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Stanford Okay’s Google Book Search Agreement

Laws about writing and booksWhen Google first started its digitizing books project the Author’s Guild sued them on behalf of authors. In November of 2009 there was an amended settlement.

The amended settlement is now before Federal Court and my hunch is the court will approve it.

Stanford University announced today that they were signing onto the agreement.

The next step of course is the U.S. Supreme Court, although I have no idea if anyone will take it that far.

I wish I’d read The Case For Books before this, but I didn’t.

Stanford is right when it says the project will increase public access – at least for the time being. But what happens if Google gets sold? Or Google’s benign intent changes?

I’m increasingly uneasy with the corporatization of everything.

What’s your sense about this?


{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Anne, I’m so glad to hear your take on it. I join you in the unease. Frankly, I hate the idea of digitizing books. It segregates those who can afford e-book readers from those who cannot.

    I worry about what will happen to free libraries if they are forced to digitize because print books have disappeared. Most are hanging by their teeth now. Add expensive readers that will undoubtedly go missing and it’s just a recipe for disaster.

    I worry about any one company or conglomerate of companies owning the rights to our reading material. But I think the social effects of this far outweigh the rest. I’d hate to think Johnny can’t read because his family can’t afford the e-readers.
    .-= Lori´s last blog ..Listen Up! =-.

    • Anne

      Thanks Lori… some thoughts… digitizing books doesn’t always mean letting go of print editions, at least not yet. Google’s project seems to include computers as well as ebook readers… well I dont’ know what they are doing about readers… but they are planning on giving one(!) computer to every (?) library so the library has access. But some sort of digital divide will exist.

      It’s the single company that gets me and with the recent Supreme Court madness continuing the view that corporations (which don’t die) are persons this country is on the edge of the original definition of fascism which apparently was, more or less, government by corporations.

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