In this book Robert Darnton tries to explore the impact of Google’s Project Gutenberg on the book industry. While we may have a different perspective on the impact of that project from our perspective years after it happened, Darnton does a good job of laying out the possible impacts if Google was successful with it.

The most interesting part of the book was the first 1/3 of the book where Darnton looked at the impact of technology on books and reading. Specifically as he talks about tech companies not seeing temples of learning in a Library, but content they can monetize[1]. Or when he talks about government abdicating it’s civic responsibility as it gives over book scanning to the capitalist world instead of making information sharing a civic project[2].

If you’re really interested in what a detractor of Google Book Search was saying in the middle of legal negotations, this is a decent read though the final 2/3 is dedicated more to discourse on reading that’s more focused towards the academic than regular people.

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