Musings on decisions and factors that drive them.
Safety in numbers
Sat, Apr 29 2000 04:00
A 2008 legal settlement gave Google the rights to create a Book Rights Registry, and to digitize works whose rights-holders are unknown (50-70% of books published since 1923). Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo recently countered by joining the Open Book Alliance led by the Internet Archive . The three companies' objections have largely centered on potential lost profits and market share. The non-profit Internet Archive speaks more about open public access and free availability.
An additional concern exists. Software applications (such as Photoshop) not only have provided us with enormous ease to achieve "perfection," but they have engendered in us an acceptance for alterations. Private, personal and innocuous manipulation.
Alteration, however, has gone public. The love handles of a French President disappear, a magazine changes the swimsuit color of a U.S. President . It still seems innocent enough.
Less innocuously, the Bush adminstration cut the embarrassing "Mission Accomplished" banner from the video of that speech for the then-White House site's version of that event. Others with the original film clip ensure that piece of history remains intact.
Pressure was put on the TV media to adopt government terminology for the reporting of the war in Iraq and upon businesses who held information. A step further, revising what is written, would effectively create Orwell's Ministry of Truth.
Cause-and-effect thinking is essential to promoting good use of technologies, at the same time prohibiting misuse... in business planning, passing of regulations, and at the time of legal settlements. Technology solutions should be assessed using a disciplined, transparent integration of multiple constituencies' rights, responsibilities, desires and concerns. Finding common ground for business, public, and government interests. Seeking to balance viewpoints, honoring values and rights.
Profits as a factor in determining access to on-line writings is an important issue. Integrity of those writings as authored is a still more important issue. Plato stated that "Those who tell the stories rule society." A balance is fundamental for all voices to be able to speak--one of our most precious rights. Monopolies are the antithesis of balance.
Bill of Rights, National Archives of the United States of America