Could Google Books ruling affect college textbook market?

“Putting commercial considerations aside, eventually we need to come to terms with distribution of most all educational content, including books, online,” said Raymond Schroeder, director of the University of Illinois at Springfield’s Center for Online Learning, Research, and Services. “Increasingly, open educational resources are moving ahead in education. Those who cannot come to terms with some sort of program will be left in the digital dust.”

Schroeder said colleges and universities who see Chin’s ruling as a rejection of online textbook resources should reconsider before they fall behind peer schools.

“Their books will be replaced inevitably by newer, openly-available texts,” he said. “Whether it is Google’s plan or something else that will follow in the coming months, the momentum of online access to free or inexpensive resources will not be stopped.”

Nicolas Nelson, an adjunct assistant professor at Hope International University in Fullerton, Calif., said he has tracked the Google Books litigation because he was concerned that articles and other works he has penned would become accessible without maintaining his publishing rights.

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