Way down low, in the last few paragraphs, they bust on Google for giving $2 million to Larry Lessig and his “Center for Internet and Society.” Story doesn’t say it but kind of hints that this was Google’s way to buy off Lessig and keep him off their back and maybe even get him to go do some of their legal dirty work for them, as he pursues his quixotic quest to relieve all copyright holders of their rights which in turn allows Google to steal — er, use — their material and sell advertising against the content and keep all the money to themselves. Trust me, I was there when Schmidt and Brin were going over the shakedown — er, proposal — from Lessig. They view the $2 million they spent on the Google Center — I mean the “Center for Internet and Society” — as kind of a down payment on future revenue streams.
But isn’t it funny how these anti-copyright free-everything law professor types are always railing about big corporations but at the same time they’re so good at shaking those corporations down? Lessig’s got his center, funded by Google. Eben Moglen, Larry’s somewhat crazier East Coast counterpart, has his Software Freedom Law Center, funded by IBM. Oh, and the lawyers all talk a good game about there being no “quid pro quo,” but trust me, the companies putting up the money totally view their contributions as a way to buy themselves a pass from the anti-business loonies. Don’t believe me? Go see if Moglen’s software-patent-hating law center has filed any amicus briefs on behalf of Amazon and PSI, two companies that IBM is suing for alleged software patent violations. I won’t hold my breath.
Taking things one step further, could it be that these anti-corporate radicals are really absolutely cynical and are just using the law as a cudgel to shake down big companies and line their own pockets, while wrapping themselves in some flag of do-gooderism and spouting lots of horse shit about protecting consumers and defending freedom? Well, you know how I feel about lawyers, so maybe I should keep my opinions to myself. But, um, yeah. That’s about what it boils down to. Not so easy living on a law professor’s salary. But once those millions start rolling in for your law center, well, consider it a supplement.
Larry Lessig. Eben Moglen. Bill Lerach. The nice fellows at Milberg Weiss. Same game, just different tactics. Much love, you parasites.