Google and the US book industry have finally reached an agreement over the scanning of books for public access. Google will pay the authors of works scanned without permission at least 45 million dollars in compensation. Under the new agreement users will be able to view millions of in-print & out of print titles with the option to buy the titles or segments of the title (a sample of the books will be accessible for free). With the agreement reached Google will once again commence the scanning of titles for inclusion in their Book Search product. The new Google scheme will start in the US with plans to reach similar arrangements with publishers and authors in other countries. The US Association of publishers and the Authors guild are calling this a revolution akin to the iTunes phenomenon.
It will be interesting to see how this initiative will evolve and what if any impact this will have on Libraries.