Assume for a moment that Google's wholesale copying of the complete web is illegal (it sure is, in my opinion). Then multiply those $150.000 by 8,168,684,336 (the number of copyright infringements Google proudly reports on its home page).
You should get a number that might sound interesting to one of those greedy American class action lawyers described in Grisham's "The King of Torts".
As well as breaking your calculator.
Unfortunately, however, 17 U.S.C. § 412 seems to require registration with the Copyright Office for claiming statutory damages. AFP did register their works, but most pages on the Internet are unregistered.
And as a matter of policy, this is close to what I propose as a "no sale doctrine", so I definitely don't want to complain about this limitation.
Of course, everybody is free to go ahead and register works published on the web with the Copyright Office. At $150.000 a pop, those interested in playing might even get some friendly assistance from some class action lawyer in handling the registration procedure.
Have a comment or trackback? Feel free to use the discussion zone I am hiding from the spammers at k.lenz.name/discuss.Posted by Karl-Friedrich Lenz at August 9, 2005 10:10 AM