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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Breakthrough US deal by Google to sell book content online

It took a multimillion dollar lawsuit, two years of tense negotiations, and an awful lot of scanning. But yesterday the publishing world stood on the threshold of a digital era after a US deal paved the way to transform publishing.

The agreement between Google and the US book industry means that internet users will soon be able to choose from and buy millions of titles, many out of print, or read them on a page-by-page basis.

The service invites comparison to the iTunes revolution, and was hailed by the internet search giant, the American Association of Publishers, and the Authors' Guild as a key moment in the evolution of electronic publishing.

Google's co-founder, Sergey Brin, called the $125m deal a "great leap". Paul Aiken, executive director of the guild, called it "the biggest book deal in US publishing history". Once approved by a federal court in Manhattan, the deal will offer access to a library of millions of titles.


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