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Google Library Project Essay

1) Who is harmed by the Library Project? Make a list of harmed groups, and for each group, try to devise a solution that would eliminate or less the harm. Publishing companies and authors are harmed by the Library Project because of the copyright infringements and royalties. Book stores and distributors would also be harmed as their profits would spiral down. The Publishing companies and authors should be compensated in some manor for the books that Google is displaying for free. Google will be receiving funds from the advertising companies to display ads on the “book’s pages”. A percentage of the advertising profits should be given to the publishing company and the author of the book for the book that is being viewed for the loss of what their original royalties would have been. This should be completed per each individual book as some books may have hundreds of views while others may have only a few per month. The book stores and distributors may find some solution with Google if they noted their business name or provided a link to where the book could be purchased. This should help in their decreasing profits.

2) Why is Google pursuing the Library Project? What is in it for Google? Make a list of benefits to Google. Google is pursuing the Library Project because it is beneficial for them financially and “socially”. Google will sell advertising space on the “book’s pages” which will generate revenue. With the Library Project absorbing books from all over the world, Google’s user audience will grow. They will also have a “spillover” from one service to another. Another one of the larger components for their pursuit is that this will allow the Google search engine to become more valuable because the content is enriched.

3) If you were a librarian, would you support the Library Project? Why or why not? I would not be a supporter of the Library Project if I was a librarian. The Library Project would rely on libraries making their collections available to them. This can put an unwanted strain on the librarians because the Library Project would be a substitution for the library itself. This could lead to possible layoffs or even the closing of a small library.

4) Why have firms like Amazon, Yahoo, and Microsoft opposed the Library Project? Why would a firm like Sony support Google? Firms like Amazon, Yahoo, and Microsoft oppose the Library Project because it would allow Google the exclusive rights to sell out of print works that remain under contract. For Amazon specifically, they would have the most to lose as they are a major distributor especially with their Kindle/Kindle Fire and Kindle books. Sony supports Google because through an agreement they are able to gain access to thousands of e-books for their readers. Sony is looking to produce a version of the Kindle called The Daily Edition.

5) Do you think the Library project will result in a de facto monopoly in e-books, or will there be other competitors? The Library project will result in a de facto monopoly in e-books because Google will be allowed to set the prices in collusion with publishers. This will give Google no competitors in this domain.

6) Explain Google’s position that YouTube does not violate the intellectual property rights of copyright holders. Google’s position that YouTube does not violate the intellectual property rights of copyright holders is because YouTube is not finding the videos and posting them. The owners/videographers are posting their videos to YouTube themselves.

7) Define universalism, slippery slope, the New York Times test, and the social contract rule as they apply to ethics. Universalism implies that if a solution is not correct for all situations then it is not right for any specific situation. The slippery slope rule states that if an action cannot be undertaken repeatedly, then it should not be taken at all. If the solution works for one instance, and the same instance is repeated, then it should work every time. If not then the solution should not be used. The New York Times test states that you must assume that the results of your decision on a matter will be the subject of the lead article in the NY Times the next day. Simplified this means that if your decision was to be on the front page of the NY Times would you want your friends and family to know about it. If not then the decision you made is probably a bad decision. The social contract rule asks that the decision maker considers whether they would like to live in a society where the principles they are advocating was the organizing principle of the entire society.

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