Google is still in the middle of a battle over Google Books and has butted heads with Rupert Murdoch over Google News. But it looks as if it’s toying with taking on newspapers and magazines with a project to convert magazine and newspaper archives.

A new Google patent application, titled Segmenting Printed Media Pages Into Articles, reveals the search giant’s method for scanning articles and recompiling the text and images in an electronic version.

The application describes how it would detect blocks of text in articles and work out how they fit together to recreate articles. The method would allow Google to scan magazines and newspapers and offer individual articles.

Using optical character recognition, Google could also create pure text versions of the articles which would allow users to search archives.

With massive legal battles still raging over Google Books, Google could be sailing towards even stormier waters with magazine publishers. Either that, or we’re about to ditch the paper copies of our favourite periodicals for good!

Due TBC | £TBC | Google (via BNET)

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