31 August 2009

Google Books again

The ongoing debate about Google Books made it into the Observer yesterday. It picked up on Robert Darnton's argument that because books are our common heritage, their control ought not to be in the hands of a commercial organization.

Google's response to this really could be pretty straightforward: simply establish a not-for-profit "Google Foundation" and put access to Google Books under the Foundation.

But, you say, Google makes money from ads on the Google Books pages, so how would that work? Well, it could still work, all that would have to happen is for Google to pay into the Google Foundation some proportion of the ad revenue gained from Google Books and everyone would be happy. Since Google's unofficial motto is 'don't do evil' a solution like this would demonstrate, clearly, the desire to do good.


  1. The Economist says it'll be alright


  2. Well - good for the Economist, but, as the leading magazine for the business entrepreneur, I'm not sure that it's opinions can be taken as necessarily taking on board the public good :-)