Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Day Google Became Evil ... and saved America.

The United States of America has a history of uniting its often uncooperative and sometimes antagonistic citizenry in profound and unthinkable ways when the country perceives an outside threat to its peace and safety.

For the most part, the recent history of this country has been one of success and prosperity, or at least one where the prosperous became more so, and because of that complacency spawned from prosperity, this country has never seen the need to create a National Digital Library. (Also, because Capitalism is good for America. I claim poetic license for hyperbole.)

[see: "Why We Can't Afford Not to Create a Well-Stocked National Digital Library System" or any of the other posts lamenting this American FAIL.]

But Google saw the need. Well, if not the need for the country, then the need for Google. As Google digitized books, it increased its digital domain and lay the groundwork for new continuous streams of ad revenue.

So Google did what the rest of the country could not and went ahead with the project. And the people cheered. Until some others pointed out what was really happening.

So now, in the most recent history, the hero of American and even worldwide book digitization, has been declared a villain as the Google Settlement was struck down in federal court.

So now that Google has been declared the enemy of copyright protections and fair trade, will this suddenly spur the people to act and create a true digital library? Not one of Google's making, but one of the people, for the people and by the people?

The people and the government of this country have often acted quickly when confronted by an outside threat: I wonder if this latest ruling will inspire similar action.

Google becoming evil could be the best thing to happen to free and open access to information.

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