Glenn Thorpe brings to our attention an article by Matt Zimmerman
about the Google settlement with the book authors. He points out that until now Google has pursued legal settlements that benefited everyone; this time the settlement benefits only them, leaving anyone else who would like to make fair use of copyright material in the lurch.
We argue a lot about patents on this blog. While software patents are pretty clearly harmful, for the most part they aren't enforced so don't make much difference. The big blockade to innovation these days seems to be the copyright tail wagging our dog.