Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Audience, Ego-Surfing, & Google’s Lawsuit

Bud’s thoughts about audience got me thinking. I haven’t been inspired to engage with other bloggers much in these posts lately. Sometimes it’s nice to use Fernham as my private little soapbox; sometimes I delight in getting comments, linking to others, fantasizing about others linking to me; sometimes I long for more readers; most of the time I know that the four posts a week I aim for is my upper limit so that keeping things modest is the only realistic answer. Still, thinking about audience got me itching to participate more. I couldn’t bring myself to do it with a post, but I have been commenting around at some of my favorite stops. I was pretty excited to get mentioned on Maud’s blog.

All these thoughts about audience, access, and community are linked to the Author’s Guild’s lawsuit against Google. Google’s planning to make tons and tons of snippets of books searchable and available by digitizing libraries (you can find out more at BoingBoing). I think this is cause for celebration (you can see my comments over at Moorish Girl. I was responding to this post of Laila’s just asking for opinions). She posts an interesting (albeit wrong, in my view) rebuttal, too. Now, I see that, not unexpectedly, Dave has a really smart defense of Google, invoking fair use and castigating current copyright rules. The point that I was trying to make that I still haven’t heard enough: folks like Sonny Bono and other defenders of copyright cast themselves as saviors of the creative class when really they are protecting corporate publishing and withholding access from young artists, students, and scholars (young, middle-aged, and old).

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