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Similar to Microsoft in that Google is a large company that could possibly be seen as a monopoly.
Comparing them to Microsoft is "Apples to Oranges"..
Microsoft changed the way we live.
Google just "currently" provides a better result in a search engine, than anyone else. And though they've lasted in the #1 position, a little longer than AV and Ink did, they hardly reinvented the wheel.
Everything cycles, and Google's day will come...
If they portalize completely, which an IP may force them to do, they become direct competitors of AOL and Yahoo. If AOL/Yahoo drop Google, you cut a big chunk of their market share.
Everything cycles, just give it time....
MS controls the operating system, and 90% of the software on almost every computer being sold in the US. Google is one of several search indexes that are all widely used.
I hardly see the analogy.
Google is "not", and "never will be" a monopoly in the search business.
We will continue to see new vertically oriented search indexes pop up, that will be very popular. I hardly see Inktomi and/or AV dying off in the near future.
How come nobody sues them for copyright infringement?
Isn't their cache a pretty clear case of copyright infringement on just about everybody? They make a copy of everybody's material and post it on their site without my permission.
I don't think the absence of a nocache tag or robots.txt exclusion works as some kind of implicit permission. We shouldn't have to tell them to not copy our stuff. They should have to ask permission.
Am I missing something here? I have never understood why they have a legal right to copy everybody's site and post it in their cache.
And, doesn't the same argument apply to the SE's copying my title and (sometimes) description and showing them in the SERPs?
As for titles, they can't be copyrighted. I can write a book tomorrow and call it Gone With The Wind. The description tag is placed there for who? Search Engines, so that people receive an accurate description of the site. I think the permission there is implied.
Libraries don't need permission from the author to include the titles of books in their catalog and descriptive blurbs are so common that making a description infringement would pretty much eliminate any descriptions being used by anyone.
someone who went out of business due to Google dropping their site.
Google's terms of service explicitly state that you may not use Google for commercial reasons.
The Google Services are made available for your personal, non-commercial use only. You may not use the Google Services to sell a product or service, or to increase traffic to your Web site for commercial reasons, such as advertising sales.
And here's another good one from Google's TOS
Limitation of Liability
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL GOOGLE OR ITS LICENSORS BE LIABLE TO ANY USER ON ACCOUNT OF THAT USER'S USE OR MISUSE OF OR RELIANCE ON THE GOOGLE SERVICES.
Google TOS [google.com]