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Google Editions, Google's new digital book sales program, will launch this summer. Google is still fighting in court for the right to offer out-of-print works for free.  (Source: Paper Pills)
Google is ironing out all the fine details of its digital book sales scheme

Google began scanning books and newspapers into its digital archive, Google Books, in 2004.  While the public loved having instant access to classics, out of print titles, and more, publishers weren't so thrilled.  In 2005, the Authors Guild of America and Association of American Publishers brought suit against Google for "massive copyright infringement".

The authors' groups and Google finally made peace after lengthy negotiations.  As part of the agreement that was reached, Google would offer to sell the digital books that it was previewing.

That plan is about to be executed this summer.  Speaking to a publishing industry panel in New York City, Chris Palma, Google's manager for strategic-partner development, announced that Google Editions, it's new sales service, will land in June or July.

Google believes that it can compete with veteran players Amazon and newcomers Apple andBarnes & Noble, thanks to its unique approach.  Unlike its rivals, Google will be offering its service across a variety of sites (with one central store site) and will try to make its digital books available for as many different devices as possible, not just one.

Google is still working out pricing, but the rough plan is that books sold through its central site (stored on its servers) would be sold with a cut going to Google and a bigger cut going to the authors/publishers.  Book sold on other sites using Google Edition technology will feature an even bigger cut for the authors/publishers.  This should help small independent publishers launch their own sales sites.

The books will be able to be viewed in the browser using Google web software.  Details about this are scarce at the moment.  It is unknown, for example, if the software will work with mobile internet devices like the iPad, which don't allow certain web technologies like Flash.

The competition should benefit the industry.  Evan Schnittman, vice president of global business development for Oxford University Press states, "This levels the retail playing field.  And as a publisher, what I like is that I won't have to think about audiences based on devices. This is an electronic product that consumers can get anywhere as long as they have a Google account."

By pushing users away from proprietary platforms, Google believes it can force Amazon, Apple, and others to be more open.

In a separate battle Google is still fighting in court to try to win the right to post out of print books.  Publishers who own the rights to these titles, but refuse to publish them have sued Google.  U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin is expected to rule on the case soon.



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RE: I would like to care....
By beerhound on 5/6/2010 8:25:25 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sold on the idea of a dedicated ebook reader for myself either. I have nothing against the ebook formats themselves, I just don't see spending that money on a single purpose device. Some of the new android based tablets that are in development might be worthwhile because of all the devices they could replace. Notion Ink's Adam tablet in particular, looks interesting. The screen has dual modes that can handle full color HD video on one hand and switch to an ereader mode on the other. They claim a battery life of ~16 hours in normal mode and ~160 hour as an ereader. It still might not be enough for me, but I know who would love to have his hands on one. My best friend is active duty military and currently deployed in Baghdad. He took 15 books with him and finished all of those just 5 weeks into a 6 month tour. The ability to take hundreds of books, buy more off the internet, d/l music, play movies and chat with his family via WiFi or GSM cell connnections from a single device is EXACTLY the kind of thing he is looking for.


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