December 2009 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Google 2.0

In the current issue of the New York Review of Books, Harvard Library Director and Professor Robert Darnton takes a close look at the Google Books Settlement (GBS) -- the one that was supposed to happen on Nov. 9 but was pushed to Nov. 13, and now we're all awaiting Judge Chin's decision on what is "likely to determine the digital future for all of us," Darnton writes.

In this article, he also explains the cultural divide in how the U.S. government views the settlement, versus how it's viewed by European countries. France and Germany are worried about commercialization and monopoly. The U.S. Dept. of Justice is more concerned about "risk of market foreclosure."

The major change made to the GBS is that it is now narrowed to books published in the U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia. The bottom line: "GBS 2.0 does not therefore differ in essentials from GBS 1.0," Darnton writes. Which makes him, and many others in the book world, quite anxious.