Friday, May 01, 2009

AMY GOODMAN: Why would any library agree to give over their work to a private company?

BREWSTER KAHLE: It seemed like a good idea at the time.

AMY GOODMAN: Why?

BREWSTER KAHLE: Because Google was going to pay for the digitization of these books. And what they said originally is that they would—like a web search engine, they would go and index these books and then allow people to see bits and pieces, but direct people back to the libraries or direct people back to bookstores to be able to get them. What we now find through this suit is Google’s ambitions were far greater than just directing people back to where they came from; they wanted to be the library or the bookstore themselves.

AMY GOODMAN: So they will make money on these libraries?

BREWSTER KAHLE: Not only will they make money, they will be the sole organization to control access to these works.

AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean, “control access”?

BREWSTER KAHLE: Well, if they want those books to be available to people, they can have it in their search engine and rank it high. If books are things they don’t want to have available, I don’t know, for any reason that corporations might want to do that, they can take it effectively out of the library. If they get to be the library that the next generation grows up with, then they get to decide who has access to works, and if you happen to be reading a book, they’ll know about it.


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