It seems clear at this point that Google basically views the web first as a collection of data or content, and only secondarily as a collection of intellectual property.
Very much so. In the early days, this made sense - after all, Yellow Pages was never responsible for determining if a company had a right to make the claim they made in their ads. Why should Google be expected to sort out copyright claims?
But it's grown beyond that, and lowered the quality of their SERPS. Plagiarism has become such a norm noline that on some queries even the average searcher notices that the top several websites are just repeating the same article. This is something Google wants to combat, but they still don't want to take responsibility for the copyright claims, which frankly I can understand as a POV. (Google does a nice job responding to DCMA requests, which suggests to me they respect our intellectual property rights, but feel it's not their responsibility and should be handled by a third party (ChillingEffects).
Bing, conversely, seems to view the web as a collection of data that it's their job to curate. Google seems to whitelist everything and then try to blacklist as needed; Bing blacklists everything to begin with and carefully whitelists those sites and pages they feel have earned it. Bing gives the "cream of the crop" results, but occasionally if I can't find what I'm after, I put on my hip waders and head to Google where I know I'll have to surf through some muck, but the thing I'm after is almost sure to be in there somewhere.
If Google was a smaller, less dominant company, I would entirely agree it is not their responsibility to sort out copyright issues. However, Google is a special case. Because their algo has (a) caused part of the problem by making it so easy to rank and serve Adwords on stolen content and (b) they are powerful and rich enough to do something about it, I really think they need to do better. Panda and Penguin are probably attempts at that, as is the cooperation with DCMA requests, but they could do better. As evidenced by Bing.