What beats everything about the Google Print project:
1. On one side - Google is sued for massive copyright infringement by an “horde” of (conservative ?) authors and publishers, and
It's the biter bit !
Thanks to Google Print many other massive digitization projects will flourish here and there while it was a bit nuts - few time ago - to claim to digitize tens of thousands books and more just in praise of the modern communication (i.e. Internet). It’s a long apprenticeship, almost 15 years for the (Internet) revolution to become reality.
In the current debate about different strategies for making the world’s knowledge “searchable” on the Internet nobody (or very few) talk about next coming technologies that will prevent copyrigh infringement.
Some people don’t want to see all authors’ works stored somewhere in online databases for fear that hackers manage to massively embezzle these content mines. It implies that we would stagnate with the same html,txt,doc,pdf unsecured viewer a while again. What about next DRM tools supposed to normalize content distribution? (many tools expected before all those long years required to digitize the planet)
Although Microsoft don’t want to help Google in any circumstance, as a pioneer in the DRM development the Seattle firm will have now to convert reluctant authors and publishers within the scope of their DRM evangelisation mission.