If you are interested in the future of books, in either print or digital form – and you should be – there’s an intriguing article in the New York Review of Books and reprinted at the weekend in The Guardian. The article by Robert Darnton dissects the legal and moral arguments in relation to Google’s attempt to digitise the world of books. What is particularly interesting – and potentially scary, depending on your viewpoint – is that Google could well end up with ultimate control over our access to digitised books and could, in theory, limit our access to certain books. Darnton writes fluently and comes up with an intriguing idea i.e. that the US government should replace Google as the controller and provider of digitised books in a kind of universal public library. His article is aimed mainly at north American readers and I’m sure that suggestions of a more international body for digitised books would find favour across the world. The legal process goes on and we need to watch it.
Here in Scotland, it’s winter. This time of year is often referred to as ‘midwinter’ although technically this is not the case as December is the first winter month. Many of you reading this will be in summer and perhaps enjoying, or getting ready to enjoy the summer holidays. This is the final blog entry for 2009. So I wish you all best wishes for whatever festive season you may be celebrating- if indeed you are celebrating one. Back in 2010.