Google has approached at least one publishing house with a view to setting up an online book rental service, according to reports.
Originally reported in the Wall Street Journal, the story goes that Google plans to offer access to an online version of a book for one week for ten per cent of the market price. Downloading or printing the text would not be allowed.
The publisher concerned, which is unnamed but referenced as the story's source, feels that ten per cent is too low a fee to charge.
Meanwhile, Amazon.com is planning to sell online access to its books in sections as small as one page. The service, appropriately named Amazon Pages, will probably cost a few cents per page for regular novels and so on, but more for access to reference texts.
Should the customer then return to buy the whole book, they will also have access to a full online version of the text as part of a service called "Amazon Upgrade". ®