Following up on earlier posts about the Google Books case and the proposed settlement with the Authors Guild regarding past copyright infringement by Google, and after reading Scott Gant’s take on the case, I now feel like I have a handle on what’s going on.
1) Google broke the law by scanning and marketing a bunch of books it didn’t have the right to scan and market. They weren’t the copyright holders, but they went ahead and did it anyway, and that’s against the law.
2) The Authors Guild — which is also a corporation with its own self interests — sued Google for breaking the law, even though it may not have had standing to do so. It did so on behalf of its members, but it also did so on behalf of itself. If Google could break copyright laws with impunity, then the Authors Guild would be meaningless as an entity. [ Read more ]