Wired Editor Opines on Digitization, GBS
“In several dozen nondescript office buildings around the world, thousands of hourly workers bend over table-top scanners and haul dusty books into high-tech scanning booths. They are assembling the universal library page by page. The dream is an old one: to have in one place all knowledge, past and present. All books, all documents, all conceptual works, in all languages.
“When Google announced in December 2004 that it would digitally scan the books of five major research libraries to make their contents searchable, the promise of a universal library was resurrected. Indeed, the explosive rise of the Web, going from nothing to everything in one decade, has encouraged us to believe in the impossible again.
“But the technology that will bring us a planetary source of all written material will also, in the same gesture, transform the nature of what we now call the book and the libraries that hold them. The universal library and its ‘books’ will be unlike any library or books we have known. Pushing us rapidly toward that Eden of everything, and away from the paradigm of the physical paper tome, is the hot technology of the search engine.”
Kevin Kelly. Scan This Book! The New York Times Magazine. May 14, 2006.
O’Reilly Radar. Publisher, Be Very, Very Afraid? May 18, 2006.
CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the law, business, and technology of digital content. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.