Damiel Eran Dilger enters the awkward silence between Google and Microsoft – stridently putting the shoe on the shoe on the other foot.
…If Microsoft were arguing that Google was using its search results to improve its own, this might make some sense. Microsoft has historically maintained the value of its closed software development and has rigorously managed to lock the world into proprietary, expensive solutions that it is loath to see copied legitimately or not by open source efforts, whether OpenOffice or Linux or Firefox. This is the Microsoft we know and love to hate, less so now that it is falling apart and must be pitied as an underdog.
But no, this is Google claiming to be wronged by the reuse of the information it makes publicly available. The company that says it does no evil and loves freedom of ideas and sharing free and open source software.
This is the company that made its fortune on a business model stolen from Overture, that it later paid off in an out of court settlement with Yahoo. This is the company that appropriated Sun’s Java platform and changed just enough to avoid paying Sun to use its technology in the development of Android. The same firm that then turned Android into an iPhone workalike in order to turn its partnership with Apple into a predatory research session.
This is the company that indexes blogs, newspapers, and both digital and physical books, and then makes all this information available without consent in the contexts of its ads and paid search space, and is dismissal of anyone who objects to Google’s ultra liberal sense of copyright. It generated controversy by driving trucks around the world to take photos of everything, connecting to WiFi base stations as it went to suck up random data it could use.
Google copies every original idea it can find, like a massive information sponge, sucking up business models and innovative creations and forming its own duplicates, often with little success. In the last year, its most obvious advances were copies of Twitter… and the revised layout of Bing.
Install the Google Toolbar and do a search of Bing, and Google actually directs your clickstream back for its own analysis. And really, that appears to be all Bing is doing, as it offers a similar option to record users’ behaviors and upload it back to Bing to improve its results.
Google is the world’s largest information thief, steamrolling partners, content creators and competitors alike under its concept of the wheels of progress, justifying its dealings as being a free remix and expression of ideas. That’s all fine and good if you don’t complain about other people also taking the information you publicly offer without a license and then remixing it themselves.