Saturday, September 5, 2009

Google books deal battle heats up; BBC News, 9/4/09

Maggie Shiels via BBC News; Google books deal battle heats up:

"The most vocal critics of the deal have largely banded together to form the Open Book Alliance. It was set up by the non-profit Internet Archive, which has its own book-scanning project and has to date digitised 500,000 books.

"Just as Gutenberg's invention of the printing press more than 700 years ago ushered in a new era of knowledge sharing, the mass digitisation of books promises to revolutionise how we read and discover books," said Peter Brantley of the alliance.

"But a digital library controlled by a single company and small group of publishers would inevitably lead to higher prices and subpar services for consumers, libraries, scholars and students."...

Many believe the issue of rights over out-of-print books would best be solved by legislation and not the courts.

"It is never a good thing for private parties to make deals for the public good," said Martin Manley, the founder of, an online store which sells used, rare and out-of-print books.
"The public good is meant to be solved by regulators who are somewhat accountable and by legislators who are wholly accountable," Mr Manley told BBC News."

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