Wednesday, December 22, 2004

It is good or bad if Google make all the books readable on the Internet?

People oppose it when Google announced that it would turn all the books in several major library into the digital formet; They said it would bring problems to copyright and the damage of the valuable books. But please wait a minute: Do you see the future trends of digial book?

I have been reading the online resource to contribute to several of my term papers; I know there are many valuable books in the library. But I don't have time to go through the books one by one because I only want to know certain topics and chapters in the books. So I use "Google Scholar", which can return the exact information I want. Not only me, but also my classmates, did the same way. One day, I told myself, if we are all depending on the online resource, the content of all the paper work will disappear from people's mind in the future. Maybe our children will not know what has happened if there is no online book to tell them.

I may be afraid so much: Google has a dream to set up some digital library, so do others. So I don't need to worry about it. Copyright is the tool to protect the writers, but if nobody know the writers, why to protect them. Copyright and knowledge sharing are contradicted with each other. But knowledge is more important than the copyright in the long-term of human development.

The damage of the books is arguable, also. If nobody read the books, why spend so much money protect them? If everybody can read them online, why spend money to protect them. too? I know the books are valuable, but people's memory of the content from the books are even more valuable.

God bless digital library so that we will not forget the paper books.

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