Dear Commons Community,
I don’t know how many of you were following the recent decision by federal judge Denny Chin, who rejected the settlement between Google and a group of authors and publishers who had sued the company for copyright infringement. Gail Collins in her NY Times column, reviews Judge Chin’s ruling and concludes that it is a victory for the public good by preventing Google from monopolizing access to over 15 million books and in a sense to our common cultural heritage. I originally was of the opinion that Google was performing a public good by digitizing so much content. One of my own books was part of Google’s library and I was happy that it was freely available. Regardless with Judge Chin’s decision, Google’s digital library project will have to be rethought. Gail Collins suggests that the federal government take up the idea as have several other countries and develop a digital “public” library that would make books freely available. And maybe Google could be enlisted to assist in this endeavor.