Report: Google To Launch eBook Service This Summer

Copyright, Intellectual Property May 4th, 2010

, Contributing Editor

Google plans on launching its open eBook service Google Editions by June or July, according to a Tuesday report in the Wall Street Journal.

Google Wants To Open Up the Market For Digital Books

Google’s manager for strategic partner development Chris Palma disclosed the company’s plans during a Tuesday morning panel discussion sponsored by the Book Industry Study Group in New York City.  The panel discussion focused on cloud computing and the business of publishing.

Unlike Apple and Amazon’s eBook services, Google’s will be available through any computing device. The launch of the service appears to have been delayed by the negotiations over the different visions between Google and the publishing industry over how its service should function.

The Journal story says that the service will allow readers to both buy digital books directly from Google as well as from book retailers’ web sites. The pricing of the books will be closely watched as the publishing industry has fought Amazon’s push to sell books for a flat $9.99 on its electronic book device the Kindle.

Consumers have already downloaded more then 1.5 million eBooks through Apple’s new iBookstore, according to a company statement issued Monday. Apple sold its millionth iPad on Friday after just a month of its launch, according to the statement. TechCrunch reports that Amazon has sold around three million Kindles as of this January. The company first released the product in late 2007.

The future of digital book licensing and the separate issue of the impact of the Google’s book search settlement will be discussed at the inaugural Intellectual Property Breakfast Club meeting May 11 in Washington, DC. The panelists include: Jonathan Band, counsel for the Library Copyright Alliance, Michael Capobianco, vice president of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America and Sherwin Siy, Public Knowledge‘s deputy legal director.

Now if they’ll only make a water-resistant book device that can brought to the beach. Perhaps they could charge a premium.

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