Monday, January 22, 2007

What can Jade teach us?

The Sunday Papers this week gave us the bullies, in one corner Jade a simple lass whose ignorance catapulted her into all the wrong places and in the other corner Google, whose simple approach leads to their apparent ignorance of intellectual property. Both enjoy the company of enthusiastic hangers on and can crush the fortunes of other sensitive types.

Google’s stated mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. Google are now working on their book programme with the aim of providing not just search and discovery, but to “make it universally accessible” through the ability to effectively download the whole book onto a mobile reader and in doing so control where it is bought.

Some publishers see this as the perfect opportunity to cut out their middle man sell direct and increase margin. Others argue the scheme infringes their copyright and Google should seek permission from them before scanning works. The publishing world appears divided with Google currently being sued by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers over its deal with major libraries to scan their collections.

What is clear is that these omnivores have huge funds, resource and little in their way. Google are launching their assault of the libraries hovering up and digesting all before them, whilst their competitors MSN, quietly are at work in others. Google has now scanned 1m books.

Perhaps its time for the playground antics of these bullies to face the public vote.