More on this later, but the United States opposes the Google Books settlement. So kind it is almost sarcastic: “[I]t should not be a surprise that the parties did not anticipate all of the difficult legal issues such an
ambitious undertaking might raise….As presently drafted, the
Proposed Settlement does not meet the legal standards this Court must apply.”
It actually is surprising that the parties did not “anticipate” the legal issues. It so surprising that it’s unbelievable. If you read/watch Lessig’s “Is Google Print Fair Use” which closely tracked the presentation by Google’s General Counsel, David Drummond and Professor Lessig at the New York Public Library way back when, it is clear–clear–that Google new exactly what they were doing. They just happened to get it wrong, or as Professor Nesson would say, no doubt, you have to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em.
The problem is that these are not difficult issues. They are obvious. Missing obvious issues makes them sneaky, creepy, kind of nutty issues. And like so many events when people who sell themselves as being smart end up in a world of hurt or something, no one thinks that the smartest guys in the room could have gotten it sooooo wrong.
That’s because they couldn’t possibly have. As Register Peters said, they tried to make an “end run around copyright”.
So let’s see. Eldred, Grokster, Google Books. The triple crown. All huge, embarassing, seismic losses. How many more times does this guy have to screw up before someone cuts him loose?