It is a good break from the recent NY Times’s Maureen Dowd columns mentioning Donald Trump more often than Gail Collins mentioned Romney’s dog. She goes over the top criticizing Google’s Cultural Institute. Spreading the wealth that is closeted in museums all over the world to those who would never see some of the great works of art clearly has not been demonstrated to harm the museums. In fact, if some of the destruction of art by the Taliban and ISIS had occurred after they were respectfully documented and cataloged they would not be lost for all to see.
My browser has a plugin from the Google Cultural Institute that shows a new image for every new tab I open. I have been exposed to art I never knew existed, and more than once I have lingered over the picture, enjoying something that captured my attention. There has been so many great works from the Indianapolis Art Museum that my wife and I have that Museum on our ‘bucket list’. That helps the Museum, and the city, since we have no other reason to go there.
Lastly, by quoting a minion of Rupert Murdoch saying that Google is running “a platform for piracy” is the height of hypocrisy. Go to any Murdoch site and see how many links on those sites direct you elsewhere. Isn’t Rupert engaging in the same piracy as Google?
Europe is a difficult place for Google to do business. Their search engine is used by a higher percentage of people than here in the US, so obviously the users want Google to continue to meet their needs. News organizations lobbied the EU to have all search engine pay news creators for showing snippets and links to articles. Google said “No”, and took the links down to Spanish news organizations rather than pay. Site traffic went down at those sites so dramatically that the sites lost sufficient ad revenue (revenue that Google doesn’t share in) that the Spanish government wants to force Google to show the snippets and links in their search and news results, and pay them to boot.
I have concerns about Google and privacy and all that, but let’s be reasonable in our critique. Let’s have it be fact-based, and hold all organizations to the same level of criticism.

Maureen Dowd Column