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Old 04-21-2005, 05:37 AM   #1
Colin Dunstan
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Word against Google's digitization of books

Nigel Newton, chief executive of major publisher Bloomsburry, expresses his worries over Google's digitization project that could lead to the "Napsterization" of the publishing industry. He warns:

"We are being given an opportunity to undermine our industry. It may not seem inherently scary at the moment. But my concern is what this will lead to in 10 years. We are opening a Pandora's Box, and we have no idea where it will lead. We just don't know, once they have this material, what they will do with it."

It appears guys like Newton of the book publishing company want to repeat the same follies of their colleagues in the music and movie industry. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

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Old 04-21-2005, 09:03 AM   #2
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The publishing industry is understandably nervous, but this whole attitude is wrong.

Their argument seems to be: We might lose control of our property to thieves, so put everyone in handcuffs before they can rob me.

Hey, come to think of it, that came out pretty good, Sort of puts the whole thing in a different light when you look at it that way, doesn't it?
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Old 04-21-2005, 09:17 AM   #3
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Publishing must re-invent

I have worked in book publishing for 14 years as an editor and writer on the business side and the author side.

Books are still to some degree the ultimate data medium. A book can contain amazing amounts of information and still be portable, lightweight, and durable.

The publishers have been banking on this fact forever basically. And they haven't really done much to innovate. Like all money machines/cash cows, someone will innovate for them, threatening their dividend checks.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" was the old mantra. In our globally connected community, this just won't fly any more. A 15 year old in the Seychelles can completely re-invent any industry that relies on intellectual property.

I'm not sure that's such a bad thing.
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