Keeping Google Out of Libraries

BBC NEWS | Technology | Keeping Google out of libraries.

There are some good comments here about Google’s proposed settlement that will enable them to scan many books and make them available.

Despite their “don’t be evil” moniker, people are rightly suspicious of a major American corporation. Ideally libraries and publishers would scan books and make indexes, abstracts and/or the entire works available online. No one would have a monopoly and Google could act as an aggregator rather than “the world’s librarian”.

Certainly it would not be as seamless as one organization performing the work. I am sure Google has quality and technical standards and procedures that ensure high quality consistent scanning. Even major libraries and publishers cannot match their deep pockets and technology.

Of course I am suspicious when the opposition to the settlement is led by companies like Microsoft and Yahoo. Especially the former. It’s hard to see Microsoft as anything more than a sore loser – they wanted the world’s librarian role but ceded it to Google in a moment of corporate cool feet and now want it back. Even though the anti-trust case is a long time back many cannot forget their arrogant approach. Google is far more sophisticated but just as calculating.

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