Monday, March 21, 2005

Be Warned 

Over at Chicago Boyz, In-Cog-Nito characterizes Agence France Presse's suit against Google as a "shot across the bow" by the MSM.
Pretty smart move. If they sued a helpless individual, they would get the free speech/uproar factor. Sue another media company with deep pockets, and no one really cares. It becomes a technical fight by lawyers. Fight it out, and get a ruling on the side of copyright protection. Then use this ruling as a saber to rattle down the road.

It's pretty tempting to think this way. But I think that this opinion credits the MSM too much. It's not as if old media is some sort of unified, international monolithic entity, and it's extremely unlikely that the sort of planning that In-Cog-Nito and others attribute to this move actually went on. What this suit is indicative of is a MSM, especially in France, that is painfully behind the times and ultimately bewildered by what's been happening in the past couple of years. Will it be useful for anti-blogger forces down the road? Certainly. But that sort of thing is inevitable. We just have to be prepared to defend our rights when it comes along.

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