The 2013 Sundance Film Festival begins next week and Russ Fischer, Peter Sciretta (for a bit), and I will be on the ground to bring you info on all of the movies to look out for throughout the rest of 2013. One of the many selections that jumps out when reading about the program at Sundance is Google and the World Brain. Directed by Ben Lewis, the film chronicles Google’s attempt to scan and input every single book ever written into one database. It’s a project that’s been going on for 10 years and it poses some very big questions, which may have disturbing answers.

Watch the trailer and read more below.

Thanks to The Documentary Channel (via First Showing) for the heads up.

As you can tell, the film isn’t so much about the project itself, but more the legal and moral dilemmas it presents. Talk about a fascinating topic.

Here’s the description of the film from its official Sundance Film Festival page.

The goal of accumulating all human knowledge in one repository has been a dream since ancient times. Only recently, however, has that dream become a reality. Quietly and behind closed doors, Google has been executing a project to scan and digitize every printed word on the planet. Working with the world’s most prestigious libraries, the webmasters are reinventing the limits of copyright in the name of free access to anyone, anywhere. What can possibly be wrong with this picture?

As Google and the World Brain reveals, a whole lot. Some argue that Google’s actions represent aggressive theft on an enormous scale, others see them as an attempt to monopolize our shared cultural heritage, and still others view the project as an attempt to flatten our minds by consolidating complex ideas into searchable “extra-long tweets.” At first slowly, and then with intensifying conviction, a diverse coalition mobilizes to stop the fulfillment of this ambitious dream. Incisive and riveting as it uncovers a high-stakes multinational heist, Ben Lewis’s film voices an important alternative to the technological utopianism of our time.

We’ll certainly be checking this film out while we’re in Park City. What do you think?

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