Google has just thrown its weight behind an ambitious and controversial plan to put the world's cultural memory online.
The plan, which is US-led and hatched by the Library of Congress, would create digital copies of the large stores of historical manuscripts, personal diaries, voice recordings and other cultural items held by national libraries around the world.
Google has donated $3M for the initial work of devising technical standards and carrying out pilot studies for the project, known as the World Digital Library.
This could well lead to challenges from foreign governments and bodies seeking to protect their cultural IP. Goog luck to the Library of Congress and Google for trying to take the lead and for being willing to take on likely challengers. This is a good one for society. We wish them well.