Google faces an Army of opposition

Library-stacks-700pxI thought Google’s brainchild of scanning out of print books had long since run its course and was well on its merry way. Apparently not. Google is now facing organized resistance from a slew of academicians, librarians, publishers, and authors. The NY Times article does a good job of laying out the groundwork of the actual project and the opposition to it, so I’m not going to get into that here. I’m more interested in exploring my personal ambivalence about the issue.book stacks-jj-001

It really comes down to whether we can trust item #6 on Google’s Corporate Philosophy Page: “You can make money without doing evil.” This statement makes me immediately think of an Ariochism: “There’s always another perspective. Nobody acts evil intentionally. They’re doing what they perceive to be good. Try to see things from the other person’s point of view. Does a wolf think it’s evil when it eats the rabbit? I bet the rabbit does.” The point being, will what I think is evil be the same thing Google thinks is evil? It’s not like we all agree on this. Is getting an abortion evil?

Yes, having out of print books scanned into a digital database is a good thing. It’s the ownership of that material that makes it dicey. So why not make all of it public access? Let Google have a tax break for doing the work. Seems like a win win all around. They even mention something in the article about giving each university library one terminal with unrestricted free access. Why not a bunch? It’s not like everything has to be for profit, you know. Health care, firefighting, and military service are a few things off the top of my head that should not be for profit. Sure, we live in a capitalist society, but that does not mean that all our vocations need to be that way. The world is comprised of shades of gray, not black and white.library_stacks

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2 thoughts on “Google faces an Army of opposition

  1. Pat Farmer says:

    WOW! I had no idea all of this was happening. I love your blog all the time, but it’s great when it keeps me informed of what’s happening in the news 🙂 The NY Times article was very informative. I love the photos you choose to enhance your blog. You have very good taste and a good eye for detail.

    • Glad you enjoy them. Some folks prefer a text only approach, but I find that rather dull. And it’s always a bonus when I can help keep my TechTard mother in the loop about what’s going on in the world

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