Another perspective on Google Books
Many people, including some I greatly respect, are gleeful about the demise of the arduously worked out settlement of the lawsuits brought by the Authors Guild and book publishers against Google. Not me.
It certainly wasn’t perfect. It involved some messy compromises, as settlements tend to do. It couldn’t satisfy everyone.
We’re back to a messy real world now. Perhaps the stars are finally aligned for Congress to create a National Digital Library, assembling and preserving all these books, making them searchable, and sharing them with readers in a way that fairly compensates the rightsholders. This Congress seems pretty dysfunctional, but who knows? The settlement, now defunct, at least provides a well thought-out framework for how it might be done—with or without Google.