Microsoft Attacks Google On Copyright -- Statements Will Come Back To Haunt Microsoft
from the not-such-a-good-idea dept
Second, tying Google's book scanning project to YouTube makes absolutely no sense, and is clearly used just to get attention. The situations are completely different. In the book scanning project, it's Google putting the content up on the site. With YouTube, Google is simply acting as a platform. As a lawyer (especially one working for a tech company) you would think that he would understand that the law very clearly protects service providers from what its users do -- and for a good reason. I'm sure Microsoft wouldn't be at all happy if it were suddenly liable for every defamatory message sent using its Hotmail service. Yet, if Microsoft's lawyer is right that Google is liable for copyright infringement on YouTube, then certainly Microsoft is liable for defamation via Hotmail. This argument will come back to bite Microsoft at some point.
Overall, the speech really doesn't make much sense from Microsoft's standpoint. It's clearly a pre-meditated media attack on Google, who Microsoft sees as a major competitor. But the arguments are incredibly weak, and can be equally applied to Microsoft. It also ignores increasing evidence (as was predicted) that Google's book scanning project is actually helping to sell more books. So the whole situation reflects incredibly poorly on Microsoft. Microsoft does little to no damage to Google, because most people recognize the arguments are weakly argued and supported -- and then it opens itself up to problems in the future when it needs to defend these statements over its own actions. It's not at all clear why Microsoft would do it, but it's not in the company's best legal, marketing, business or technological interests.