Continuing to track the news on the growth in e-books. An article in today’s New York Times discusses the publishing battle over older books. When I was on a library board, we worried over the pressure to replace traditional print book stacks with internet computer terminals, new media shelves, etc. While these changes were good responses to changes in literacy and how people today find and consume information and cultural products, it did mean that fewer shelves meant that older books became harder to find outside of used bookstores. Ebooks many well bring many older titles back into print, provided that the rights issue can be figured out. MP+

Legal Battles Over E-Book Rights to Older Books
Published: December 12, 2009

William Styron may have been one of the leading literary lions of recent decades, but his books are not selling much these days. Now his family has a plan to lure digital-age readers with e-book versions of titles like “Sophie’s Choice,” “The Confessions of Nat Turner” and Mr. Styron’s memoir of depression, “Darkness Visible.”

But the question of exactly who owns the electronic rights to such older titles is in dispute, making it a rising source of conflict in one of the publishing industry’s last remaining areas of growth.

Read the whole article here.