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Microsoft Attacks Google On Copyright


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#1 Ruud

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 09:52 AM

Microsoft Attacks Google on Copyright:

“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 I.P.O.s,” said Mr. Rubin, who oversees copyright and trade-secret law.

“Google takes the position that everything may be freely copied unless the copyright owner notifies Google and tells it to stop,” Mr.Rubin said. Microsoft, he said, asks the copyright’s owner for permission first.


That's an interesting step. If you can't beat them, try to defeat them?

#2 eKstreme

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 09:57 AM

If you can't beat them, capitalize on the growing sentiment of the content owners. Witness the lawsuits in Belgium and France following a very similar vein. This could be a very interesting path for the industry, or it could kill it.

HOWEVER: does having a robots.txt file with explicit allowing instructions for all bots or just Googlebot qualify as "gaining permission"?

Pierre

#3 bragadocchio

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 10:26 AM

Does having a robots.txt file with explicit allowing instructions for all bots or just Googlebot qualify as "gaining permission"?


Under a strict reading of copyright laws, you would need permission to republish something that a copyright holder has created - so I wonder sometimes about the cache file versions of pages that Google might display.

But, when you publish to the Web, you may just do so with an expectation and understanding that a search engine will come by, spider your site and use that information in an index. Has the law evolved?

What difference is there between a search engine and someone who scrapes your site, and republishes your content in a different form?

When someone publishes a book - a physical book - they aren't doing so with the expectation that a search engine will come along and copy the content of that book, and show ads while allowing people to search through the book. There's no way to use a robots.txt file in that instance either. Is that use a fair use? Is it something that everyone can do? Why would that ability be just limited to Google?

#4 JohnMu

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 10:31 AM

Oh so I guess you have to explicitly tell the MSN-bot to index and cache content? It always ate my content and put it online without my invitation ...

Bad bots! :whip:

Why does it look like Microsoft is doing this just for PR purposes?

John

#5 bwelford

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 10:46 AM

Sounds fine to me. All those web pages that don't want to be indexed and want to stay invisible on the web can just do the robots text thingy. The rest of us will just pay no attention. :)

#6 EGOL

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 11:27 AM

I would like to see a government or "internet" service where original content owners can submit their property such as articles and images. This service would then provide the proof of original registration. Search engines would check there, either automatically or by request of the owner to be sure that they are not indexing duplicate copies of registered material.

We are living in the age of content theft. This theft is rampant, done in secret and almost unenforceable. I believe that this service could be supported by a small fee charged for each submission.

Edited by EGOL, 06 March 2007 - 11:28 AM.


#7 Ruud

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 11:28 AM

If this really is or becomes such an issue they can always go the route of revenue sharing :) Clicks on ads on a page where you (too) are listed would go partly to those people who have signed up to Adsense and identified their site.

#8 niceboy

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 11:47 PM

i too agree that ad revenue sharing is the right thing to do :D Both Msn and Big G and others should allow the publishers to have a peace of their big pie.

#9 Jozian

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 10:35 AM

HOWEVER: does having a robots.txt file with explicit allowing instructions for all bots or just Googlebot qualify as "gaining permission"?


It might be nice to have an extenion of the Robots.txt file that could claim ownership and allow/disallow access to 'republishing' or 'monetizing' on a per site basis...

-Jeff

#10 JohnMu

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 01:41 PM

It might be nice to have an extenion of the Robots.txt file that could claim ownership and allow/disallow access to 'republishing' or 'monetizing' on a per site basis...

Yep, then I could finally claim ownership of the wikipedia-content first; I'm a fast copy+paster :)

This content ownership stuff is a complicated thing. Any system that requires work on the side of the original owner will automatically be abused by those who know what to do (and are quick enough).

Could you imagine what would happen if a system like that were initiated and "black-hats" registered all the content on the more important sites before they had a chance to? In the long run - if everyone were to register their content before it was put online - it would work; but until then it would be a legal nightmare. Can you prove that your content was originally written by yourself?

John

#11 Jozian

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 02:16 PM

Good point, John.

Perhaps I should rethink or reword that. But psrts of the idea might work - I mean we all put a copyright at the bottom of our pages now anyway. I way thinking of it more as a value to legitimate spiders and site owners...

I dont think a Robots.txt will change a thing about ownership or infringement in some senses, but this or another strategy could help you control what legitimate aggregator take from you. Or even pay back to you...

The whole content ownership issue is a mess and will continue to make and break companies large and small for the foreseeable future, IMHO. God knows where it is leading :)

Two anecdotes to demonstrate:

1) Music downloads were not really hurting album sales when they were illegal, dispite industry complaints and valid concerns. However, not that iMusic et al have legalized and monetized the practice, music execs are scrambling again, because now album sales really are down - at least 10% last number I saw.

2) Windows Theme creators a few years ago were complaining that the precursors to scrappers were stealing and repackaging their content. Valid concern, except that the content they claimed ownership on was mostly images and music clips that they did not own to begin with...

-Jeff



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