Here are two polar opposite viewpoints from two prominent businessmen with blogs.
Direct marketer, Bob Bly says:
Google makes no secret of its contempt for copyright and intellectual property ownership — believing, as so many Netters do, that “information should be free.”
To which I say, “Bull*(#$%*!!!”
Serial entrepreneur, Jason Calacanis says:
Google doesn’t steal anyone’s content.
So which is it? Granted, Bly was talking about YouTube (which is owned by Google) and Calacanis was talking about Google News, but for our purposes here that doesn’t matter much. “Does Google steal?” is what matters.
Saying they steal is a pretty nasty character attack on a firm that believes in “doing no evil.” Not to mention the fact that stealing is a totally reckless strategy for any firm to actively engage in. Yet, Bly has a point about copyrighted material appearing on YouTube without the owner’s consent. This seems like a bottomless argument to me.