Bronwyn's Library Blog

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Is Google being a fair use user?

by Bessie Mayes

Technical Service Senior Advisor/Cartographic ConsultantSPAWAR Systems Center, Pacific

Some technology revolutions can be very subtle in the beginning.

Perhaps you have noticed that the number of computer commercials outnumber commercials for television products, with the exception of the Super Bowl season of course.

The technology markets are driven by the consumer’s desire for convenience, relaxation, and saving time. There are many new technological surprises these days to accommodate those masses too. For instance, Sony Corporation has a new product that may change the way we read books in the future. You are familiar already of course with email, e-journals, and e-commerce, but are you aware of e-paper? Sony’s new device will allow the user to read up to eighty books on a device they call the Sony Reader. The company developed this reader last year, and is now marketing it to the public. The device weights only 9 ounces, and looks just like a book with a LCD screen. The Sony Reader is adjustable, meaning you can manipulate fonts, and is easy to carry around.

Just think, instead of thumbing through a paper copy of your favorite novel, you now have the luxury of pressing a button to flip to the next page. However, my question after reading about this new item was how could I acquire a digital book that could interface with this device and how much would I have to pay? What if I told you that someday in the future, you may be able to download your favorite book into your Sony Reader directly from a library’s website?

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