Corporate media’s arguments against Google are getting stranger and stranger. While previously the Washington Post had accused the search engine of “vacuum[ing] up their content without paying a dime,” now the Post has media lawyers Bruce Sanford and Bruce Brown (5/16/09) charging that search engines “crawl the Web and ingest everything in their path.”
Can anything be done to stop these terrifying monsters? Yes, the two Bruces say–you could change the law to require search engines to “obtain copyright permissions in order to copy and index websites.” Given that the point of this would be to force search engines to “negotiate with copyright holders over the value of their content”–that is, with millions of copyright holders located all over the world–this would likely eliminate all problems associated with search engines…by eliminating search engines. Then I’m sure we’d have a golden age of journalism once again.