whom the gods would destroy

...they first make stupid.

At one point Google had an ambitious plan to copy all books and make them available on the internet. Ha ha, said the copyright goons, not so fast, every idea has a price in a capitalist society. Expression is like a highway, it takes money to build and its owners expect a 300% return and a sybaritic lifestyle so little people must pay tolls. No ticket, no intellectual convo. So Google took out portions of books making them unusable as complete works but still quotable as to the non-redacted portions.

And the copyright goons said, uh, it has come to our attention that "bloggers" are linking to the free parts in order to have authority for their arguments. It is very important that we administer little electric zaps to these discussions to keep people stupid, befuddled, and dependent on their masters. So Google followed Amazon's "look inside" manipulation. Now if a blogger links to a Google Books page and enough traffic comes to that page, the page joins the redacted portions in commercially tantalizing unavailability.

Once there was a concept in law called "fair use," which recognized a public policy purpose for keeping conversations free from idiocy-inducing electro shock administered by profiteer elements of society. The internet is not going to be a zone where this concept is recognized. If you are going to quote, better get a screenshot or the weight of your words will be constantly dwindling. And if you post that screenshot don't use any words that would identify the content in the filename.

Update, June 2012: The Google Books pages that disappear in response to heavy link traffic seem to reappear at a later date when traffic has died down. Don't know if that really changes anything said above.