Vaidhyanathan seems to take a rather anti-copyright stance throughout her book, regularly equating American copyright regulations and those who pursue and enforce them with big corporations and monopolies that exist to stymie and squash artistic endeavors, expression and inquiry, particularly pertaining to the digital world.
She seems to want people to take a moral approach to sharing intellectual property.
Specifically in reference to databases she describes the process as intellectual mercantilism, likening it to British East India Company (p166). While database fees are exorbitant and perhaps exclusive, considerable resources and “brow sweat” go into creating and maintaining and supporting these databases. Before we vilify these giants for stifling inquiry and progress, I would like to see an in depth objective analysis of the costs that are incurred to provide database services. Is the problem the middle man?
I found Rosenzweig’s discussion of historical scholarship to present a much more compelling case for a more open source approach to that sector of intellectual property.