Money? Don't kid yourself
Metron, you might be shocked to learn just how little money writers in fact make. Certainly some of them do very well for themselves, but don't think for one minute that we're all rolling in seas of green... In point of fact, the results of a survey carried out here in the UK were made public a few weeks ago (I read an article in one of the broadsheets; I forget which one) stating that about 5% of the writers in the UK had around 90% of the total wealth accounted for by writers... and the average earnings of the others for their work was less than £10k per annum. We dumb saps need every penny we can get.
You ask what's the difference between reading a book online and borrowing from a public library. Quite a bit, as a matter of fact. There's a Public Lending Agreement which states that each time a book is borrowed, a small amount of money is credited to the author, and periodically the author receives a small royalty fee.
And if you're interested, Chris, at least part of the Google search algorithm is available online, as is the core structure of the search engine. Brin and Page wrote a paper on it while at university, and I've read several papers on the maths behind Google. I have to admit, it's ingenious. Here's a couple of links, if the moderators will permit: http://infolab.stanford.edu/~backrub/google.html and