Friday, October 06, 2006

Google fights back against publishers' lawsuit

The WSJ reports Google is subpoenaing rivals Yahoo and Microsoft in an effort to defend its book scanning project from lawsuits by publishers and authors. While I understand the copyright concerns motivating the publishers in this matter, they're ultimately misguided -- this is nothing like the case against Napster by the record labels from a couple of years ago. Technology is changing the way people find information, and making a book's content available to online searches is a critical way to find readers and take advantage of the Long Tail phenomenon. Google is also implementing this program in a way that will make only portions of the text available, protecting publishers from lost sales. There are many decisions to criticize Google for, but this is not one of them.

Speaking of Google, the WSJ also reports they're in talks to buy YouTube, which was started by several of my fellow PayPal alumni. If the deal goes through, it would certainly be further leverage for Google in its escalating clash with the rest of Web...

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