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
    TheDock22, 6 Nov 2007 @ 9:26am

    There would be a way...

    For Google to limit the number of users who have access to the documents in question. It would be dumb, but possible.

    And personally I never borrow a reference manual from the library, I always buy them because I use them so often. I am more likely to borrow a novel since I can finish it in a couple weeks and probably will not read it again.

    Online I think is great. Periodicals have been in an online system for years now and it makes it so much easier to find a new article than digging through the library. You know, if libraries got involved enough, you would be able to view the book online and then check it out at the library all in one place. Now THAT would be useful.

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