According to Wall Street Journal
, Google plans to let consumers buy the full text of books online from U.S. and U.K. publishers who participate in its Book Search program
. The crux of the story: Although you purchase the right to view the books online through your browser, you will not be able to copy the viewed page nor to download them on your computer.
Obviously dedicated e-book readers and those who are not constantly connected through some broadband Internet connection will be left out. It also remains to be seen for how long you'll have access to the online material. Will it be subscription-based? Will you have to renew your "license" to view previously purchased content from time to time? How will Google control who has the right to view the content and who doesn't? Will they introduce some new draconian DRM that binds their reader to your personal computer?