defending the right to innovate
Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.
Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.
Kevin Kelly has a long New York Times article about digitizing books, Google's solution to the orphan works problem, and the clash of the copyright monopoly business model versus the disruptive competitive digital technology model.
Kelly points out that the five publishers that sued Google last year are partners in the Google Book Search Partner Program. They want readers to be able to search books because it's good for their business. But like any monopolist, they don't want to give up their rents.
Let's not forget that google is a monopolist too. Personally I feel a bit nervous about them digitizing the entire human knowledge, and being the only ones doing it. We know little about the terms negotiated with the libraries participating to the book project. Is google guaranteeing free access to uncopyrighted books? Do participating libraries have the right to retain a digitized copy of the scanned books? What happens if Google were to go bankrupt? We don't know that. Once google's digitized library is in place, libraries will feel their archiving role is not as important anymore, and will start to destroy old books to save costs and free up space. But then Google's will get a monopoly as a librarian. I think we must keep an eye on Google, it gets scarier every day.
[Comment at 05/17/2006 06:17 AM by Andrea Moro]
Google is a monopolist of sorts, but unlike Microsoft (at least in the pre-open source era), it has no proprietary lockin technology like Windows. Google's share of search is around 50%, far lower than Window's share at its peak, and down from 80% not too long ago. This shows that rivals are nipping at its heels, and suggests that they could do so in areas far removed from its core competency, such as digitizing books.
My guess is that libraries are thinking about your questions. Google will probably figure out a way to monetize access to uncopyrighted books, such as an advertizing model. I have no problem with this. If Google were to go bankrupt, I assume cpmpetitors would step into the breach and continue this work.
The Economist (May 13) has a Special report on Google, "Fuzzy Maths", which points to some problems in Google's business, such as its core search product followed by lots of so-so me-too products that aren't number one in their classes (e.g., Google Video, Google News, Google instant messanging); and that fact that its alienating lots of folks the way Microsoft once did (Google News was in beta version for four years). Google's sheer rate of growth and increasing complexity is making it hard to innovate and hard for investors to value its stock, which is why it may not be such a hot investment for the long run. I think the market will sort out digitizing books in a way that is to the advantage of reader-consumers, but not to that of Google's investors.
[Comment at 05/17/2006 12:35 PM by Bill Stepp]
Most Recent Comments
IIPA thinks open source equals piracy Thank you for this great
at 06/21/2019 02:13 PM by spam name
Questions and Challenges For Defenders of the Current Copyright Regime Eu acho que os direitos autorais da invenção ou projeto devem ser
at 05/11/2019 09:15 PM by Marcelo
IIPA thinks open source equals piracy https://essaywritingsolutions.co.uk/
at 04/07/2019 11:22 PM by WolfLarsen
at 04/07/2019 11:21 PM by WolfLarsen
IIPA thinks open source equals piracy rwerwewre
at 04/07/2019 11:20 PM by WolfLarsen
at 02/05/2019 07:44 AM by Anonymous
Questions and Challenges For Defenders of the Current Copyright Regime It is one of the finest websites I have stumbled upon. It is not only well developed, but has good
at 06/19/2018 10:36 PM by Michael Jones
Killing people with patents I'm not really commenting the post, but rather asking if this blog is going to make a comeback
at 01/09/2018 03:46 AM by Anonymous
The right to rub smooth using a hardened steel tool with ridges Finally got around to looking at the comments, sorry for delay... Replying to Stephan: I'm sorry
at 05/08/2015 08:35 AM by Dan Dobkin
Let's See: Pallas, Pan, Patents, Persephone, Perses, Poseidon, Prometheus... Seems like a kinda bizarre proposal to me. We just need to abolish the patent system, not replace
at 04/10/2015 10:44 AM by Stephan Kinsella
The right to rub smooth using a hardened steel tool with ridges I'm a bit confused by this--even if "hired to invent" went away, that would just change the default
at 04/10/2015 10:34 AM by Stephan Kinsella
Do we need a law? @ Alexander Baker: So basically, if I copy parts of 'Titus Andronicus' to a webpage without
at 01/08/2015 08:58 PM by Sheogorath
Do we need a law? The issue is whether the crime is punished not who punishes it. If somebody robs our house we do
at 11/17/2014 04:48 AM by David K. Levine
Do we need a law? 1. Plagiarism most certainly is illegal, it is called "copyright infringement". One very famous
at 10/29/2014 10:49 AM by Alexander Baker
Yet another proof of the inutility of copyright. The 9/11 Commission report cost $15,000,000 to produce, not counting the salaries of the authors.
at 09/20/2014 03:19 PM by Alexander Baker
WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece P.S. The link to Amazon's WKRP product page:
at 06/28/2014 10:03 AM by Doris
WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece Hopefully some very good news. Shout! Factory is releasing the entire series of WKRP in Cincinnati,
at 06/28/2014 10:00 AM by Doris
What's copywritable? Go fish in court. @ Anonymous: You misunderstood my intent. I was actually trying to point out a huge but basic
at 05/05/2014 01:03 PM by Sheogorath
Rights Violations Aren't the Only Bads I hear that nonsense from pro-IP people all the
at 04/07/2014 04:47 AM by Dan McCracken
Intellectual Property Fosters Corporate Concentration Yeah, I see the discouragement of working on a patented device all the time. Great examples
at 01/13/2014 06:13 AM by Anonymous