Google Books Settlement and the Future of the Archive

Go here to read Annalee Newitz’s important and insightful analysis of the implications of the Google Books Settlement (GBS) on i09.com.  I haven’t had time to digest the whole thing, but I do have to say that mass-digitization, and the granting of sole rights to digitize every book published before 2009 with one corporate entity has immense implications for the future, not only of the archive broadly conceived, but for the meaning of authorship itself. Not the least of these implications is:

Pulp science fiction will make a comeback in ways you might not expect.

This settlement will change the way everyone in the book industry, from independent booksellers, massive retailers, publishers, authors, and especially readers do business basically in perpetuity. It behooves everyone with an interest in books to educate themselves on this. For good or ill, GBS, if approved, will dictate the Future of the Book.

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