The US Google Books and Archive.org are free. The EU equivalent charges readers money. That tells us everything we need to know about the EU.
How many of us were aware that there *was* an EU official alternative? few, I imagine. But today I learned about it: Books2EBooks. It’s a glossy site, paid for by levies on taxpayers who didn’t get a vote on it (like all EU projects). The site is full of guff about how wonderful, wonderful the internet is. Get books from EU libraries, it boasts! Only in the small print is buried the fact that, yes, you have to BUY them from the site. How really, really FUNNY!
Most of the libraries are German, and their holdings were paid for by the taxpayer. This is more evidence that the Germans really don’t get the internet. Or — to be fair — that officialdom in Germany doesn’t get it.
We all know that the internet is about free access to information. US libraries are cooperating to make their holdings accessible freely online. Individuals like myself donate our time to creating archives of material.
But here, ten years after the web started, these greedy bureaucrats stir their hulking hog-like bodies, swollen with tax dollars exacted from the helpless for necessary services and diverted to themselves. They look at Archive.org, which is free, and see only a chance to make a bit of money for themselves by selling copies of out-of-copyright books in their holdings. Do they hate people? Or are they merely greedy?
Isn’t the EU contemptible? Let’s thank our lucky stars we don’t live in Germany.