There are good reasons to worry about the Google Book Search Settlement, as I explained at length here. But of all of the reasons to oppose it, this surreal statement is my favourite.
European officials fear that if the Google project goes ahead in the US, a yawning transatlantic gap will open up in education and research.
“Oh my God! The Americans are about to create a private workaround of the enormous mess that we regulators have made of national copyright policy! They will fix the unholy legal screwups that leave most of the books of 20th century culture unavailable, yet still under copyright! They will gain access to their cultural heritage — giving them a huge competitive advantage in education. This MUST BE STOPPED!! No one can be allowed to fix this for any other country because then we would be left alone stewing in our own intellectual property stupidity! We must forbid their progress in order to protect our ignorance.” › Continue reading
My newest FT column…
They call it the 20th century black hole and it lives up to its name. Huge quantities of matter are drawn by an overwhelming force into an inaccessible vortex from which not even light can escape. Except here, the overwhelming force is copyright law and the stuff relentlessly sucked into an inaccessible center is our collective culture. › Continue reading
Atlas Mugged is the title of an FT article I wrote a little less than a year ago, at the depths of the crash. The question I asked was simple. Would this experience change economics and policy orthodoxies, as the Great Depression did in the 30′s? › Continue reading