Sony & Google Team Up In Digital Book Space
Sony, Google Challenge Amazo from the Wall Street Journal reports that Google is providing more than half-a-million public domain books to Sony, to offer on Sony’s digital book reader. Google Book Search has digitized millions of books and the partnership gives Sony users free access to these 500,000 public domain books in the Sony eBook […]
Google Book Search has digitized millions of books and the partnership gives Sony users free access to these 500,000 public domain books in the Sony eBook store. Steve Haber, Sony Electronics’ president told the WSJ, “We believe the more content that is allowed access to the device, the better value it is to our customers.”
This may give Sony a bit of a competitive edge against Amazon’s popular book reader, the Kindle. Sony has sold more than 400,000 readers to date, while it is estimated the Amazon sold over 500,000 just this year (although Amazon did not disclose this information).
This gives Google a way to reach more users with their book search service. A Google spokeswoman told WSJ, “Our goal is to promote access to books,” and not to become a content producer.
Additional coverage on this news can be found at Techmeme.
Postscript From Danny Sullivan: Potentially, Amazon could simply using any of out-of-copyright books from Google Books that it wants, even without a deal. Authorama: Testing If Google Can Restrict Public Domain Books It Offers For Download from 2007 covers how when Google was asked if others could use public domain books it had scanned, despite Google putting up copyright notices on them, the company didn’t claim any legal right that would prevent other uses:
We have gotten this question in the past. The front matter of our PDF books is not a EULA [end user license agreement]. We make some requests, but we are not trying to legally bind users to those requests. We’ve spent (and will continue to spend) a lot of time and money on Book Search, and we hope users will respect that effort and not use these files in ways that make it harder for us to justify that expense (for example, by setting up the ACME Public Domain PDF Download service that charges users a buck a book and includes malware in the download). Rather than using the front matter to convey legal restrictions, we are attempting to use it to convey what we hope to be the proper netiquette for the use of these files.
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