A California court has dismissed an intended class action suit against Google claiming that it reaped undeserved profit when users solved CAPTCHA letter-recognition problems that assisted in solving passages that had gone undeciphered in Google’s own OCR scanning. The ruling “reinforces [the principle] that not every asymmetrical economic benefit exchanged online must be compensated. Parties in a mutual exchange rarely get the exact same amount of value from the exchange, but the fact that one party derives more value from the exchange than the other shouldn’t create a federal case.” [Eric Goldman]
Every party to an exchange should derive more value from the exchange than they are giving up. It has nothing to do with the value the other party is – or believes they are – getting from it, or what someone else (judge, jury, attorney) thinks they might be getting from it.