Google has made concessions to publishers by scaling back some of its plans to digitise millions of out-of-print works from US libraries.
Google is nearing a book deal in the US with publishers and writers. The number of books it will digitise has come down by 60%, following the exclusion of most foreign language books, although books by UK, Australian and Canadian authors held in US libraries will be part of the programme unless the authors or publishers opt out. Furthermore, the service will only be available in the US.
According to Paul Aiken of the US Authors Guild: “Amazon (through its Kindle) has 90% of the e-book market in the United States, and 75% of the online print book market – Google has roughly 0%. Google entering the market for out-of-print books just isn’t going to change the equation.”