We’re Google. So Sue Us.

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On the heels of yesterday's Washington Post piece the NY Times today says that Google sometimes operates in a way that almost seems to invite legal scrutiny.

Interestingly enough - the words click or fraud don't show up in the story at all.

Many of the lawsuits Google is facing carry little weight. Yet it has a vested interest in fighting all of them, even those of questionable merit, and seeing that they are resolved quickly. In part, this is because any lawsuit that reaches the discovery, the pretrial fact-finding phase, poses the danger of revealing too much about Google’s proprietary technology. Google also has an interest in establishing a solid body of legal interpretation in its favor.

And the final line:

“People say you can’t fight the government,” Mr. Milman said. “Google, in this case, is very similar to the government. They’re the government of the Internet.”

Link to article


Hmm - maybe people are beginning to catch on

Of course it is in Google's interest (and that of pretty much every internet company) to get a body of legal precedents in place before those in the legal system truly understand what they are dealing with.

And the faster they can get these cases dealt with the less chance of potential opponents actually putting together a case which actually addresses the entirety of the issue rather than just one small piece.

As I see it we are getting to a situation whereby a body of legal precedents for dealing with internet law is being built up in a haphazard (and sometimes cotradictory see http://www.threadwatch.org/node/9456 ) manner, addressing small points in each case. Instead of having a well thought out set of statutes, with few if any inconsistencies (such as the The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) - yes I know a lot of arguments can be made agaist this particular law, but at least it attempted to address the problems from a consistent viewpoint.), we are going to get a complete mess of pre-internet laws being reinterpreted for the interent.

This situation is, of course going to benefit the large corporations whose lawyers will be able to put together a body of precedents which favour them - and the lawyers themselves who are going to have plenty of work from arguing cases where there are contradictory precedents.

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