Microsoft lawyer takes aim at Google's book-scanning project

Microsoft is taking aim at Google Inc.'s rival book-scanning project, saying the search company ``systematically violates copyright.'' In prepared remarks he is scheduled to deliver Tuesday to a publishing industry group, a Microsoft Corp. lawyer also said Google is cutting into the profits of authors and publishers. ``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,'' wrote Thomas C. Rubin, an associate general counsel at Microsoft, in the speech he planned to give at the annual meeting of the Association of American Publishers in New York.

Google and Microsoft are both scanning libraries' worth of books, then making the tomes searchable on the Web, but the two companies take different approaches. Microsoft is scanning works no longer covered by copyright law, plus newer titles publishers give Microsoft explicit permission to use. Google isn't excluding copyrighted works from its scanning project, and has said the snippets of books it displays on the Web should be considered ``fair use,'' a principle that allows limited copying of protected works for certain purposes.

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News source: Silicon Valley

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