Man I almost freaked out when I first read this:
Just weeks after announcing ambitious plans to digitize millions of books from five major libraries, Google burns down its electronic Alexandria before even really starting it.
The problem isn't the anticipated copyright headaches. It's the readers -- or lack thereof.
"When news of our plans broke, we were flooded with e-mails from college students begging us to make more term papers available, not books," says a Google executive who asked not to be named. "The kids told us that they have plenty of access to books on paper that they don't read. What they really need is someone to do the reading, thinking and writing for them."
Convinced that absolutely no one wants to read most of the tomes they'd just begun digitizing, Google decides to divert the tens of millions designated for the book project into hiring underemployed Ph.D.'s to build up the world's biggest virtual term-paper library.
Way to keep us hypersensitive librarians on our toes!