Microsoft attacks Google on copyright

A top Microsoft lawyer will attack Google in a speech today claiming the search company is misappropriating principles of “fair use” of copyright material to further its own business model.

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A top Microsoft lawyer will attack Google in a speech today claiming the search company is misappropriating principles of “fair use” of copyright material to further its own business model.

Thomas Rubin, Microsoft's associate general counsel, will use an address to the Association of American Publishers to state that while Microsoft's Live Search Books honours copyright protection and fair use, Google's Book Search abuses it.

"In my view, Google has chosen the wrong path for the longer term, because it systematically violates copyright and deprives authors and publishers of an important avenue for monetising their works," Rubin said in a copy of the speech posted on the Web site of the Wall Street Journal.

Rubin also addressed the issue in a commentary written for Monday's edition of the Financial Times.

"Google defends its actions primarily by arguing that its unauthorised copying and future monetization of your books are protected as fair use," the speech says.

Microsoft says that Google believes it may scan, catalogue and display content published in book form under fair use principles unless the copyright right holders explicitly tells them not to. Rubin will also say in his speech that Google then profits from material to which it does not own the copyright by running advertising along with it.

He will say that Microsoft seeks and receives permission from all publishers of copyrighted material before including it among titles that can be searched.

Rubin will call Google's attitude towards copyright protection "weak at best" and will cites accusations levelled at Google-owned YouTube over failure to remove copyrighted material as proof.

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