The Googlization of Everything: A Threat to the Information Commons?

The Googlization of Everything: A Threat to the Information Commons?
Speaker: Siva Vaidhyanathan

I was so into what Siva was saying I forgot to take notes, my apologies. Here are the highlights that made it into my notes (busy day has smushed out most of the specifics I’m sorry to say – hopefully I’ll be able to channel it all back out of my subconscious in a week or so)

Siva spoke to the program title, which was developed before he was the speaker (he said he was happy to do so). Funny, but great.

He started off about how today was a surreal day to be discussing Google and it’s potential future since he/we expect to hear a decision from SCotUS tommorrow (Monday, 6.27.05) on the MGM v Grokkster case.

So: Siva starts out after the above caveat: “There is no functional diference between Grokkster and Google.” How’s that for a stunner? I missed a bit as I quickly pondered this & found that I agree.

I tuned back in just in time to get this: “there is one difference; Grokkster *doesn’t* copy, Google *does*” (regarding Google Print – which Siva kept calling “Google Library”), intersting and true.

The SCotUS decision will be a watershed moment (I’m not sure, now, which way I hope they decide). Deciding for Grokkster means probable copyright meltdown & hurried, suboptimal fix, deciding for MGM means the bright future envisioned and hoped for by many will be a wasteland.

3 big worries about Google Print:
Privacy (Google, unlike libraries, has no ethical constraints against sharing/giving access to reading/searching habits)
Privatization (See Brewster Kahle’s 3 models regarding this)
Property (which means a copyright meltdown is possible – which would be a bad thing – libraries would likely *not* have a seat at the table)

I saw several LITAns there, hopefully they can/will fill out my sketchy notes in the comments (or post a better summary, please!)