Putting Google Library Into Historical Perspective

from the information-is-a-good-thing dept

Reader Jon writes in with a link to a fascinating New Yorker article that really puts Google's book scanning project into historical perspective. While there are all sorts of ongoing legal scuffles about the efforts to scan and make books and information more widely available, when viewed in the context of history, the legal arguments look even more ridiculous. The benefits to making content more widely available and more easily accessible are so big that it almost seems crazy not to do it. The article goes through all the struggles cultures have had over the ages just trying to classify and organize all sorts of books and information to make it usable -- and here we are with the tools and ability to go beyond everything that's been possible in the past... and we're stymied by a disagreement over copyright law? That just seems sad.

Filed Under: book scanning, google library, history, information
Companies: amazon, google, microsoft


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  1. identicon
    Freedom, 6 Nov 2007 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: Copyrighted VS Non-Copyrighted Work...

    A. Nonymous, my bad, I should have done my homework first before posting on point #1.

    I didn't fully understand that only a portion of the copyrighted work was capable of being displayed by Google. If that's the case then within the limits of fair use and with reasonable efforts done to prevent automatated tools from gathering the entire work then I see no wrong. Especially if a link to Amazon or similiar is added. In some ways, this will encourage more revenue for the author as this might be the only way to even know if a book exists and is revelant (especially for reference texts).

    This is a really exciting time. Models are changing ever day along with increased effeciency and access to it. As long as there remains a method to reward those that do the work, then in the end, it's all good :).

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