I simply don’t know if this lawsuit against Google, SONY, and other big players suggesting a previous right to digital distrubition has merit or not because I don’t understand the legal issues well.
However it’s another good example of a tactic increasingly used by tech firms that are not doing very well with their technologies – work the legal angles hoping to hit a big payday via settlement with a deep pocket like Google or even hit a home run with a court decision in their favor.
I’m not objecting to these lawsuits though – I think the big players have tended to give great liberties with content distribution and have taken great liberties as well. Youtube’s empire was built largely via illegal content distribution. These complex deals with gigantic stakes probably should be settled by objective legal means.
When you are raking in billions it’s easy to be generous and I predict that the real “tipping point” for Google’s fall from grace will be the shift from them getting sued to them suing other firms, especially small ones. Maybe they won’t have to sue which would bode very well for Google’s long term prospects and claim to the high ground.