Google caves in Street View 'trespassing' case, pays $1

Attorney for aggrieved homeowners compares Google's transgression to ... Jim Crow?

So Google has gone and settled its long-running "trespassing" case with a Pittsburgh couple who got their curtains in a bunch after a Street View photographer traversed their precious private road to take a picture of their house.

Google seems happy to have finally made this bit of silliness go away - and for a bargain-basement price of only one dollar -- but this is one instance when I would have preferred to see Goliath's lawyers kick David's sorry butt.

A dollar is a dollar too much to pay Aaron and Christine Boring of the Pennsylvania Borings. Justice would have been much better served had these attention hogs been stuck with the bill taxpayers will instead foot for adjudicating a lawsuit that should have been booted the instant it was filed back in April 2008. (Granted, one judge tried.)

Instead the Borings get to gloat ... and we get to endure their lawyer making an ass of himself.

From an Associated Press story:

A Google spokeswoman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which first reported the parties had agreed to the judgment, that the settlement is limited to the Borings.

"We are pleased that this lawsuit has finally ended with plaintiffs' acknowledgment that they are entitled to only $1," Google said in a statement to The Associated Press, adding that its ability to continue the Street View feature is unaffected.

Fine, whatever; it's easy to understand why Google would want to put the Borings out of everyone's misery. Not so easy is having Attorney Gregg Zegarelli tell us why we should all be cheering.

"This is about right and wrong. Maybe my client and I are hopeless romantics, but I suppose some people said the same thing in 1950 about a male executive calling female staff 'sweetie/honey,' or African Americans just sitting a few seats farther in the back of the bus."

Hopeless romantics? Try just hopeless. And the lawyer ought to be genuinely embarrassed for equating his clients' "victimhood" to that of an oppressed minority, especially one day after the 55th anniversary of Rosa Parks' refusal to abide genuine injustice.

What a country.

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