I don't understand what the huge fuss over Google Book Search is really all about. I began thinking about this when a book company exec pulled a stupid prank.
Google Book Search is simply not going to harm publishers, and I think it's ludicrous that the publishers wasted their time filing a lawsuit over this. Unless a publisher gives Google explicit permission, Google will not show more than a line or two of the book. This is obviously free promotion, because people are going to discover the book and possibly purchase it since Google Book Search does not allow them to read it online!
So why exactly was Google sued again? Could it be because they have deep pockets and the Book Companies have decided to try their hand at extortion.
Perhaps I'm a pessimist, but that's what comes to my mind right away.
I'm not going to bother commenting on the linked prank, because it was a stupid thing for the exec to do. Unlike showing 2 lines out of a 1 inch thick book, stealing physical property that may contain proprietary data is a crime.
Wouldn't it be ironic if he had been charged with theft? Of course, I doubt Google would push for that because unlike many other people, including the book publishers, Google's execs have common sense.