Copyrighted literature goes online for free through National Library of Norway

Source:AFP Published: 2014-1-20 20:03:01

Most books published in Norway before 2001 are going online for free thanks to an initiative that may have found the formula to reconcile authors with the Web.

At a time when the publishing world is torn over its relationship to the Internet, which has massively expanded access to books but also threatens royalty revenues, the National Library of Norway is digitizing tens of thousands of titles.

The books are free online with the consent of the copyright holders at

The site features 135,000 works and will eventually reach 250,000 including Norwegian translations of foreign books.

National Library head Vigdis Moe Skarstein said the project is the first of its kind to offer free online access to books still under copyright, which in Norway expires 70 years after the author's death.

"Many national libraries digitize their collections for conservation reasons or even to grant access to them, but those are (older) books that are already in the public domain," she said. "We thought that, since we had to digitize all our collection to preserve it for the next 1,000 years, it was also important to broaden access to it as much as possible."

Posted in: Miscellany

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