Among those who favor less restrictive copyright laws, Google once possessed undeniable street-cred.
When it came to standing up for the right of Internet users to freely exchange information online, the perception was Google would hold the line. The search engine sparred over copyright issues with newspapers, book publishers, recording companies, and big Hollywood studios--even fending off a $1 billion copyright complaint filed against it by Viacom, parent company of MTV. As for enforcement, Google made its position clear: the job of policing the Web for pirated content belonged to copyright owners.
But yesterday, Google's position began to blur. … Read more