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October 16, 2009


Tom Moullet

Google is about having open information (read: "free" and easy). I think "access" was a carefully chosen word, he didn't use 'buy', 'own', or 'procure'. When Brin was talking about "access" I believe he was talk about getting past barriers that would come with buying a OOP book. First you have to come up with tens, hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, next you have to locate a trustworthy seller of the book, and then you have to wait a week or two for fulfillment and mailing. With Google Book Search all you need is to type in a title to have immediate access to the full text.

I fully agree with you that this peice was inappropriate for the NYT to run, much more suited for the Google Blog where I read it.

R. B. Bernstein

I disagree with the previous comment. Brin clearly was not thinking about used-book dealers, in part because he may envision Google Books as the only future source of out-of-print books other than visiting a large research library. I believe that they've already announced a service -- a pay service, not a free service -- by which you can visit a bookstore that hosts a Google terminal, order an out-of-print book, and have a print-to-order copy created, bound, and delivered right into your hands. It's not the same as the real thing, of course, but it's close enough for many people.


Hmm. I'm going to have to agree that the key word is "access". He's not exactly lying, but manipulating the truth. Access can mean a whole variety of things, among them purchasing and viewing. I think Google's attitude is much more in line with the viewing (as opposed to owning an actual volume). It is interesting, though... hmm.

Ashley Mays


James Portman

Unfortunately, you are also violating copyright in some markets by including publishers providing printouts on demand of books which are not yet in the public domain in some countries. I think we're taking a far too cavalier an attitude towards cultural property.

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Michael Longo

I don't believe the google executive was lying. His response could have been crafted better and provided more information about the subject.

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Sergey brin has no idea how easy it is to do what he thinks you can not, maybe it was not lying, just misinformed!

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