Recently I blogged about how Google had got something right. Now I’m reverting to my original view that Google may be a force to be aware of – be very aware.
While there was a Google hiccup this week, in google words a ‘miscalculation’ or a ‘big deal’ that resulted in Gmail being down for two hours threatening their dominance over the cloud computing empire, the digital giant is working hard to strike a deal with the US book association for the monopoly on digitisation. Other giants such as Microsoft and Amazon are hastily forming an Open Book Alliance and with good reason because if Google get their way they will have the sole rights to digitise every book without fear of prosecution for copyright infringement.
Google would then be the owner of all US digital text making a mockery of current copyright legislation which makes unlicensed scanning and reproduction illegal. But looking ahead, should this happen, how long before Google start selling information or more scarily, how long before a corporate western giant gains control of public access to it?
On the digital continuum, this is the extreme opposite end to the open access and open content debate and hopefully may do more to further the cause of open-ness than anything else so far.