The judge overseeing Google's controversial agreement with American publishers to digitise millions of books has delayed a hearing into the $125m deal - effectively shutting down the settlement and sending it back to the drawing board.
The deal, if and when it happens, will allow Google to sell out-of-print in-copyright books that it doesn't have the rights to. The money would go into a lockbox that the copyright holders could get when they realize they own money-making orphan books.
The good news is that Google and On Demand Books have a partnership to print public domain titles in bookstores using the Espresso Book Machine. You'll be able to walk into bookstores (currently in San Francisco; New Orleans; Ann Arbor; Manchester Center, Vermont; and Provo, Utah) and for $8 walk out with a paperback book such as Catalog of the Greek coins of Phyrgia.
And look at that cover! I feel certain it was auto-generated. I may be the first human to have ever seen the cover of this numismatic book, when I opened the web site this morning. If the Espresso Book Machine ever makes it to New York I will be ready with many titles I'm willing to pay $8 for. If the Google deal had gone through many titles from the 20th century could have been available for just a little more.