar project announced by its archrival, Google, whose own program to create searchable digital copies of entire collections at leading research libraries has run into a series of challenges since it was announced nine months ago.
The new project, called the Open Content Alliance, has the wide-ranging goal of digitizing historical works of fiction along with specialized technical papers. In addition to Yahoo, its members include the Internet Archive, the University of California, and the University of Toronto, as well as the National Archive in England and others."
Yahoo, contrary to Google, intend to make their book index searchable via any search engine.