Recent Comments on Google and the Future of the Book

Sometimes it seems as though Google has become ubiquitous in the world of searching and may want to repeat its act in the world of books. While thinking about this, two articles, one forthcoming and one published Febrary 1 have come to our attention>

The forthoming article Google and the Future of Books* by Robert Darnton, Director of the Library and Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor of Harvard has much to say on the subject and should be required reading for all who are concerned about these developments. He writes:

“How can we navigate through the information landscape that is only beginning to come into view? The question is more urgent than ever following the recent settlement between Google and the authors and publishers who were suing it for alleged breach of copyright…”

The second article Some Fear Google’s Power in Digital Books by Noam Cahn was published in the February 1, 2009 New York Times. Although more of an overview that the first artice, it is still an interesting read and is also recommended. Mr. Cahn writes:

“In 2002, Google began to drink the milkshakes of the book world.

Back then, according to the companys official history, it began a secret books project. Today, that project is known as Google Book Search and, aided by a recent class-action settlement, it promises to transform the way information is collected: who controls the most books; who gets access to those books; how access will be sold and attained. There will be blood, in other words.”

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