He's looking at it from an economist's point of view--rather than the publishers--and of course Google's revenues and earnings are looking really good right now. (Raise your hands now--how many of us bought stock when we should have?)
One line from the article give me a twinge, when I have my library hat on:
The Google economy is a kind of high-tech feudal system: The peasants produce the content; Google makes the profits. That's all the more annoying to the content crowd because the lords of this money machine--Sergey Brin and Larry Page--perpetuate the goofy-sounding notion that they do all this to help the world, rather than line their own pockets.
"That's true," Brin said in an interview. "We talked at Stanford for a while about making Google an open-source project. We ultimately decided that would not be an efficient way for us to get the resources we needed to make it run. So we started a company."
As for the Google Print Library Project, Brin says, "We actually dreamed of the ability to do this back before we started Google as a company." It is good for Google's users, good for the business, it's fair, and it's legal, he says. "But more importantly, I think it is really great for the world."
Goofy-sounding notion indeed.
The article needs a login (which I don't have) but there is a Video available for free. And the video gives a clear picture of what "normal" people (or at least media/business people) think about Google Print.
Check out the video--there is one point where the commentator says, "What's the difference between this and going to the library?" I soooo wanted to jump into the conversation!!
Of course, there was also one guy who was adamant that "no one is going to read a book on the computer screen."