HarperCollins to Digitize Books


HarperCollins announced they are digitizing their book catalog and will control search indexing of it's content.

U.S. publisher HarperCollins said Monday that it plans to convert some 20,000 books in its catalog into digital form in a bid to rein in potential copyright violations on the Internet.

The move comes as the U.S. publishing industry is bringing lawsuits against Web search leader Google over its effort to scan copyrighted books in libraries--a move the industry fears would set a dangerous copyright precedent.

Chief Executive Jane Friedman said HarperCollins, a division of News Corp., had no immediate plan to raise revenue from the digital copies of the books but it had concluded it was a vital move to protect its authors' rights.

Will other publishers follow suit? Will search engines pay for content? What does that do to the search business model?

via WMW


Already scooped ya!

Mentioned it at the bottom of the Google Thou Shalt Not Steal thread.

Still a brilliant move as it firmly puts control of the digital licensing in the hands of the publisher. If the publisher never offered digital media there might be some room for Google to wiggle but the minute the publisher offers up digital media Google better well honor that licensing.

Now will Harper Collins make the next brave move and offer PDF downloads ;)

... and will control search indexing of it's content

Good for them!

and us too.

Not so great for consumers

Can you imagine if all or even some of the other publishers also decide do this?

"Hmm..." consumers would have to ask, "Is the book I am looking for a Harper Collins book, or is it published by Doubleday or..."? [insert frustrated video of consumer having to search 7 different publisher sites in a row).

The equivalent would be if each record label had their own music service, so if you wanted to search for a cool jazz album, you'd have to either go to half-a-dozen Web sites or load up half-a-dozen different music programs. Blegh!

easy to fix

I'm sure publishers could collaberate on a central book search site which either locates the correct publisher or provides the data directly but acts as they want when the data is returned.

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