I love Google, very much, and I really want Google to make a lot of money. And I mean a lot. Because for every cent Google makes, I benefit in some way. There is no doubt that Google has done a lot to make computing easier for millions of people, especially in developing countries with its massive array of splendid, free products. And if for nothing at all, Google is nice to Open Source.
The recent brouhaha over its book deal really irks me a lot. The deal has the potential of making valuable knowledge available to virtually every being on this earth on a scale never known to man. And yet what do we see? Various competitors, led by arch rival Microsoft, are doing all they can to thwart the deal. The way I understand the deal, and please correct me if I am wrong, is that Google will have the right to display and sell books from authors who it can’t find, and then save any profit from those for five years in case the rights holder shows up.
At least this sounds sane to me. Making knowledge easily accessible is nothing bad. But I understand the apprehensions Google’s competitors, especially Microsoft are experincing. If there is one company out there that can match Microsoft boot for boot, then it is Google, and thus Microsoft’s vehement opposition to the deal. But what about the benefits that the deal has the potential of bringing? From the primary level right up to university through to top level management, all stand to benefit from the deal.
I really wish all the mostly empty opposition to the deal will just end. So far Google’s Book Search has indexed over10 million books from among the top universities in the US and around the world. This is no doubt a great array of knowledge available to all. Also, what I understand from the deal is that books in copyright but out-of-print become available for viewing and purchase by the public, and researchers and students at universities will get access to the full technology.
This is not something to be glossed over in the name of competition. The Google book deal simply has the potential of changing how knowledge is disseminated, and that is not something harmful to mankind. Microsoft has more monopoly power than Google has, and yet every single move by Google is scrutinized with the eyes of a hawk.
I humbly urge all authorities involved in the book deal settlement to give a deep thought to the unprecedented benefits the deal will bring to the hundreds of millions of students, researchers, authors, publishers, and readers alike.To all those who are opposing the deal, I say to them, please leave Google alone. For it is the only global company on the internet that really has its users at heart. Please just leave our Google alone for us. We love Google and Google loves us back.
What is your take on the Google Book Deal? Do you think it is worthwhile? Have you used the Google Book Search before? What are your experiences? Please share your thoughts.