Google's digital library may find new life as, uh, real books
Under a deal announced today, Google is opening up part of its index to the maker of a high-speed publishing machine that can manufacture a paperback book of about 300 pages in less than five minutes, the AP reports.
These “public domain” books were published before 1923 — an era that includes classics such as Moby Dick and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as well as very obscure titles.
On Demand Books, the maker of the "Espresso Book Machine." potentially could get access to even more hard-to-find books if Google wins court approval of a class-action settlement giving it the right to sell out-of-print books.
On Demand’s printing machines are in more than a dozen locations in the USA, Canada, Australia, England and Egypt, mostly at campus book stores, libraries and small retailers.
Some of Google’s rivals and a long list of other critics hope to block the settlement, mainly because they say it will give Google a monopoly on the digital rights to out-of-print books, the AP says.
Click here to read Wired's FAQ on the fight over Google's digital