TechCrunch has a piece on a startup called 1DollarScan, a scanning and digitizing company that is offering extremely inexpensive scanning and digitizing services. An expansion of a similar operation in Japan called Bookscan, 1DollarScan’s prices start at $1 for digitizing ten photos or 100 pages from a book.
I’m not sure exactly how this service will stand legal scrutiny. Consumers might have the fair-use right to scan and digitize their own books (though some will still argue vociferously against that), but it seems to me that a company that offered this service to other people for a profit is set up for legal shutdown in the same way that Michael Robertson’s MP3.com audio streaming service was.
I suppose in today’s sue-happy climate, sooner or later we will find out whether this is the case.