Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Google, continued

This article at NYT has a nice quotation that puts Google into a more proper perspective:

Eben Moglen, a law professor at Columbia and a free-culture advocate, puts it this way: if the fight over digitization of books is like horse-and-buggy makers against car manufacturers, Google wants to be the road.

Addendum. And this just in, from UM Librarian Paul Courant.

But Google doesn’t have anything like a monopoly over access to information in general, nor to the information in the books that are subject to the terms of the settlement. For a start (and of stunning public benefit in itself) up to 20% of the content of the books will be openly readable by anybody with an Internet connection, and all of the content will be indexed and searchable. Moreover, Google is required to provide the familiar “find it in a library” link for all books offered in the commercial product.


Of course I would prefer the universal library, but I am pretty happy about the universal bookstore.

1 comment:

James Hanley said...

What's odd about this debate is that the earlier criticism of google was that it was infringing on the rights of the copyright holders--that is, that google was making the information too available.

That some are now accusing them of being information monopolists because they are making information more readily available than copyright holders want it to be is...well, I don't quite have the vocabulary to describe just how inverted such logic is.