it’s still not a google

For those of us who care about such things, the Google Books settlement is off the table for now. From guardian.co.uk:

Why should we care? In part, because what we’re talking about isn’t just profit – though that’s not to be sneered at, either; the public has given quite enough of its assets to private enterprise – it’s the future control of a vast back catalogue of culture and literature in a huge number of languages. It is our history and our identity in written form. And secondly, because copyright, much despised by filesharers and often used as a bludgeon by music companies, is the way in which creative people can make money from their work. It’s no good just saying “the market demands a new business model”. The market, as we’re all painfully aware in the aftermath of the banking crisis, can be an idiot. It has no perception of right or wrong, or even sensible or insane. It sees profit. We define the terms of trade, and hence also the market, so we have to decide what we want copyright to be.

Anyone that wants to learn more about the deal, and how authors were forced to contend with its implications, can go here.

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~ by A Mundi on September 27, 2009.

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