Google Releases Copyright Statement

Dennis Faas's picture

Not long ago, "Google" was added to the Oxford English Dictionary as a verb -- a move that signalled Google's dominance in the search engine industry and recognized the fact that the word "Google" is sometimes synonomous with "search" or "find" when it comes to online activity.

However, the company has recently come under attack for copyright related issues. On Tuesday, Google posted a blog entry entitled "Our Approach to Content" defending their practices.

The blog, authored by David Eun, VP of Content Partnerships, notes Google's vision of organizing world-wide information and making it accessible for the masses. Further, Eun explains the three guiding principles which Google follows in order to protect content owners' rights.

The three principles are: "we respect copyright", "we let owners choose whether we index their content in our products", and "we try to bring benefit back to content owners by partnering with them." (Source:

Currently, Google has an opt out system for displaying content from searches. This means that a website can opt out of appearing in Google search results, but until it does so, Google will display the website title and snippet after a relevant search.

Although some website owners have questioned this method, Google says that any other process simply would not work, stating that gaining permission prior to displaying content would make producing comprehensive search results impossible. (Source:

One of Google's recent copyright tiffs was the lawsuit brought upon them in Belgium by a European newspaper company who argued that Google had violated copyright laws. Google was found guilty and ordered to remove the newspaper's content from Google News. (Source:

Other criticism comes from various website owners and bloggers, who believe that Google should abide by an opt in policy for cached pages. Their argument draws from the fact that cached pages can be viewed without clicking through to the original website -- a situation that seems to conflict with Google's principle of bringing benefit back to website owners. (Source:

Since search engines are a relatively new medium (as compared to printed publications), it is likely that we have not seen the end of internet-related copyright debates. Unfortunately for Google, they probably have not seen the end of it, either.

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