booker prized, free online?

by Hugh

From the Telegraph:

All the novels shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize could be made available online in a radical move being considered by publishers, it was reported today…

Negotiations are said to be in progress with the British Council to digitise the six shortlisted novels so they can be downloaded in full, all over the world.

It is hoped the initiative will capture new audiences – particularly in Asia and Africa – who may be unable to access the actual books….

Those behind the venture hope it will boost, rather than detract from sales of the hard copy as readers who download the novel online, may be inspired to buy a paper version for themselves.

More than 10,000 publishers have already signed up to Google’s book-scanning project, which makes part of selected books available online. Initial results from the programme have suggested that publishing the tasters has increased sales of the books.

Note: emphasis added.
Questions/comments:
-does that mean online for free?
-hey, googlebooks (maybe) proves the point that giving it away might sell more (will be nice to have more than doctorow’s anecdotal evidence)
-I was just saying the other night that the open movement is not/will not be successful for any moral reasons, but because it will be better at doing certain things.

(vie michael geist)