Google and the World Brain, a new documentary by Ben Lewis, is about that but on an even more frightening scale. It focuses on Google Books, and the company’s attempt to complie the entire printed history of the world into a single database. That sounds like a noble and worthwhile cause but, after watching Google and the World Brain, you might think otherwise.
The main focus of Google and the World Brainis the fact that of the 10 million books Google has scanned for their directory, six million are still under copyright. This raised major red flags in the academic community about the company’s ultimate intentions. Were they really trying to provide a service? Was the goal simply to improve the search engine? Or does Google want or have the ability to compile data about what exactly it is the world is reading in their free time?
The film makes the case that Google isn’t nearly as innocent and naive as they appear, that they are in fact a villain that may or may not be attempting a monopoly of information.