Google scanning project to 'transform' publishing

From bad new to benefactor, Google woos publishing industry
From bad new to benefactor, Google woos publishing industry

In his first public interview, the expected executive director of the Book Rights Registry called the involvement of Google in publishing a "transformation" moment for the industry.

Micheal Healy will be responsible for finding authors and copyright holders and doling out shares of income arising from Google's ambitious plans to digitise every book ever published.

In an interview with the Copyright Clearance Centre, Healy said the project will result in "turning every public library into a world-class research facility. You have to see the revolutionary character of that."

Google cash pays for independent body

The Books Right Registry arose out of lawsuits by the Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers, for Google's illegal scanning and distribution of material from in-copyright books.

The $35 million (£21 million) settlement against Google will pay for the Registry to be set up and for it to locate and contact copyright holders for all the volumes Google intends to scan.

Healy also cited the benefits of participating in the settlement for authors and publishers. "The Book Rights Registry introduces into the environment an unprecedented degree of control to authors, publishers and other rightsholders on how their copyrights are exploited and distributed in this new digital world," he explained.

Healy went on to note the digital readers today expect books read on ebook readers and mobile phones to be "priced in a different way" than traditional paper volumes.