It’s taken me a while to figure out the Google Books Case, and I’m still not sure I could accurately and fairly describe the motivations of all parties involved. In the end I’m not even confident there’s a good guy to point to, given that all parties seem eager to claim and exploit rights to other people’s property.
(Is it just me, or is it time to beat back some of these absurd online euphemisms? Currently a complete stranger who’s lying to you about who they are qualifies as a friend, and the idea of stealing other people’s property is redefined as sharing. “Because I am such a good person, I want to share these stolen — uh….I mean, orphaned — jewels with you. In fact, have a whole bag. And some MP3’s.”)
Yesterday, Google and the Justice League of Authors decided to avoid a ritualized gutting in the courts over a proposed mutually-beneficial settlement aimed squarely at exploiting other people’s legal rights. (When I say I’m still not sure I can ‘accurately and fairly describe the motivations of all parties involved,’ this is what I’m talking about.) At the strategic level this is nothing more than legal repositioning. Google and the Author’s Guild are almost certainly still intent on putting a deal together that passes the smell test without actually mitigating their mutual and individual legal objectives. [ Read more ]