“The greatest tragedy is we are still exactly where we were on the orphan works question. That stuff is just sitting out there gathering dust and decaying in physical libraries, and with very limited exceptions,” Mtima said, “nobody can use them. So everybody has lost and no one has won.”
For those who subscribe to the theory that Google has a go-to-market problem, this has the hallmark of the quintessential example.
- A fantastic problem of scale
- An almost altruistic mission
- A phenomenally complex solution that's elegant in abstract
- A true focus on win-win-win for all parties
- A terrible job at convincing people to do the right thing
- Pulling back a potentially life changing product
I highly recommend reading this long superbly written article on how the ambition was curtailed because of a combination of greed, dog headedness, stupidity, miscommunication, brilliance, and the American legal system.