Microsoft attacks Google’s ‘cavalier’ ad billions

Microsoft is expected to publicly criticise rival Google’s “cavalier” approach to copyright in a speech to the publishing industry today.

According to an advance copy of an address due to be delivered by associate general counsel Thomas Rubin to the American Association of Publishers, and obtained by the Financial Times, Rubin will say: “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.

“Google takes the position that everything may be freely copied unless the copyright owner notifies Google and tells it to stop.”

“[It has] bestowed upon itself the unilateral right to make entire copies of copyrighted books … Anyone who visits YouTube … will immediately recognise that it follows a similar cavalier approach to copyright.”

Both the Authors Guild and the American Association of Publishers have sued Google over its plan to digitise printed books, while MSN and Yahoo!’s efforts to do the same through the Open Content Alliance enjoy more far-reaching industry support.