Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Screening: Google and the World Brain

I'm really glad I attended yesterday's screening of Google and the World Brain, hosted by UBC Continuing Studies @ UBC Robson Square Theatre. The event featured a panel discussion after the film with Martha Rans, Lawyer and Director of Artists Legal Outreach and also Graham Reynolds, Assistant Professor at UBC Faculty of Law.

Dubbed as the "most ambitious project ever conceived on the Internet: Google's master plan to scan every book in the world and the people trying to stop them," the film documents Google's hidden agenda and unintended consequences behind building a library for mankind. As a librarian in academia, mixed feels

The Google Book Search Library Project, in which millions of books from libraries will be scanned and made searchable on the Web, has led to controversy and legal action. The Association of American Publishers sued Google for copyright infringement as Google claimed their use falls under the fair use privilege of the Copyright Act.
  • Pamela Samuelson is recognized as a pioneer in digital copyright law, intellectual property, cyberlaw and information policy.
  • Graham Reynolds teaches and researches in the areas of copyright law, intellectual property law, property law, and intellectual property and human rights.
  • Google Secrecy and Commercialization of Information - It's obvious that Google has been less than transparent about its projects (see Street View wifi incident or the infamous Google Barges project).  Google Books is just a similar fear that the company is plotting a scheme that will extract personal information from the Books project for its own financial benefits.
  • Digital Public Library of America and Europeana - it appears the siloization of digital materials in the guise of a consortia continues.  Who's using them?  Will it outperform using Google Books?  
  • Jaron Lanier is a writer, computer scientist, and composer of classical music. A pioneer in the field of virtual reality

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