Books The Kindle Killer?
posted by November 3 at 13:00 PMon
Even as Oprah has given the Kindle a huge endorsement, Google might be en route to something that could completely upend Amazon’s e-reader platform.
A few days ago, Google paid a $125,000,000 settlement to publishers:
As part of the settlement, Google is paying $125-million to settle the legal claims, pay legal costs for the two groups, and — more importantly — will set up a new entity called the Book Rights Registry, which will be responsible for distributing payments that come from online access to books provided through Google (and through any similar programs created by other providers). The registry will also be responsible for locating rights holders for old and out-of-print books, collecting and maintaining accurate info, and for providing a way for rights holders to “request inclusion in or exclusion from the project.” In effect, Google is setting up a body that does what ASCAP and similar groups do for musicians.
Some are wondering if this ruling—which in effect gave Google access to millions of books—is setting up a Google e-reader that will challenge the Kindle. I think it fits perfectly into Google’s mission statement to produce a portable library—probably paid for with ads—that has access to just about every book ever published. That would be the perfect use for an e-reader, in my opinion.