Letter regarding The Writer’s Guild lawsuit against Google
Dear Mr. Aiken and the Guild,
After the death of Pulitzer Prize-winning author John E. Mack, M.D., I was retained by his estate to scan in every bit of writing he had ever done. As Dr Mack’s colleague and friend, I could do no less.
It took me nearly six months using a professional grade scanner to preserve every essay, every book, every review and every letter from over 50 years of his writing career.
So I believe that I am speaking with some authority when I share with you my opinion about Google’s Herculian effort to preserve books.
My opinion is simply this: the founders of Google should be honored for this, their most humanitarian effort. Frankly, they are doing what the Library of Congress should have been doing all along.
The ability to search books from any laptop – even if one must buy the book from a conventional bookstore in order to actually read more than a page – will advance our civilization in dramatic ways; it will help eliminate redundancy, of people wasting time rediscovering things that had already been noted by others. When all books have been scanned, we will be able to build on what is already known.
Most importantly, authors from all eras will suddenly have their words regarded anew. Books will be more likely to be called back into print. This is the start of a bright new age.
I urge you to reconsider your lawsuit against Google, which I read about today. The article was brief, so I do not understand why you would object to their noble effort. I hope that as you come to a better understanding of what Google is doing, you will realize that their effort is one that should be supported unreservedly.