Google: We will bring books back to life
Posted in: Miscellaneous at 06/02/2010 18:06
by Google's senior vice president for corporate development and chief legal officer
If you love books and care about the knowledge they contain, there is a problem that needs to be solved. Somewhere in the region of 175m books exist in the world today. A tiny fraction of those are in print and for sale in bookshops or on the web. Another small portion are so old that they are out of copyright and anyone can use them.
But the remainder of the world's books - indeed the majority - are out of print but in copyright. They are hard for people to find unless they know exactly what they are looking for, and it's very difficult for copyright holders to exploit them commercially. Although copies may be available in libraries, they are effectively dead to the wider world.