Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Google's Strategy: Create 'Facts on the Ground'

New-age copyright infringers are like settlers: their "ask forgiveness, not permission" m.o. is designed to create "facts on the ground" that attempt to render moot or unacceptably cumbersome a consideration of their illegality.

I've seen this movie before, and I'm seeing it again with Google Books. Weeks after a flurry of high-profile objections and news of antitrust investigations, Google is proceeding with what it does best: deal-making that leverages its technology without regard to anyone else's rights. The latest is with the University of Michigan. Check out the report in the Ann Arbor News, http://www.mlive.com/news/annarbornews/index.ssf?/base/news-32/1243348825267460.xml&coll=2.

The expanded agreement with U of M "was made possible because of Google's pending legal settlement with a broad class of authors and publishers," the story blandly says -- ignoring that the settlement is in deep doo-doo, and for good reason.


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