hutcheson - 2:42 am on Feb 17, 2010 (gmt 0)
Why the heat, chanandlerbong? I can see you're upset, but it's really none of your business. You have no more right to speak for ANY author than does any faceless mega-corporation--less, actually, if the FMC has actually been in contact with organizations representing authors.
Google's not competing with you: neither you nor anybody else is doing anything like this--but nothing keeps you from doing the same thing on whatever scale you want to pay for. They're not competing with any dead-tree-pulp publisher, since books in print are opt-out by default. They're not hurting any author or author's heirs against their will--anyone who doesn't like the deal can opt out. Nobody that cares is being hurt. Nobody that doesn't care CAN be hurt. Why would anyone who's not being hurt care?
I can understand being delighted by any kind of initiative that puts more content on the web. Isn't that what webmastering is all about? But this petty viciousness is ... puzzling.
chanandlerborg, you obviously have not read many 19th-century books. The truth is, it was customary for the publisher to bind advertisements for other books, often for competitive books, sometimes their entire catalog, in every book published. It was common for many authors to publish novels in installments in magazines with advertisements.
In fact, there are a number of webmasters here -- far more anonymous and visage-challenged than Google -- who make a business of posting advertisements around information that, to put it lightly, did not originate in their own mind. Do you find that kind of anonymous advertising with web-publication offensive everywhere?
I can't believe that's the problem. I defer to nobody on earth in my dislike of advertising. I don't watch TV, I don't listen to the radio, I don't read the newspaper, or any magazines printed by for-profit companies. But the advertising on Google Books is so unobtrusive, even I don't notice it. (And, for that matter, you can download a PDF and read it at your leisure without ANY advertising.) That's a non-issue--unless you're ready to accuse everyone who visits this forum of being an unlicensed provider of intimate services.
What's the problem. It's not the advertising. It's not anyone being hurt, not authors or publishers or readers. Is it just that Google competes with Microsoft and must be crushed ... and THIS is the best argument that Microsoft can hire to have made?