Friday, August 04, 2006

CNET on Google's Copyright Tussles

Cnet offers an overview of Google's copyright problems, covering Perfect 10, Field v. Google, and the AFP suit. There's nothing much new except for some quotes:
"It's part of their absolutist approach," said Joshua Kaufman, an attorney representing Agence France-Presse in the wire service's copyright dispute with Google. "I think they're afraid that if they give an inch, it becomes a slippery slope. It's all or nothing."
...
[Jessica] Litman said, however, that these cases are "high stakes" for the company. "If Google is wrong about fair use, it probably has to go out of business," she said.
...
"In one sense it's not surprising because I'm sure Google would like to have everything out there in the public domain--except its own indexes and search results--because that would make its life a lot easier. But it doesn't work that way," said [Russell] Frackman, who also was lead counsel in the lawsuit that shut down the original Napster.
Again, the crux of the debate left out of the fair use discussion is the added value that Google bestows on content. Without Google, or similar search engines, it becomes significantly more difficult to get traffic to get clicks to get advertising dollars or to find other ways to monetize content.

I still don't buy the chicken and the egg argument - that without copyrighted content there would be no need for Google, so Google should pay up - because if it weren't for ways to effectively find stuff online, content is all but worthless. Just ask someone whose content shows up beyond page three in Google's search results.
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