Google and the World Brain

Synopsis: The story of the most ambitious project ever conceived on the Internet, and the people who tried to stop it. In 1937 HG Wells predicted the creation of the "World Brain", a giant global library that contained all human knowledge which would lead to a new form of higher intelligence. Seventy year later the realization of that dream was underway, as Google scanned millions and millions of books for its Google Books website. But over half those books were still in copyright, and authors across the world launched a campaign to stop them, climaxing in a New York courtroom in 2011. A film about the dreams, dilemmas and dangers of the Internet, set in spectacular locations in China, USA, Europe and Latin America.
Director(s): Ben Lewis
Production: Polar Star Films
  1 win & 11 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
90 min

these challenges?"

They sort of leave the lawsuit

to the lawyers to worry about.

Google's a company that believes

in its fundamental mission

of empowering everyone in this world

with all the information they need.

Enriched with the right information,

people can make better decisions

for themselves,

their families and their communities.

This world is full

of wonderful individuals

which have varied needs.

From a farmer in Africa

to a mother in India,

to a business person in Japan.

Everyone needs information

in this modern day and age.

And Google believes

in breaking all the barriers

between every individual

and the information they seek.

When you actually negotiate

with Google

and do so on their turf,

you enter a strange world.

A Google office doesn't have chairs

like this chair,

the furniture consists

of large inflated balls

that are coloured green

or red or yellow

and the young Google engineers

are sitting on these.

It's a kind of Never Never Land


About ten years ago, I got a visit

from a vice president of Google.

And she walked into my office

and described a project

that Google had in mind,

which was to digitise

all the books in

the Harvard Library.

My first thought was,

to put it bluntly,

that maybe they were smoking

something, because I didn't think

it was possible.

Harvard had been digitising books

from time to time,

but they were very limited

in number and we didn't do many,

it was a very expensive

and complicated project.

I don't remember exactly,

but it was several hundred dollars

just for a single book.

But they had invented

a copying station

that was a lot cheaper

and easier to use,

that didn't damage the books

or, at least, went out of its way

not to damage the books.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Google and the World Brain" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 6 Mar. 2021. <>.

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