I refer you to Atlas Shrugged
Whilst I agree that healthy competition in ANY market place means that innovation is driven to it's highest levels and generally prices come down for consumers this really smacks of two things:
- Google made a deal with the Authors and not the publishers? And the publishers are for lack of a better word f****d because as digitisation of books gets a head of steam they will not be able exploit Authors and make sure their already fat profit margins grow fatter anymore? Sounds like a case of film / music where the makers and producers of the art that drives the market for these publishers try and find ways of getting their work directly to consumers, or find themselves a better deal and the publishers get all uppity and act like a jilted lover. More liked a bonded marriage where even though the artist is the poor bride, they're the ones who always ended up paying the dowry!
- It would seem that for once the company with a potential monopoly here deserve it! They have taken to the time to innovate, create a new, un-dstructive way of turning tomes of knowledge into bits of magnetism and electrons and duly patented it so they can get a reward for their endeavour. I by no means think that google are saints and that they are anything less than a mega-coporation in it for one thing, the money. But for this I applaud them for their ingenuity and doing it way ahead of anyone.
In fact, the point boils down to one thing Publishers and the rest say "Hey, I wish I'd thought of that first dagnammit. Oh well, I'll take them to court for being smarter, faster and fitter than I am. They MUST owe me some of the enourmous profits they are going to make". Google should say f-you, we will not carry you beggars and scroungers anymore. Start thinking for yourself. That if you didn't know, was the Atlas Shrugged angle.