Oh dear. It seems as if everyone, from the big boys to the independent publisher, is against Google when it comes to the Google Books project.
New bedfellows Microsoft and Yahoo, along with book-turned-Aladdin’s-cave seller Amazon, are set to join the Internet Archive and library associations to oppose Google’s plan to put millions of books online and make them freely searchable.
A serious problem is that Google is effectively saying to authors and publishers “you’ve automatically opted in unless you explicitly opt out”.
Google may be big, but this presumes that every author has heard of the Google Books project and will react before September 4 this year if they don’t want to be involved.
As things stand, all out-of-copyright books are fair game for Google to scan and archive, along with any books that the author has given permission.
From a reader’s point of view, Google Books sounds great â€” discover books that you like and then find out where you can buy or borrow a real copy.
However, now the big corporations have joined in (whatever their individual motivation is) this is set to rumble on for a long time.
You can bet that Google isn’t going to throw away five years plus of investment into the project.
Let battle commence.