Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Copyright, monopoly and Google Book

Nice [short] essay over at Books do Furnish a Room on Google's settlement with authors and publishers.
"I'll start with a confession: I was wrong about the Google Books Project. And my wrongness is underscored by just how right Siva Vaidhyanathan--whose worries I dismissed at the time as contrarian library-fetishization--was. It's true that a happy ending could still emerge, but if it does, it's likely to be in spite of Google, and in the teeth of its opposition. My mistake is perhaps instructive, because it exemplifies some cognitive biases that bedevil all of us: wishful thinking, overvaluing the causal impact of character traits (and individual agency, generally) relative to structural tendencies, and an unfortunate tendency to take sides--if only affectively, subconsciously identifying one's own interests with those of one party or another--when powerful entities clash."
Thanks to Manon Ress via hte A2K list for the pointer.

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