Microsoft Confronts Google on Copyright

Microsoft is set to launch a blistering attack on rival Google Tuesday for what the software giant argues is the Web-search leader’s “cavalier” approach to copyright protection. 

In prepared remarks to be delivered to the Association of American Publishers, Microsoft Associate General Counsel Thomas Rubin argues that Google’s move into new-media markets has come at the expense of publishers of books, videos and software.

The Microsoft attorney’s comments echo arguments at the heart of a 16-month-old copyright lawsuit against Google brought by five major book publishers and organized by the Association of American Publishers, an industry trade group.

“Companies that create no content of their own, and make money solely on the backs of other people’s content, are raking in billions through advertising revenue and IPOs,” says Rubin, who oversees copyright and trade secret law at Microsoft.

“Google takes the position that everything may be freely copied unless the copyright owner notifies Google and tells it to stop,” said Rubin, noting that Microsoft takes the position of seeking the copyright owner’s consent before they copy.

Competition is heating up this year between Google, the world’s dominant provider of Web-search services, and software giant Microsoft, which recently entered the Web-search market.

At the same time, Google has recently expanded into the business software market with a set of Web-based subscription services it sees as a major revenue generator which could chip away at Microsoft’s 15-year dominance of computer software.

Rubin invokes criticism that Google has faced since its acquisition late last year of YouTube, which has come under fire from several major media companies for allowing widespread copyright infringement of professionally produced video.

“In essence, Google is saying to you and to other copyright owners: ‘Trust us – you’re protected. We’ll keep the digital copies secure, we’ll only show snippets, we won’t harm you, we’ll promote you,”‘ Rubin argues in his speech.


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2 Responses to Microsoft Confronts Google on Copyright

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