I was a bit disappointed when I came across the news regarding a judge’s judgement to reject Google’s plan to release millions of scanned digitised books to the world. As an avid book-lover and self-confessed “bibliaholic”, I really think that Google’s plan to do so is a really great idea that will be beneficial to everyone. Never mind the critics who accuse Google of getting a “significant competitive advantage”. It is not like these same critics are unable to do what Google is planning to do and ready to start implementing when it is possible.
As for Google making money off this project….what business in their right mind wouldn’t want to do that? Google is and still remains a business entity, so obviously they would want to monetise it in some way. But the benefits of having books released to the digital world is really huge. One would no longer have to go to every second-hand bookstore looking for a title that may be already out of print years ago. It will benefit researchers and students to check out hard-to-find references and quote the material extensively. I cannot even begin to describe the joy of delving into these works and savouring the knowledge contained within. Google’s book project have my fullest support, whatever the form it may take in the future.