LJNDawson.com, Consulting to the Book Publishing Industry
Book Publishing Industry Consultant

Putting the Toothpaste Back in the Tube

The Guardian this morning reports on the fuss raised by publishers over Google Print - the nonstory that will not die.

Google, as usual, is well ahead of its time on this one - and as with most ideas whose time has not yet come, this one is most difficult to explain, much less get buy-in. (As my knowledgeable colleague the Data Queen tells me, "People keep explaining it to me and I understand it, but then because the public is at least ten or fifteen years away from the mental shift required to make it a success...I promptly forget what it is.") The
AAP is apparently asking Google to stop scanning in titles for six months till they can establish the legality of what they're doing - concerns over piracy abound, not necessarily from web users, but from those who are handling the files.

Which makes about as much sense as publishers being afraid their printers will steal the text of their books and sell those illegally. Or being afraid that people will plop down in a big chair in Barnes & Noble and read a book onsite rather than buying it and taking it home. Or being afraid of libraries.

Google Print is just another way of categorizing and distributing - and ultimately selling - books. As with any sales channel, there are risks (anytime you invent something new, you invent the peril that comes with it - inventing a car necessarily invents the car accident; inventing an airplane necessarily invents the plane crash). Trying to stop the progress of invention, however, is not simply foolish - it's pointless. Asking Google to stop scanning for a while, so as to figure out what injunction to slap them with, is a little silly. Better to spend the effort on working with Google to invent better security for those files.
Bookmark this post: Add this post to del.icio.us Digg it! Add this post to Furl StumbleUpon it! Add this post to Technorati Add this post to Google Bookmarks Add this post to Windows Live Add this post to Netscape Add this post to BlinkList Add this post to Newsvine Add this post to ma.gnolia Add this post to Tailrank
Site design: thesuperheavy.com   Site engineering: Hamidof.com   Powered by: PHPBlogManager.com