Software giant Microsoft Tuesday launched a stinging attack on Google, accusing its Internet rival of riding roughshod over copyright in a rush to grab potentially lucrative content for free. The attack by top Microsoft lawyer Tom Rubin came as the two corporate titans step up their competition in both the software and online content markets.
Google “appears to be trying wherever possible to skirt copyright law’s boundaries,” Rubin, Microsoft’s associate general counsel for intellectual property, wrote in the Financial Times. He reprised his attack in a speech in New York on Tuesday to the Association of American Publishers.
Ahead of the speech, Google’s chief legal officer David Drummond said the company did obey copyright laws, “and the result has been more exposure and in many cases more revenue for authors, publishers and producers of content.” He said that in publishing, Google has more than 10,000 partners and its newly-acquired video-sharing website YouTube has recently tied up with the BBC and the National Basketball Association.
But Rubin wrote that Google was guilty of a “unilateralist approach” by scanning books “by the truckload” without the permission of writers or publishers. Microsoft, in contrast, was working “to collaborate with copyright holders in developing technologies.”