Google said Monday it would launch an electronic books service in Japan next year despite a chilly reception from major Japanese publishers.
The Japanese version of Google Editions may have to start with a limited number of titles, said Yoichi Sato, a strategic partner development manager at Google Japan.
Major Japanese publishers are still uneasy about handing over book data, especially of in-copyright titles, to the foreign IT giant, fearing that the content may be used for unintended purposes, Sato told a media briefing.
Japanese copyright laws also require strict and complicated permission processes involving authors and publishers, before Google can use book contents for online searches and sales, he said.
I love the idea, but it's going to run up against a stiff wall of opposition from the Japanese publishing industry. They're still all working behind walled gardens of digital content here. Can Google break down those walls?