Microsoft live books to close?

I’ve been reading some reports that Microsoft is to dump this initiative, to stop scanning and just merge the results into its general (useless) search engine.  The site was blocked from access outside the US until a few weeks ago, but is now accessible — while it lasts.

It’s quite a triumph for the British Library, isn’t it?  They signed an agreement whereby their books would only appear on this site — inaccessible to the British taxpayers, who pay their salaries.  Now it seems as if the books won’t really be accessible at all.  If they had appeared on archive.org, we would all be able to use them.

Nearly 10 years after the world-wide web became available, the British Library remains dedicated to keeping its collection offline and inaccessible to anyone.  It’s difficult for me, as a British taxpayer, not to feel deep anger at this.  The BL seems to be run by a group of self-satisfied and corrupt bureaucrats, running their little gravy train for themselves and ignoring the public welfare.  But when will politicians bring these people to justice?

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