Google last week suspended its gargantuan project to scan and archive the historical content of all the world’s newspapers. The Boston Phoenix explained the development in detail.
A federal court has already thrown out the Google Books class-action settlement, which was negotiated by a publishers’ trade group and the sellout, private-spirited Authors Guild. Meanwhile, the world waits … and waits … and waits … for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to rule on objections by myself and others to an even worse sellout – really, a giveaway – by three writers’ organizations to just about the entire periodicals industry. (The case was known at the Supreme Court as Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick when the justices last year kicked it back to lower courts for adjudication of the merits.)
Pam Samuelson, the Berkeley professor who helped spearhead the Google Books objections, and I are in agreement that the moment has come for Congressional action on this issue. We can continue litigating till the cows come home, but the only winners in that process are the lawyers who bill by the hour and the deep-pocketed infringers who pay them to run out the clock.