What is a book?
Reuters reports that publishers are going to allow book browsing on their websites. Amazon, of course, started this trend. Obviously they believe they will sell more books this way — not fewer — or they wouldn’t do it.
This is a new model for copyright sneaking around the back end. It has to be this way. The world won’t hold still.
UPDATE: A nice point from Mike at Techdirt:
The question, really, is why bother? All these publishers are creating limited, expensive, fragmented searches for books, when Google (and others such as Yahoo and Amazon) are more than willing to do the work for them, while bringing all the offerings together. There are very, very few people in this world who think about books in terms of who published them. No one wants to know that they need to go to a certain place to search for a Random House book and another for a HarperCollins book. Instead, let the search engines do the work (and spend the money), and the search engines will bring in the people and help drive sales. Building separate, fragmented book searches hardly seems like a compelling or cost-effective plan.