Strange Bedfellows

This is fascinating. Microsoft is attacking Google for failing to respect copyright. It cites Google’s controversial Book Search service, the YouTube acquisition, and Google’s alleged willingness to sell search keywords for pirated software.

Much of this is PR, trying to reposition Google as the “bad guys” and Microsoft as the “good guys.” But there’s also a deeper alignment going on between Microsoft and the major media companies. On the other side are not just the usual suspects from the tech community, but also the network operators such as phone companies. They don’t want to be held liable for copyright infringement on their networks, and they don’t like being forced to serve as agents of the content owners in rooting out infringement. What’s interesting is that the battle lines are entirely different around network neutrality. There, Google and Microsoft are on the same side, with the network operators in opposition.