How Google's Non-Change Of Plans Becomes News

from the when-backtracking-isn't dept

The press really has become quite fascinated with Google’s attempt to scan library books. However, it’s gotten to the point where complete non-stories are turned into stories. We noted last week that Google planned to get back to book scanning this week, after its attempts to work out an agreement with publishers and authors turned into lawsuits instead. So, when Google puts up their own blog post talking about the scanning plans, Business Week suddenly thinks it’s Google backtracking — which would be interesting if it were the case, but it’s not. All Google said is that they’re going to focus on scanning rare and out of print books first — something they’ve said in the past. That doesn’t mean they won’t scan the other books. In fact, they make it quite clear they’re going to move forward with scanning those books — which means that there’s going to be a lawsuit (or a few lawsuits) before this is done. So, eventually, we’ll find out which legal theory prevails. The most amusing thing in all of this, however, is the various analogies that people try to come up with comparing the situation to tangible goods. If there’s one thing that has become clear over the last decade or so it’s that the basis of laws on tangible goods lose a lot of their meaning when it comes to digital goods. That’s why there are so many of these lawsuits we keep reading about. That means, though, that however these lawsuits come out, the precedent could mean quite a bit.


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