It will come as a surprise to no one that Google has lost yet another copyright case outside of Northern California: Google Loses German Copyright Lawsuits
The Europeans take their artists cand culture very seriously and understand that art doesn’t scale (See Book Review: Google and the Myth of Universal Knowledge). As noted in Jim Delong’s fine piece, Google the Destroyer, at its core, Google is about hyper commercialization and the commoditization of everything that touches its network. It wants to drive prices (also known as artist royalties) down, down, down preferably to zero. This means that it will take as much as it can without paying anything, and in situations where it cannot avoid paying something, will pay only when forced to pay.
This also means that only those able to fund lawsuits ultimately will survive against Google. For every artist who sues Google succesfully, there are likely hundreds of thousands who do not have the means to sue and who may or may not benefit from those who do.
Google also takes the long-term view on these issues, so they are happy to sue and be sued and get away with paying nothing or delay payment for as long as possible in the hopes that they will luck into making some law that benefits them.
This is all done under the guise of benefiting “Internet users”–who also are citizens of their societies whose laws protect artists.
So which will it be? The 10 year old Leviathan of Mountain View crushing everyone in its path or national artists in some of the oldest societies.