December 4, 2010.

From the beginning, Google said the case was “meritless,” and claimed a right to enter land based upon “implied legal right.” When the case was first dismissed, the Borings could have quit.  Instead, the Borings fought back, even through appeal and up to the United States Supreme Court.  The Borings started by fighting Google’s actions, and then had to fight the Court itself.  But, they finally got the case reinstated.

Why did Google give up?  Think about it.  For all the “meritless” banter, Google could not claim it was not on the land.  And, Google would have created severe animosity by actually telling a jury they had a “legal right” to ignore the clearly marked “No Trespass Private Road” signage. Therefore, the better option was to lose by concession, rather than lose by jury imposition.  You can spin a concession.

As to damages — a completely separate issue — $1 damages is merely the technical symbolic claim that allows a case to grant relief when actual damages cannot be proven or are not claimed.  It is formulaic, not a reflection of value or importance.  The Borings could have continued the lawsuit with $1 always in the bag as a worst-case, and they certainly could have gotten more.  A jury would merely have to assess the compensable value of the commercial use of their land and the pictures, arguably in light of the significant savings Google enjoys by not asking permission in the first place, and the costs to remove the pictures.

So, why did the Borings take $1?  Because the victory regarding liability was greater than the need or ability to prove actual damages.  One dollar is just enough to break the plane of the goal line.  That is a rational decision.

The Google people are smart. Google gave up because that was the smarter move in light of their alternative. 

But, please remember, Google gave up because the Borings just kept fighting.  If the Borings would have conceded early-on, with all of Google’s existing power, it would have been on steroids by waving that original dismissal Order like a flag of legal authority while riding roughshod over everyone’s property.  Like Frodo’s ring, that Order had to be destroyed.  Now, when they do it again to someone else, the next person’s attorney will say, “But, you are an adjudicated trespasser, Google. You knew you trespassed in the past. If you really care about rights, what did you do to correct the risk before entering my client’s property to prevent another trespass?  What new training, internal controls and equipment did you implement? ”

It is said that every dog gets one free bite, because, until it bites, you don’t know its propensity.  Google now used up its “free” bite.  There is now a huge record of pleadings online at for everyone to study to see the evolved natural propensity of Google, what they do and how they do it.  The Borings soldiered through to a win.  Forget the legally formulaic $1.  This is a loss for Google, and will count against it in its record for the next case.  Google is now and forever, an “intentional trespasser.”  It is as if they sold their reputation for $1.  More so, if this is the work required to get $1 from Google, with Google now obdurately indicating the ruling will not constrain it elsewhere, it provides the foundation for mandatory congressional legislation.

In short, Google did not give up because it want to do so.  Google gave up because the Borings created a dilemma for Google, and Google had to concede as its better option.  Google had to give up.  And, again, this is only because the Borings stayed in the game.

Mrs. Boring, a school teacher, can now teach her students first-hand to stay in the game, and to not be pushed around by others. She can teach not to be bored or sit lazy watching TV glibly criticizing the hard work of others.  There is a strange pride that some people must get to disrespect and ridicule the hard work of others.  As for me, I think the Borings did something pro-active and commendable.  The Borings stayed in the game soldiering forward until they broke the plane of the goal line, and they won.

The Borings did all they could, with what they had, where they were. No more, no less.