Sunday, April 10, 2011

Google's Ambitious Book Project Derailed?

Google was supposed to do for books and literature what it had done for online search. You go online search for information and there it is, staring at you on your computer screen. Google intended to scan whole libraries of books (some of them rare and classical in nature) and information and upload them on the net in exchange for advertising rights and other usual Google add ons. For example when a user searches for a book Google will display paid advertisements on the results page. This is the sort of mercenary advertising I have railed against. But it would have been worth it if Google had compensated the authors adequately. Now, it seems it hasn't and doesn't intend to, according to this article in Livemint. So a judge in the U.S. ruled against the prestigious project.

It would have been a good initiative. But on second thought, would I want my own books to be copied and available on the net this way? I don't think so. I would like my legal rights holders to get the benefits (if at all any!).  

Jokes aside (on my literary estate, that is), the question is of whether you want google to have unconditional access to all the books and thereby deprive the rightful copyrights owners from getting a revenue out of it. Somehow the deal fell into the cracks and never got done. Hm. Somehow authors are a selfish and self-centred lot you see.

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