Stung by a publishing industry backlash, Google Inc. has halted its efforts to scan copyrighted books from some of the nation's largest university libraries so the material can be indexed in its leading internet search engine. Google's decision puts into question the future of an initiative that would have opened these libraries' collections to the world and made it easier for scholars to do research.

The company announced the suspension, effective until November, in a notice posted on its web site just before midnight Aug. 11 by Adam Smith, the manager of its ambitious program

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