Mass Digitization and the Google Monopoly
A fascinating discussion has begun regarding the Google settlement to digitize mass volumes of books. As you know, I’ve already stepped onto my soapbox MANY times in regards to this issue. Robert Darnton published an essay on the topic which has received much press, but I believe that Paul Courant’s response is even more impressive. Let’s face it, Google’s settlement is not ideal. However, without fundamental policy put into place, how else are we supposed to cope? Information should be free for all, but idealism is not reality.
I constantly argue with my cubemate about the “evil empire”. Google, Microsoft, Intel?… Take your pick! Each is flawed. But isn’t trying to do something, better than doing nothing, especially when the system is so egregiously flawed? We want to consume information. We need to consume information (think broad NLP implications here). We should have access to information. My 2 cents. Again.