Friday, December 4, 2009

Google, books, the law, the French . . . What organization, public or private will control the patrimony -- on what terms? Think about it.

I confess. I haven't walked into a physical-building Library in many years. And I have no quarrel at all with Google. Nor any self-interest in supporting Google's position. And I want every book ever written or published accessible to me online -- either free or for some reasonable cost. Robert Darnton's article in NYRB helps us understand how it may be worked out for people like me (and most people who want the intellectual patrimony of Western Culture accessible to me and my children as easily and cheaply as possible). This issue is evolving in the courts, USA and internationally. The long term results are so important. And the the media and public understanding don't seem to have a clue about this critical issue. Bottom line: Where/How will your grandchildren get information about the present and the past? Who/What organization will control that access?