Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Amazon, University of Michigan in big book-printing deal - TechFlash: Seattle's Technology News Source

How generous of Google…

Amazon.com is pushing deeper into the academic book market. The online retail giant will do on-demand reprints of some 400,000 out-of-copyright books from the University of Michigan library, in a deal announced today. Amazon has been actively targeting academia, trying to convince universities to adopt the Kindle DX as a textbook replacement and outsource reprints of older academic titles to its print-on-demand service, BookSurge.

Interestingly, many of the 400,000 book titles the University of Michigan is making available for reprints by Amazon were digitized by Google as part of its massive book-scanning project. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has criticized Google's book settlement with authors and publishers, saying "it doesn't seem right that you should get a prize for violating a large series of copyrights." The University of Michigan specifies that the reprint deal with Amazon covers out-of-copyright books, which may be an important distinction, given that Google faces continuing questions about "orphan" books whose rights holders cannot be found.

Amazon, University of Michigan in big book-printing deal - TechFlash: Seattle's Technology News Source

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