The Fiction Circus on the Internet Archive on the Google Book Search Settlement

Miracle Jones:

I want to know what deal the Internet Archive will offer to rightsholders in order to compete with Google. Kahle wants everything to be free, does this mean that he will strip away even Google’s meager profit-sharing deal to authors if he can?

Why can’t we turn this into a two-year-long U.S. rights auction where anybody can try to outbid Google for these copyrighted works?

I think Kahle is “a good man,” but his plan is essentially the same thing as solving the world’s poverty problem by printing more money and then giving it away. For a few hours, everybody will be able to run out and buy food. Everything will be free!

But then the world’s economy will collapse completely.

The auction idea is interesting. To the extent that the problem is a lack of competition in this market, though, a single-winner auction is no solution. Whoever wins replaces Google as the entity to worry about. Perhaps a generalized second-price auction? (I’m about 90% joking.)