A decision will be made this November that may well change the Internet as we know it. Not in a technical sense – the threats there are many and are yet to be resolved. I’m talking about change in a business sense – meaning what business models will work on the Internet.
Google must decide how it will handle the battle over its latest great idea: Google Print. Last December the company announced it would Googlize 15 million books. For works under copyright, a search would produce snippets around the search term used. But for books in the public domain, a search would also yield access to the full text of the works. Almost 90 percent of the books Google might scan are out of print. The project promises to radically enhance our access to the past – to remind us of forgotten information. It is the greatest gift to knowledge since, well, Google