Does Google’s Digital Library Monopolize?

In an online article, titled “Libraries leery of Google book plan,”concern is expressed over Google’s plans to digitize books and offer subscriptions to university libraries.  Google and Amazon would be the only providers, thus leaving university libraries questioning the future.  Will Google push prices up?

Interestingly enough, Google cites that one of the ten things that the corporation maintains as a philosophy is “you can make money without doing evil” (Google, 2009, para. 8). Perhaps, by digitizing books, they are saving libraries time and money as digitizing books is a large investment that many libraries cannot afford in this economy.  In addition, Google is not the only organization to digitize and build an online library of books.  Projects such as Scribd provide free access to writings and works.  In addition, an abandoned effort by Microsoft to digitize books, has provided a non-profit organization, Internet Archive, with materials that were scanned during the project.  In addition, Europeana, provides access to text, images, sounds and video from various languages with the help of libraries and museums from Europe and the UK.  In addition, the National Library of France (Bibliotheque nationale de France) has the Gallica project, where they provide access to multi-lingual texts.

It is hard to tell whether Google will monopolize the digital book market, however, their strong brand and investment in the project due to their abundance in resources have pushed them ahead of the rest.  Worse comes to worse, we’ll hold them to their philosophy statement on making money without evil as the web page ends with: “we first wrote these ’10 things’ several years ago. From time to time we revisit this list to see if it still holds true. We hope it does – and you can hold us to that. (September 2009)” (Google, 2009).  Like they said, we can only hope.

References:

Libraries leery of Google book plan. (2009, May 5). The National Post on the Web. Retrieved September 11, 2009, from http://www.nationalpost.com/story.html?id=1563202

Google. (2009). Corporate Information: Ten Things. Retrieved September 11, 2009 from http://www.google.ca/intl/en/corporate/tenthings.html

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s