HarperCollins Will Scan Its Own Damn Books... And Pay For It Too

from the so-buzz-off dept

The oddities surrounding the Google Library offering continue. As authors continue to completely misunderstand what they're talking about as they trash the idea, it looks like at least one publisher is trying to do something. HarperCollins has announced that, rather than let Google scan all of their books, they'll scan all of their own books into a digital repository and then let various search engines search off that centralized database. They're apparently willing to spend millions of dollars in their own money to do it, even though Google was going to do it for them for free. HarperCollins' explanation is that by doing it themselves, they'll somehow better protect the authors' rights -- though it's not exactly clear how that works. It seems like a typical response from a content provider -- saying all they need to do is to control every aspect of their content, and everything will be fine. That sort of defeats the purpose. In the meantime, none of the articles on this announcement say whether or not HarperCollins is paying the authors anything extra to do this. Since many of the authors complaining about Google say their complaint is that Google is scanning these books without them getting any additional cash out of it, isn't HarperCollins facing the same issue? Yes, the publisher owns the rights to publish the book, but if the end result is identical, what were the authors complaining about in the first place?
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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2005 @ 6:58am

    Re: Brilliant!

    well... HarperCollins said they'll give search engines the ability to search the databases anyway... so, assuming they do scan the entire books, Google will have the same access to the content as before. HarperCollins just gets to say its theirs and not Google's. The only power they'll really have is whether they pull some books out of the database. To me, it sounds like a stupid move. Google would have done it for free while HarperCollins now paid millions to do so. Google is coming out ahead of this. HarperCollins just did all the work for them.

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