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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Google DRM

At the Consumer Electronics Show last week, Google announced its new video service google video. Part of that service involves yet another media player and yet another Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology. Will Google’s entry into the DRM field lap over into other areas, such as Google Book Search? Will government information that is in the public domain and scanned by Google for its full text service become DRM’d? We just don’t know. While we can imagine that our good buddy Google will do no evil, as Siva says, we have no guarantees. It is by definition, the job of libraries to provide access to information. If libraries choose to rely on the Google’s of the world to take care of the hard part of this process, libraries and the public will get only what those private companies find it in their commercial interest to allow us to have.

The following story brings up the issue of what we don’t know about Google DRM.

  • Is Google DRM crippling culture as great as it seems? We don’t know, By Ashlee Vance, The Register, January 8, 2006.
  • Anyone the least bit concerned about DRM (digital rights management) technology would likely have been put off by Google co-founder Larry Page’s ho-hum approach to revealing the company’s new proprietary media locks. And with good reason….

    Having one of the world’s largest and currently most powerful IT companies announce that it has constructed a new DRM system and then not reveal a single detail about the technology is just plain unacceptable.

    Many of you – who have become obsessed with the god you call Googlor – will no doubt suck down Google’s DRM with pride.

    Hopefully, some of you will be more careful and force the company to answer a few questions first. CBS might make the TV shows, but we all share the culture.

    CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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