Friday, March 20, 2009

Sony E-Book Reader Adds Free Content...from Google

Users of the Sony E-Book reader will now have fast access to about 500,000 public domain titles via Google's Book project. The news release details the simple process Sony and Google have developed to provide this access. All of a sudden, Sony can leapfrog the total number of Amazon's Kindle offerings. They had about 100,000 titles before this announcement, now they move to 600,000. Amazon offers just under 250,000 titles via the Kindle store.

Many free titles are also available for the Kindle, but speaking as a Kindle user, I know these are not easy to access.

The implications for libraries are obvious. What is our mission in a world where e-content is widely available for free? And what happens when Google starts making instant paid access to their copyright-protected materials available, not only to e-book readers but to anyone with a computer or a mobile device?

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