Hours after Google took legal action against him, Mississippi's attorney general is retreating. Jim Hood issued a statement late Friday saying he is "calling a time out, so that cooler heads may prevail." His next sentence seemed to be missing a word or two, but here you go: "I will reach out to legal counsel Google's board of directors to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the issues affecting consumers that we attorneys general have pointed out in a series of eight letters to Google."
Hood has come under scrutiny for his cozy relationship with Hollywood and the Motion Picture Association of America. The MPAA has been a lucrative source of campaign contributions to Hood, and Hood has adopted one of its pet issues: getting search engines to delist sites that host pirated materials. Today, Google sued Hood in district court in Mississippi, arguing Hood had singled the company out for "burdensome, retaliatory" subpoena that would force it to produce 141 specific documents, 62 interviews, and a broad range of information related to "dangerous content." "In order to respond to the Subpoena in full," the company wrote in its filing, "Google would have to produce millions of documents, at great expense and disruption to its business."
Now Hood wants to stop and talk about it. Whether Google will pick up the phone remains to be seen.