Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Copyright Infringement?

I don't understand this.

Why can't authors embrace the free flow of ideas? Why can't people look at the internet as a giant digital library? I don't get it.

I mean, I will probably not read a book online. I hate reading online period, I much prefer cracking open a book, but if I need some reference material, instead of heading out to the library why can't I just find it on the internet? I don't understand what is the matter with this. I just don't think this is going to kill the print format or keep food out of these people's mouths. If nothing else, I think it would help spread their ideas. Isn't that what writing is all about? Telling people stories and disseminating information? Why can't Google help facilitate that?

Does anyone have a counterpoint to this? I'd like to debate this a little bit, because I honestly don't know...


Kevin said...

So, you think it would be good to have a Fortune 500 multinational concern dominate the literary market?

Where's that "fight against the man" spirit that is supposed to be the hallmark of independent agents?

Would your sentiments be the same if this was a lawsuit against Microsoft?

Bryan said...

Maybe I'm looking at this wrong, but I don't see a problem with anyone, Microsoft, Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, Google, or anyone opening a free library.

This one just happens to be online. It's not like they're shutting real libraries down for it. It seems to me as though I can still go to the library and the library in my town is actually quite nice.

I just think in this case, they aren't "fighting against the man" it seems like they are fighting more against the freer flow of information.

Like I said though, I don't know enough about this, which is why I would like to see everyone elses opinion and reference points if they have them.

Kevin said...

There seems to be very little problem with the flow of information. The big problems exist in the creation of quality information. The creation of good quality content takes cash. The best way to get the resources to create content is with a market.

Bryan said...

I do think we have a serious shortage of quality content, I'll agree with you there. But the brunt of what Google is scanning, to my information is obscure reference books that have languished in libraries like Harvard's. It seems to me that getting more of that into the mainstream might contribute to a higher quality of content.

Uranium Jones said...

From what I've read, and this is REALLY DISTURBING, an organization that digitizes even a pre-1918 public domain book ends up with a copyright that extends to the digitized text of the public domain book.

It's the same reasoning that allows pharmaceutical companies to draw blood from an indigenous tribesman somewhere and take patent ownership of new genes found in his/her blood without (necessarily) even giving that person a handful of shiny beads.

Bryan said...

that is, actually, seriously disturbing. I think we need more relaxed copyright laws, personally. And I think once something is in the public domain it should be unable to leave there.