Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

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Google providing legal access to out-of-print books

Fascinating article in Ars Technica this morning, that may have far-reaching consequences for bibliophiles.

The article doesn't give a ton of detail, but it's tantalizing. Summary: Google has finally settled its long-running battle with publishers over its program to scan books from libraries, with an agreement that, at first glance, seems decently win-win. Basically, Google is becoming a sort of publisher of last resort for in-copyright, out-of-print books -- the vast majority of books out there, and often the ones we want. They'll provide legal access to these books online, with a fee for individual access. Libraries will get full, free access to the entire already-huge and rapidly growing database.

I'll want to see the details (like price) before I start cheering, and obviously this is just a workaround for the pretty-broken US copyright system. But within the constraints of that system, this may be one of the better possible approaches...
Tags: technology

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