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Google and the World Brain
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Google and the World Brain
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In 1937, the science fiction writer H. G. Wells imagined a "World Brain" containing all of the world's knowledge, accessible to all people, that would be "so compact in its material form and so gigantic in its scope and possible influence" that it could transcend even nation states and governments. Seventy years later, Google set about realizing Wells' vision, launching a massive project to scan millions of books from university library collections -- and triggering a fierce backlash in the process. When it was discovered that over half of the first ten million books Google scanned were still in copyright, authors from around the world joined together to wage a fierce legal battle against the Internet giant, culminating in a dramatic courtroom showdown in 2011.

In gripping detail, Google & the World Brain tells the fascinating story of this complicated struggle over intellectual property and access to human knowledge, offering crucial insights into broader debates surrounding data-mining and privacy, downloading and copyright, fair use, freedom and surveillance.

A Polar Star Films & BLTV Production.

Comments (5)

Anonymous picture
Nishan

This is an excellent film for information professionals.

Mark avatar
Mark

Very one sided point of view. No one is shown clearly articulating Google's point of view. When the judge rejected the settlement we all lost a great resource. When the guy from Harvard (I think) rejected google book search because they filed poems under gardening. Give me a break. They are ...Read more

Anonymous picture
Olivia

Love this film. Presents the dual arguments of citizens having the right to access information but quickly changes tone to present the evils of a large, private corporation owning the information process as well as the damage done to the authors. Felt it presented the argument well, although ...Read more

Anonymous picture
Anonymous

that it more information that I never knew this happen I love to be inform.

Grant avatar
Grant

I was inspired and amazed by the scale of what Google was hoping to achieve with their digital repository of books. I could understand the benefits of what they were setting out to do, but the story quickly unraveled with all the complexities of the different stakeholders....leaving me unsure ...Read more