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Google book-scanning – Keep Your Hands Off OUR Content

December 21st, 2006 · No Comments

Heartening news from Yahoo: Google book-scanning efforts spark debate – Yahoo! News

A splinter group called the Open Content Alliance favors a less restrictive approach to prevent mankind’s accumulated knowledge from being controlled by a commercial entity, even if it’s a company like Google that has embraced “Don’t Be Evil” as its creed.


The organization will be doling out millions to an Open Archiving group – the Internet Archive. Works to be scanned include those from a Boston Public Library and the Museum of Modern Art.

So what’s wrong with Google’s scanning initiative, you ask? Well, for one they intend to scan copyrighted material without explicit permission, and then show excerpts from the scans that don’t violate the copyright. And then there is the fact that they don’t want the content to appear on any other search engine besides theirs – A monopoly over knowledge, anyone?

It’s like having this huge, bad-ass “public” library, and then putting a gate upfront, and then charging to include books in the library, and to read the books, and no, the books can’t leave the library. There is nothing altruistic about google’s efforts – think about it – if you have original content that was not available in digital form earlier, that is now available only through you – who profits? I guess “humanity” is not the answer as much as “The Google Corporation” is.

I hope the Open Content Alliance survives, and thrives.