As I’m sure you’ve now heard, Google has settled the dispute with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, which (theoretically) clears the way for Google to begin making books that are still under copyright searchable and available online.
We’re all still digesting what this means for authors and publishers, but the landscape has now shifted drastically. Not only do we have the Kindle and Sony Reader changing the way people read, but Google will soon be selling access to hard-to-find books online, which will alter the used book market forever. And that’s just the start.
It’s now not very difficult to envision a world where every book ever published is instantly available on your phone, e-reader or PDA.
Every. Book. Ever. Published.
And not just online. Want a physical copy? Press a button and a POD edition could go in the mail to you that day.
It’s not there yet, and Google still has a ways to go to bring on board books that they haven’t yet cleared with the rightsholders. But that’s the direction things are moving.
I was going to do a more thorough breakdown on all this, but 1) things are busy and 2) the Millions posted a seriously brilliant and thorough post on the ramifications of the settlement.
READ THIS. Seriously. This is big news, and it’s the best summary I’ve read of what this all means.