The Internet Archive, whose main claim to fame is the Wayback Machine, designed to archive the internet's web history, has created a new project: the Open Content Alliance. Its purpose is to open the nation's library collections to universal web search.
A number of major library systems, including the Boston Public Library and Smithsonian, have refused to sign up with competing ventures by Microsoft and Google because they do not provide for universal access to digitized books. These commercial ventures prohibit books being accessed by competing search engines. So far, 80 libraries and research institutions have signed on with Open Content Alliance.
They must pay for the scanning of their books while Google and Microsoft offset that cost for their participating institutions
- Libraries Decline Offers to Place Books on Google and Microsoft Search / 2007-10-23 / Search Engine Roundtable: A New York Times article discusses the Open Content Alliance, an initiative to put books online for everyone's consumption regardless of affiliation. ...
- Freeing books and other digital things / 2007-10-22 / ZDNet Blogs
Full detail of OCA on OpenLibrary.org