Google to sell ebooks?

This is news. As if their rececnt ventures into video, chat, email, and webpages weren’t enough, it now seems that Google may be preparing to dive into the ebooks market:

Google is inviting UK and US publishers to sign up for a forthcoming e-book store on its website.

Users will get access to purchased book through their browser only, and will not be allowed to save local copies of the book or copy pages.

“Google Book Search helps users who find and preview your books buy them through online retailers, local bookstores, and soon, will let them pay for immediate access to them right from their browser. It’s a way for publishers to experiment with a new method of earning money from their books in addition to those that already exist,” the search engine said on a webpage where it invites publishers to sign up for the service.

The service is part of Google’s book search, a feature that lets users perform search queries against texts published in books. The service presents users with fragments from the books and in some cases links online retailers. But so far it doesn’t provide direct access to the works.

This may be a logical step for Google. It’s no surprise the mega-company will some day be in posession of all the world’s data. But recent lukewarm responses to some of Google’s recent endeavors raises some questions about how this service will be executed.

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