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Such a system would fit their mission nicely, and the payment system, then, wouldn't compete with Ebay/Paypal.
No doubt this will be a major test case for digital rights, and the impact will be far reaching.
Wouldn't by the chapter make more sense? And wouldn't that more closly resemble the model of purchasing a song from a CD. You wouldn't buy just the chores from a song, so why buy just a page from a book?
I could see some advantages of allowing someone to buy the first chapter of a book to see if they can get through it and still want more. If they do want more they could get the rest of the book, minus what they paid for the first chapter.
imagine the pressure on the lawyer who gave the final OK, a lot is riding on this. If they losee, they lose big. Of course they can also win
They have enough money to believe they can buy whatever they want.
It's not good for authors, it's not good for publishers and I don't believe it's good for readers.
Another concern, with google and the others all competing to digitize books, could this lead to new developments in digitizing text. Possibly making the process of book to ebook take 10 or 20 minutes. If new technoligies and devices arise from all this book scanning whats going to stop the file-sharing community from buying a new book at the store, scanning it and sharing.
Oh wait a moment! ..they have the money to make Google back off into oblivion if "their" ( and all legal systems worldwide to date's) interpretation of what is and what is not copyright is challenged ..or disdained ..
"do no evil" ..has become "do not care" ( depending on how much money=influence you have )..
I wonder how long the approval and co-operation of the open source movement with google will continue if google continue to to "decide whats best for us" ..data centres are just as likely to experience and be as vulnerable to DDoS attacks as Microsoft's systems and servers have been ..
( and when the screens go blank joe public will go to "Y" or whomsoever is working and seen to be accurate relevant and ethical ..even if unfortunately it will be decided in that order )
It is not enough to be "the enemy of mine enemy" one must also prove oneself to "be my friend and beyond reproach" .
Exactly what work does Google propose to put "for free" online? Recent works, or "public domain"? Google says that the former/latter ratio will be 2/5 (or 80% public domain) - but what will that 20% of "under copyright" work be? If it is indeed work that is widely available through bookstores, what would Google's goal in publishing copyrighted material for free be?
All this is still, read through both Google's statements and the press (not to mention the wording of the lawsuits themselves), rather vague.