Although it may not happen right away, when it does this will be a huge step forward in the Internet's ability to live up to its hype as an information resource. Want to read Dummett or Moakley? Or Katzenellenbogen or Patch or Farnham or...? There it is, on your laptop.With this agreement, in-copyright, out-of-print books will now be available for readers in the U.S. to search, preview and buy online -- something that was simply unavailable to date. Most of these books are difficult, if not impossible, to find. They are not sold through bookstores or held on most library shelves, yet they make up the vast majority of books in existence. Today, Google only shows snippets of text from the books where we don't have copyright holder permission. This agreement enables people to preview up to 20% of the book.
What makes this settlement so powerful is that in addition to being able to find and preview books more easily, users will also be able to read them. And when people read them, authors and publishers of in-copyright works will be compensated. If a reader in the U.S. finds an in-copyright book through Google Book Search, he or she will be able to pay to see the entire book online. Also, academic, library, corporate and government organizations will be able to purchase institutional subscriptions to make these books available to their members. For out-of-print books that in most cases do not have a commercial market, this opens a new revenue opportunity that didn't exist before.
As you can imagine, we're all ready to get moving, but this project will take some time. First and foremost, the settlement administrator will be reaching out to educate authors and publishers worldwide about the agreement and their rights under it. The agreement also must be approved by the court. Once it's approved, we'll be ready to begin delivering these services.
New Chapter for Google Book Search
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/ ... earch.html
Google settles with book publishers, becomes bookseller
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20 ... eller.html