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Microsoft lawyer takes jab at Google over copyright

Google Book SearchMicrosoft associate general counsel Thomas Rubin is talking smack about Google's copyright record. Both companies are scanning books and putting them online, and both companies have web sites that allow users to upload videos, some of which may contain copyrighted material.

But Microsoft is scanning only books where the company has the permission of the publisher, or where the books are no longer covered by copyright law. Rubin says Google, on the other hand, is taking the approach that "everything may be freely copied unless the copyright owner notifies Google and tells it to stop."

Google responds that it is making only certain portions of books available online, and claims that the snippets should be covered by fair use, despite a lawsuit filed by book publishers.

If you've ever tried reading a book using Google Book Search, you've probably been frustrated when you read a page only to realize that you can't read the next page. The experience is a lot like being told by a bookstore employee that you've spent enough time reading in the aisle and it's time to move along now. But whether it's legal is another question.

Tags: book search, BookSearch, copyright, news