DOJ still not happy with Google’s book scanning

In an encouraging statement the Department of Justice indicates that Google’s revised book scanning settlement still does not satisfy its concerns about creating a would-be monopoly by the internet goliath, stating “The amended settlement agreement still confers significant and possibly anti-competitive advantages on Google as a single entity.”

Its really fascinating to me that this matter should even be subject to a 6-year long debate.  Google wants to presumptively violate authors’ copyright unless you ask them not to.  Bad.  Google wants an exclusive deal that gives them rights to scan and sell said millions of e-books without having to worry about competition.  Bad.  But in an amazing PR gambit of white-washing, Google seems to have convinced people (and possibly the courts themselves!) that its all ok, because, well, “we’re Google”?

Let’s simply change the subjects names in this case and look at it again.

I walk into your house and steal your stuff.  If you catch me doing it and ask me to stop, I will.  Otherwise, I’m going to sell your stuff.  And, if you give me a call afterwards, I’ll give you a 35% cut.  But if I don’t hear from you, I’ll just keep  your cut for you in case you ever notice your stuff is gone.  And, you can’t prosecute me for it, because I have some kind of exclusive sheriff’s badge.  And since nobody else has that, so I’ve completely cornered the market.

(is it just me or does this sound like a 1970’s western complete with crooked sheriff?  where’s John Wayne to clean up the town?  will he be played by Judge Chin?)

Can you get a badge so you can do the same thing?  Sure, of course you can.  It only costs a few tens of millions of dollars to wear out the opposition in the public court system.  Then, who knows, maybe you can get the special badge.  What, you say?  That’s not fair, you say, because who else has this kind of cash?  Oh, come on, of course it’s fair – because “we’re Google.”

(i am the law in this here town….)

Seriously, what is there to deliberate on?

A hearing with Judge Chin is coming up on Feb 18th, so with fingers crossed….

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