Monday, December 9, 2013

Google Book Scan

The judge has come down in favor of Google with their book scanning project. I think that the judge ruled correctly.

I never agreed with what the Author's Guild saw as issues, even after they explained those issues at great length. The very promise of digital implies such a thing as Google Books. On one hand, they expect that Google will make their home pages findable by readers, for which they pay Google nothing. On the other hand, they expect that Google will pay for the privilege of making their work searchable.

If authors could demand payment for indexing, then could not ALL AUTHORS demand that Google pay to index them? Think about that. Google would go bankrupt if it had to hand money over everyone. In such a case, the whole ecosystem would collapse, great woe would occur, bills would pass through congress (even this one) and Google would be allowed to index at no cost.

Better this way, I think. I sacrifice some small amount of profit in exchange for a working search engine that benefits me in many ways. That is a worthy bargain.

As for exclusivity, nobody is stopping other entities from scanning books. Expect more book repositories to appear now that Google has won.

Personally, I expect to see Amazon show up with a book indexer with a subscription. Like a library, you can peruse the entire book. They can also give authors money for clicks. They could likely put that infrastructure in in just a few months considering their vast digital holdings and existing author reward system.

The world will continue changing and becoming a more interesting place.