Monday, April 19, 2010

Mentor Monday--Worse Than Reading an IRS Tax Form

Image by Troy Holden

If you're like me, you waited until the last minute to file your 2009 income taxes. And, if like me, you read through the tax form and its many, many additional forms and schedules, you found that it was all enough to make your head explode. (I'm not against paying taxes, I'm just against the nearly indecipherable paperwork involved.)

There is something else that rivals the income tax paperwork, and that is the issue of copyright and the "Google Book Settlement." As a writer, researcher, and a librarian I'm completely torn when it comes to the digitization of copyrighted materials. And, the whole Google Book Settlement business has my head filling with explosives. So, in an effort to help you understand what is involved, I'm going to lead you to an article that attempts to explain the GBS to people such as myself who experience exploding head syndrome. It is from the website io9:We Come From the Future, is titled, "5 Ways The Google Book Settlement Will Change The Future of Reading," and was written by Annalee Newitz. Newitz also had the article reviewed by several attorneys, so I assume it is fairly accurate. That may be a false assumption on my part, but I'm going to stick with it for now since Newitz is a well-published science/technology journalist.

Read it and try to absorb the implications of the GBS, we are on the cusp of a whole new world of reading.

I'm often perplexed by the way we rush ahead with furthering our dependence on electronic devices knowing full well that one of these days, in the not too distant future, we will all be fighting over energy resources. Unless we can quickly bring renewable resources up to the task of powering our electronic devices, there's going to be a place for the paper book once again, let's just hope it will still be available.


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