Regarding the petition to keep Google Reader alive, see Simson Garfinkel's 1998 piece in the Boston Globe entitled Copyrights and Wrongs. (http://simson.net/clips/99.Globe.02-18.Copyrights_and_wrongs+.shtml) I excerpted this heavily in a 2001 piece piece focusing on one of its key points, Open Source and the Obligation to Recycle.

I was asked to sign a petition to ask Google to keep it open. I suggested instead that they ask for it to be open sourced, and turned over to someone who would operate the service.  That I'd be willing to sign.

Google is entirely within its rights to shut Google Reader down, but it would be an awesome move to turn it over to a community that wants to keep it alive.  (Of course, those who ask for that option may not realize the scale and cost of what they are asking for.  It isn't any longer just about source code, as I pointed out in a debate with Richard Stallman back in 1999 (http://oreilly.com/tim/archives/mikro_age_of_infoware.pdf), when I observed that just having the code for Google wouldn't give him Google, because it was actually a service, not just a standalone program.)  I suspect that Google has been underwriting this service at considerable cost.
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