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Google to launch e-book service in Japan in 2011



6:18 am on Sep 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Google to launch e-book service in Japan in 2011 [google.com]

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?

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