Google Book Scanning

A fairly long and detailed look (link) in the New York Times dated May 14 2006 at the project to scan all books, or at least those whose copyright is in the public domain, by Google and others. The article is broken up into eight sections, or online pages - 1. Scanning the Library of Libraries, 2. What Happens When Books Connect, 3. Books: The Liquid Version, 4. The Triumph of the Copy, 5. The Moral Imperative to Scan, 6. The Case Against Google, 7. When Business Models Collide, and 8. Search Changes Everything.

I think digitization is a boon in many ways as it would make available books geographically inaccessible or hard to find because they are out of print - I for example purchased a couple of books from Barnes & Noble and Amazon in the US because they are difficult if not outright to purchase in India. But at the same time I have this serious misgiving that the end goal ultimately is to make access to this content filtered through a payment gateway so that you shall never ever really own a book, but merely rent the right to read or browse it when you want. Something like the difference between owning a DVD of a movie versus watching it on pay-per-view or renting it from a library. Does anyone remember Divx - that Disney, Circuit City and others conjured up in 1998?

© 2006, Abhinav Agarwal (अभिनव अग्रवाल). All rights reserved. Posted to this blog Jun 2013