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October 4, 2005

I think that’s in Act III…

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I was lamenting just the other day that all my books needed to come with the Find function so that I didn’t waste precious minutes flipping through and scanning the pages to find the passage I was looking for. Google’s ambitious Print project is one way that I can see to making that dream of mine a reality but even better is the Yahoo-Internet archive collaboration, the Open Content Alliance.

According to reports from BBC, the Yahoo digital project will be opt-in, not opt out–unlike Google Print–which is bound to make publishers much happier. However, since the OCA plans to display the entire contents of the book–again unlike the snippets that Google’s project will allow–it’s doubtful that publishers will actually want to opt-in with much of their catalog. The idea that giving information away free can lead to greater returns in the long run eludes publishers just as it is eluding the recording industry.

In the race to be the best digital library, Google has the head start but Yahoo is coming up quickly. Stay tuned next week when we see if I win my bet with myself and hear an announcement from MSN about their project.

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