Google Responds to Some Book Search Questions

Shortly after last week’s Google Book Search announcement, Siva Vaidhyanathan posed a number of questions about the agreement’s impact on publishers, libraries and consumers.

Google responded, and today Vaidhyanathan offers paraphrased answers and additional analysis:

The agreements with and about publishers, libraries, and the registry were all non-exclusive, as is the habit and tradition of Google’s approach to competition in the Web business. The registry will be started with Google funds, but it will be an idependent non-profit that may deal with the Open Content Alliance and other services without restriction from Google. Generally, Google’s lawyers don’t see this service as presenting a “typical anti-trust” problem. There are so many segments to the book market in the world, including real bookstores, online stores such as, and used-book outlets that no one may set prices for books (even out-of-print books) effectively. There is always a competing source – including libraries themselves.

There’s additional coverage in Vaidhyanathan’s post.

(Via Jose Alonso Furtado’s Twitter stream.)

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