Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The end of 'snippet view'?

Google announces a settlement with The Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers. The $125 million agreement is the result of two years of negotiations.

The bulk of the money will be funneled through a new non-profit, the Book Rights Registry. Copyright holders can register to receive cash from future book sales (!!!) and ad revenues and a cash payment if Google has already scanned the book.

I hope and pray for the Book Rights Registry to include a 'print on demand' feature for out-of-print books. I loath paying some dealer 5x or 10x over the cover price with nothing going to the author.

(via InfoWorld).


Anonymous said...

I agree with you about a print facility.

The popularity of this system is going to rest on the level of charges made. I fear that if they are anywhere near the level set by scholarly journals for articles they will be to high for the non-professional. Currently to research an area requiring a large number of references can be very expensive.



Ed Snible said...

It's unclear why the scholarly journals set article reprint prices so high. Presumably they don't want to undercut sales to libraries.

I expect Google to attempt to maximize author profit rather than per-article fees. Google could offer the same pages at difference prices (to different people, or on different days) and track which prices generate the most profit. It's going to be hard to do that with billions of pages and only a few million folks wanting quality reprints, but Google is good at hard mathematical problems.

Even if the prices feel high it will be better than with JSTOR which famously won't sell non-library users certain works at any price.

Ed Snible said...

An article by Wade Roush in Xconomy, http://www.xconomy.com/national/2008/10/31/in-google-book-search-settlement-readers-lose/ , says unless authors take action Google will set a revenue-maximizing price between $2 and $30. For numismatic books that's a pretty good deal!