The vast volume of digital books available online is no accidental act. It is a planned business decision by the company and there is no element of lack of intention. So, according to the line of thought given above, it comes under the purview of ethics. Hence, other factors and theories need to be considered in order to come to a conclusion about ethical behavior.Utilitarianism is a concept primarily developed by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. They “argued that the best decisions (a) generate the most benefits as compared with their disadvantages, and (b) benefit the largest number of people (Johnson 2004, 130). So, if a person or organization indulge in an act that is provides the maximum number of benefits to a large section of the population, it is an ethical act. The concept of Google books is perfectly ethical in this regard. Purchasing books can be costly depending on it content and popularity. A Harry Potter book will cost more than another book containing the same number of pages because it is popular. The publisher can easily charge more for such a popular book because they know that people will buy it despite its price. A lot of people may not be able to afford to pay the price even if they want to read it. In this sense, the concept of Google books is highly ethical. Any person who has tried accessing the site can read the content (mostly in part) of thousands of books published online by the company. It should be noted here that the books available online are labeled full view, limited preview, or snippet view by Google. Full view means that the whole book is available and can. Is Google Evil.
Devettere, R 2000, Practical decision making in health care ethics: cases and concepts, 2nd edn, Georgetown University Press.
Google management. Google. 2009. 23 November 2009 <http://www.google.com/corporate/execs.html>
Google’s plan for out of print books is challenged. The New York Times. 2009. 23 November 2009 < http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/04/technology/internet/04books.html>
Google’s big book case. The Economist. 2009. 23 November 2009 <http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14363287#>
Johnson, C.E 2004, Meeting the Ethical Challenges of Leadership: Casting Light Or Shadow, 2nd edn, Sage Publications
Recommended search engines. University of California. 2009. 23 November 2009 <http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/SearchEngines.html>
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