Just for once, Google has been given a bloody nose
Posted in: Legal, Privacy & Security at 27/03/2011 15:54
Last week, a US judge in Manhattan made a landmark decision. As to what it means, opinions vary. Some see it as arresting the cultural progress that began with the Enlightenment; others are celebrating Judge Denny Chin's ruling as the blocking of a predatory move by a giant corporation to control access to the world's cultural heritage. The truth, as always, lies somewhere in between.
First, the backstory. In 2004, Google decided that it would digitise all the books currently held in a series of major libraries with the aim of making their contents globally available to anyone with a web browser. The project was the brainchild of Larry Page, one of Google's two founders, who is soon to become the company's CEO. It was a typical Google project - audacious, difficult and fiendishly expensive - but one that fitted naturally with the company's stated mission to "organise the world's information".