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Brewster Kahle on Google Books

Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, and the instigator of an open access effort to scan books, has a good op-ed in the Washington Post about the Google Books settlement (some links).

Brewster focuses on the monopolistic concerns about the proposed settlement. He concludes:

This settlement should not be approved. The promise of a rich and democratic digital future will be hindered by monopolies. Laws and the free market can support many innovative, open approaches to lending and selling books. We need to focus on legislation to address works that are caught in copyright limbo. And we need to stop monopolies from forming so that we can create vibrant publishing environments.

Personally, I do not want to see the deal approved unamended. There are some pretty clearly anti-competitive clauses that need to come out (the “most favored nation” one in particular). And the proposed Book Rights Registry has too much power, especially since its supervised by parties whose interests are not aligned first and foremost with the public’s interests (which are, I believe, to achieve the Constitutional desire “[t]o promote the progress of science and useful arts” and to achieve the Internet’s desire to provide maximal access to the works of culture).

(Here’s a much longer interview with Brewster).

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