Saturday, October 22, 2005

Google Print and stupid lawsuits

From a student paper, dated October 21, 2782. Don’t ask me how I got this.

The following is one of the recovered fragments of The Book of Internet. There are gaps in the translation, due to disk errors on the ancient and rusted hard drive, recovered from the archeological digs in Silicon Valley.
... then Google was born, and indexed the Internet. And it was good.

... Google looked at the world, and asked itself, “what else can I index and make available to my mighty Search Engine?” And it came to pass that Google passed a bookstore. “Eureka!” cried Google. “I shall scan all these books, cause them to be searchable, and display small snips, that users of my mighty Search Engine may locate books and perhaps buy those that please them.” And Google obtained The Mother Of All Scanners, returned from the Public Library with an armload of books, and got to work. ...

But the Publishers were wroth, and gnashed their teeth and waved their lawyers at Google, crying “Cease and desist! For your scheme will surely allow your users to read our books online, without paying us for the privilege!” ...

Then was the wrath of the Authors stirred up against the Publishers; and they spake unto the Publishers, saying, “your lawsuit is not helping me or my book.” ....
It is plain from this and other surviving records that purveyors of “analog” technologies (printed books as well as recorded music and video) were having trouble adapting to the digital realities of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Unfortunately, the knee-jerk refusal to embrace digital technology only hastened the demise of the old gatekeepers. Not only was digital media easy to transfer, it was easy to create. It seems odd that there was ever a time that people were passive consumers rather than consumer-creators, but such was the reality as humanity entered the Third Millenium. The pace of change at the time seems almost mythical, and may explain the toxic political and pseudo-religious movements that dominated the first few years (as a coping mechanism by those unable to understand or participate in the rapidly changing world of the time). Many people of today consider the people of the early 21st century (if we think of them at all) as ignorant, benighted savages. However, it is important to remember that they are not only our direct ancestors, they gave birth to the society we enjoy today.

1 comment:

  1. If you'd like to include the link, that would be fine. I had the link and several links relating to the novel up on the blog since the beginning, then decided the blog had evolved over time and it didn't seem as appropriate. I recently decided that if I can't find a publisher soon, I'm going to self-publish it. I've saved enough money at my second job - including a day with a big score - to cover the publishing costs and some marketing.

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