As a content creator my feelings about Google are mixed. Philosophically, I believe in the openness of information and non-restrictive copyrights that let the producer profit from his or her good work in the present but benefit everyone later on. Last-Century revisions ruin the latter ethic. Life plus 70 years is a ridiculously long copyright that rapes the very concept of public domain.
Google’s business model enables free spread of information, which supports my other ethic. But there’s rot at the core—the free-content economy that search demands. As I explain in my new ebook Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers, “the search giant profits from your good work, reducing its value in the process”. Google produces no content, while its whole business model is about profiting from others’ content.