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October 17, 2005
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Leggo My Ego
Don't miss Tim Wu @ Slate on the Google Print library project:
And as an individual property owner, you might want more control over how your property appears on a map, and whether it appears at all, as well as the right to demand payment.
But the law would be stupid to give property owners that right. Imagine how terrible maps would be if you had to negotiate with every landowner in the United States to publish the Rand McNally Road Atlas. Maps might still exist, but they'd be expensive and incomplete. Property owners might think they'd individually benefit, but collectively they would lose out—a classic collective action problem. There just wouldn't really be maps in the sense we think of today.
Update: Siva Vaidhyanathan has posted a transcript
of his NPR "On the Media" talk about the Google Print library project; Seth Finkelstein responds
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