Already facing a legal challenge for alleged copyright infringement, Google Inc.'s crusade to build a massive digital library is encountering stiff competition from an alternative project that promises better online access to the world's books, art, and historical documents.

The conflict revolves around Google's insistence on chaining the books it scans to its internet-leading search engine.

An alternative book-scanning effort called the Open Content Alliance (OCA) favors a less restrictive approach to prevent mankind's accumulated knowledge from being controlled by a single commercial entity, even if it is a company such as Google, which has embraced "Don't Be Evil" as its creed.

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