German publishers irked by Google Book Search's indexing of their books without paying a fee have launched a competing version of the same service. So far, reports Ars Technica, about 300 publishers have made about 8,000 German books available to searchers on Libreka.de, with up to 50,000 more to be added. Users can view titles and cover images of books containing searched-for phrases.
The German publishers consider even the short snippets of text that show up in the results of a Google search a copyright violation, and object to Google's opt-out model, where publishers must explicitly ask for their books to be removed from the database. Libreka, annouced at the giant Frankfurt Book Fair, is opt-in, meaning publishers' material is only included once they agree it can be added.