Microsoft criticises Google's attitude towards copyright

MUMBAI: Software major Microsoft has accused online major Google of profiting off sites that sell pirated video and software.

Microsoft lawyer Thomas Rubin has been quoted in reports stating that Google‘s track record of protecting copyrights was weak and that it had encouraged the use of keywords and advertising text referring to pirated content. Microsoft has also claimed that Google cuts into authors‘ profits with its Google Books Search service.


In a speech Rubin points out that Google that creates no original content of its own has no problem making billions in ad revenue off of others‘ content. Rubin talked not only of the problems Google has had with content on video sharing site YouTube but also its program of making digital copies of books from libraries.

Google‘s stated policy of making only snippets of copyrighted books available, Rubin says, asks copyright holders to put far too much trust in the company.

Reports state that the offensive from Microsoft comes as it is seeking to work with media companies to fight piracy on its own video-sharing site Soapbox.


Rubin says, "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. Authors and publishers often find it difficult just to cover their costs, let alone make a profit, in this new online world.

"Google takes a unilateralist or ‘opt out‘ approach where the practice is to simply to ‘take‘ the works of others, without any regard for copyright or the impact of their actions on authors and publishers. Microsoft doesn’t believe that is the right approach."

Rubin spoke at the Association of American Publishers (AAP) annual meeting. The AAP has been tied up in litigation with Google for the past year and a half.


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