Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Google Books and the End of ‘The Art of the Publisher’



Google, child of Alphabet, has won (for the moment) the right to scan and make searchable the world’s 129,864,880 books (roughly 30 million have already been scanned). The decision in the case, brought by the Authors Guild, has been met with a mixture of boredom (it has been ten years, after all), layman legal posturing about fair use, and indifference to Google Books’ conceptual affiliation with the broader project of publishing. The basic takeaway from the majority of commentators — who are almost exclusively tech writers — is that we’re too far down the techno-libertarian rabbit hole to worry about Google Books overmuch. The whole of the project just feels normal to us now.
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