from the too-bad dept
Obviously, as a business concern, this is Google's right -- and some may even say that it's Google's responsibility to its shareholders to do such a thing. I would disagree, simply because, in the long term, by settling these lawsuits, rather than helping to establish what the law says, Google merely invites more lawsuits from more companies hoping to "settle up" as well. Plus, without the law being clear, it creates uncertainty and inefficiency in the market, and that's not good for anyone -- including Google.
Fred von Lohmann, over at the EFF, has written up an op-ed noting pretty much the same thing. The rest of Silicon Valley can no longer rely on Google to fight their legal battles for them -- and, we're all going to be worse off for it in the long run. Not that anyone ever should have expected Google to be the rest of the tech community's legal defender, but it certainly had been a welcome development -- which is apparently now over.