Sony announced a deal with Google to put some 500,000 public domain books on the Sony Reader, The NY Times reports. The addition of books like Around the World in 80 Days and Darwin's 'Voyage of the Beagle' gives Sony more books than Amazon's Kindle.
But Amazon's Jeff Bezos is not terribly impressed. Public domain books won't be hard to come by for Amazon. After all, there's always the Internet Archive, which Bezos had a hand in funding.
Google has been working to encode books in a free, open electronic publishing format, ePub, which makes them easier to read on devices like the Reader. The company is aiming to gradually increase the number of copyright-free books in the Google Book Search catalog available to Sony and any other e-book distributor that shares its goals of making books more accessible.