Google has made an offer to competitors in the form of copyright-right free books. Google is in the process of digitizing millions of books as part of the Google Book Search project. These books are generally out-of-copyright material and can be downloaded in PDF format. The books are scanned using optical character recognition technology such as the Elphel 323 camera which can scan 1,000 pages per hour.
This project has been the subject of controversy and currently there is a congressional hearing on Google Book Search. To mitigate criticism, Google announced that anyone, including competitors can resell the books Google has scanned. Amazon.com critcized Google for their role claiming that they cheated the system by scanning books without permission.
?For the out-of-print books being made available through the Google Books settlement, we will let any book retailer sell access to those books,? stated Google’s SVP of Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond at a hearing. ?Google will host the digital books online, and retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your local bookstore will be able to sell access to users on any internet-connected device they choose.?
However Amazon.com has not interest in participating because they believe Google cheated their way into the digitzation project by scanning books without permission. ?The internet has never been about intermediation,? stated Amazon.com VP of Public Policy Paul Misener. ?We are happy to work with rights holders without anyone else?s help.?