Monday, November 3, 2008

The Biggest Book Deal In US Publishing History Is A Threat To Amazon

The greatest threat of the online library deal that Google has struck with leading publishers (see here) is to Amazon. Amazon's Kindle is already a big hit - not because of its design or utility (in fact detractors claim that it is a piece of lousy design and are awaiting Apple to come up with something similar) but because of the content. Amazon's huge "book-self" is not easily beaten. But if "readers [are] able to search and read snippets from millions of out-of-print and copyrighted books on the internet with the option to buy online access to them" then Kindle then becomes a commodity. And if Sony makes a deal with Google or if Google come with their own version of e-reader or if one can download these books in any e-reader, then Kindle will face tough times ahead. In fact, I see a threat to paid online encyclopaedia, such as Encyclopaedia Britannica, also. Wikipedia will perhaps survive.

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