Examining the myriad ways Google affects world culture, Vaidhyanathan (Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How It Threatens Creativity) takes on one of the most venerated and profitable corporations in history and exposes tradeoffs most people do not even realize they make when they “Google.” Refusing to take the company’s “Don’t be evil” motto at face value, Vaidhyanathan expertly analyzes Google’s involvement in issues as important and far-reaching as censorship, surveillance, bias, globalization, monopolization, and privatization. He questions the wisdom of entrusting such a young company (bound to serve only their stockholders, not the public) with such weighty concerns as privacy, preserving cultural heritage, and organizing and providing access to information, which historically have been entrusted to publicly-funded or nonprofit organizations like libraries or academic institutions. VERDICT This book is an important work of critical thinking about the profound implications of Google that many seem too dazzled to notice and serves as a call to action for those who dare. Highly recommended.
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