By brendan | April 4, 2009
It appears that people are slowly waking up to the realization that the Google book scanning settlement is a really, really bad thing. The head of Harvard’s library system is quoted as saying: “Google will be a monopoly.”
We’ve blogged here a few times about the fundamental problems with allowing the Google scanning settlement to go through.
Check out this ridiculous quote from Google’s lawyer, borrowed from the above article:
“And he said that nothing prevented a potential rival from following in its footsteps — namely, by scanning books without explicit permission, waiting to be sued and working to secure a similar settlement.”
And, how many “potential rivals” have the money, lawyers, and resources to pull that off? This fundamentally alters the entire scope of publishing, destroying small publishers, removing everyone from the competitive playing field except said “potential rivals” who are big enough to fight Google. Who might be on that list? Even Microsoft has finally caved to the reality that Google owns the internet and has stopped trying to compete with them, dropping their own book scanning project mid-way. Its one thing to say someone could hypothetically compete; its another thing entirely for someone to actually be able to compete.
If you doubt the “M” word, see for yourself (thanks Merriam-Webster – sorry to say we won’t likely see you around in a few years after this settlement goes through):
- Main Entry:
- Inflected Form(s):
- plural mo·nop·o·lies
- Latin monopolium, from Greek monop?lion, from mon- + p?lein to sell
1 : exclusive ownership through legal privilege, command of supply, or concerted action 2 : exclusive possession or control 3 : a commodity controlled by one party 4 : one that has a monopoly