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A Google Book Deal Is Good for Everyone—Except Maybe Amazon

A Google Book Deal Is Good for Everyone???Except Maybe Amazon
Photograph by Steve West/Getty Images

It’s possible there was some cheering at Google last week, when the search giant announced a deal with the Association of American Publishers over its book-scanning project. But it’s more likely there was just an overwhelming sense of relief, since the deal amounts to a truce in what has been a grueling seven-year battle. For almost a decade now, Google has been trying to scan and digitize as many books as it can, but it’s been stymied by lawsuits from the AAP and the Authors Guild, who claim the scanning process amounts to copyright infringement.

Although the Guild says it is still steadfastly opposed to a deal, the agreement with the AAP means that Google might finally be able to move forward with its plan, which stands to make searching for and buying books a lot easier—something that would theoretically benefit just about everyone, with the possible exception of Amazon.com.