Something’s notably missing from the fight over the Google Books settlement: rival infringement lawsuits. Many of the objections and opt-outs argue that the proposed settlement lets Google off far too lightly—but no one has stepped up to actually try their own luck by suing Google. True, the court seems disinclined to complicate the litigation while it ponders the settlement, so filing suit might be futile for the time being. But still, no one else is even threatening to take the fight to Google.
My sense is that this absence improves the settlement’s prospects. It signals (even if only subliminally) that the class action sharks don’t think Google is a juicy enough target to be worth fighting for a piece of it. And that, in turn, could undermine objectors’ arguments that the settlement seriously undervalues copyright owners’ present claims against Google.
As always, comments more than welcome.