Monday, October 12, 2009

Sergey Brin defends Google Books

In The New York Times, Google co-founder Sergey Brin defends Google Books and the settlement with the Authors Guild and American publishers that is still awaiting approval from the US courts.
If Google Books is successful, others will follow. And they will have an easier path: this agreement creates a books rights registry that will encourage rights holders to come forward and will provide a convenient way for other projects to obtain permissions. While new projects will not immediately have the same rights to orphan works, the agreement will be a beacon of compromise in case of a similar lawsuit, and it will serve as a precedent for orphan works legislation, which Google has always supported and will continue to support.
As the Frankfurt Book Fair gets underway, however, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has added her voice to those opposing the way Google is approaching their book scanning project.

Update (16.10.09): At the Frankfurt Book Fair, Google announced plans for "a new online service for booksellers next year called Google Editions, which will let readers buy books and read them on gadgets ranging from cell phones to possibly e-book devices."

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