Google and the World Brain

The most ambitious project ever conceived on the Internet: Google's master plan to scan every book in the world and the people trying to stop them. Google says they are building a library for mankind, but some say they also have other intentions.


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  • ★★★½ review by Lee Curtis on Letterboxd

    This compelling documentary examines Google’s incredibly ambitious project to assemble a giant global library that contained all human knowledge and made accessible to all, as envisioned by HG Wells in 1937. Google began scanning millions of books for its Google Books website, but over half of them remain in copyright. Believing that the online giants are monopolising knowledge, had ulterior motives and were infringing on copyright and ethical laws, thousands of authors from across the world launched a campaign to stop them.

    Ben Lewis’ documentary Google and the World Brain documents the project from its conception, through the scanning processes and the ongoing criminal investigations. Offering arguments from a variety of worldwide professionals the ninety minute documentary is as intriguing as it is informative. Unfortunately, the whole project fails to carry as much impact, because Google refused to take part in any interviews. Without their necessary opinion the film is not as effective as it could have been.

  • ★★★½ review by Lasse Marhaug on Letterboxd

    Finding it ironic that many of my fellow musicians who are paranoid about their music being file-shared have gmail-accounts and use Google for all aspects of their online life – surely Google's stance on copyright is far more alarming than lone individuals who wants to listen and share music.

    So this is the future: corporations who feel they can do as they like justified by that they honestly believe they're making everyday life easier for people, and that we accept it. Troubling on many levels.

    Ideas should belong to people, not corporations.


  • ★★★½ review by Funes on Letterboxd

    Interesante documental sobre uno de los macroproyectos de Google.

    A veces siento que estamos construyendo el futuro a tanta velocidad que no tenemos tiempo de asimilar el presente.

  • ★★★½ review by Jason Bailey on Letterboxd

    A thorough, clear, and detailed look at the troubling implications of a landmark project.

  • ★★★½ review by Aldair Figueroa on Letterboxd


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