The digital era brings problems for those who produce copyrighted material.

Ever since the era the tape recorder the copyright producing industry has fought against pirating. CDs, PC and especially MP3s made the situation worse. Napster screwed the whole music industry (and ensured I would never buy another Metallica album).

More or less the iStore and various other legal download sites have now made the situation less bad (as well as the Spotify model)

The one-time super star DJ Carl Cox has come up with a different approach (possibly because of the terms of business with the legal download sites / Spotify -esque models, but I donot know for sure), his latest album All Roads Lead to the Dance Floor is being released as a USB stick. The stick will update with new tracks and other multi media goodies over time. Sounds like a good idea?

I am not convinced. Why doI have to buy a piece of external media to own an album? I stopped doing that when I ceased purchasing CDs. Why would I replace one form of external media which came with nice paper packaging for a USB stick, which hasĀ  the artists name written on, but really, isn’t that special.Can I transfer the Carl Cox tracks from the USB onto a portable MP3 player? Can I only listen to the tracks when i plug the stick into a device? Why can’t it just live on the cloud like everything else is starting to?

Apologies Carl, I think this idea is not going to take off for the general consumer (loyal fans may find it tolerable).

Google, the web giant, have an application called Google Books.

There was a court case not so long ago. And read what Google say about the court case too.

What long-term effect this will all have on publishing remains to be seen, but I am sure there will be changes. Google are the kings of free content are they not?

At present, copyright holders can upload their work and limit access to bits of the material. They can choose to allow access to all of the material if they wish and restrict download, again if they wish.

Google Books then links to places such as Amazon where you can purchase the book you have tried out on their site.

I imagine, the book sellers linked to from the Google Books page pay some commission to Google for the sales made via these links.

I assume, at some point Google will also (if it hasn’t already) further monetize this section of its empire through some kind of advertiser paid search facility.

I am not sure exactly how Google Books will change the publishing industry, as I have mentioned before there is so much else already happening in the industry. Is this the most significant change, or is it just one of many, many changes that will add together to change the industry?

Right now, I am not sure any of us can answer with that much certainty.

What I can say is, at present, I see no reason to be against what Google are doing.

You can have a read of extracts of my books using Google Books and if you like what you see click the link and buy it.

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