Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Morning After the Great Book Bank Robbery

Today there is much rejoicing in the digital ranks. After all Google has just bought the industry for what would appear in this crazy world of money – a snippet.
So everyone will get paid and literature will flow freely around the Internet. You will be able to view and buy any book from anywhere and all those messy rights contract issues with digital just got settled. Libraries will get more members, publishers will sell back and forgotten lists and even authors will get recompensed. There will no more orphans as any lose strays will soon get sucked up and adopted.
Next will be the other legal battles that Google has in motion to capture the rest of the media and information world.

Is it good or is it bad. Who are the winners and who are the losers?

A hefty slice of all future revenues will remain with Google and as with any division of money, someone will have to pay for that slice. So what’s in it for booksellers? What will be the relationship between authors and publishers as they become tethered for life with no divorces? What will it mean to consumers as they become faced not with a huge virtual choice but everything ever published at a click?

Before the great adoption land grab takes place its now time to lay claim remembering this is an ‘opt out’ not an ‘opt in’ world. Forget right reversals Google has wiped that of the agenda in one swoop and some major publishers have got their way, albeit with Google’s considerable help. There is now no ‘reprint under consideration’ only a notice saying ‘Go get it from Google’.

Finally in the global networked world, is this a done deal for all and how do we deal with a world divided by Google. How will others now negotiate with both hands tied behind their backs?


FG said...

The next sensible move surely is a reader device akin to, but better than, the Kindle. A device that would allow free access to Google's libraries-worth of OP books, and subscription or pay-per-book/chapter/page access to nearly everything in print. So far the problem with e-Readers has been that, unlike iPods, you couldn't upload your existing library (and that of others) to the device or its software. Perhaps this is the turning point where mass upload of cheap or free books to personal devices becomes possible. Good news? For some.

John said...

man you seem to be freaking out a bit about this, I suggest you take a chill pill and mellow out. nobody's gonna break into your house and steal all your books.