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Will Google Lawsuits Matter in the Long Run?

Google Lawsuits

Any adult remembers that there were plenty of growing pains as they entered their teen years, and the same goes for any business. As Google enters its 13th year of service since it was founded in 1997 the internet search giant is experiencing plenty of growing pains of its own. Those pains are currently in the form of lawsuits filed against the company recently for privacy and copyright issues.

During the last 13 years Google has become much more than a simple internet search engine. Through acquisitions and its own “laboratory” software development, Google has broadened its scope to deliver information of all forms to users, and they want to do it for free.

Copyright Violation Concerns Plague Google

Google has announced that it will be expanding its Google Books to deliver digital copies of millions of books for its users. The problem is whether doing so violates U.S. copyright laws. The heat is on as class-action lawsuits have been filed against Google by the Graphic Artists Guild and the Professional Photographers of America. The groups claim that Google’s attempt to make digital copies of their works and provide them for free on the internet violates the copyrights for their images.

Privacy Issues Pose Another Problem for Google

Also, this year Google joined the social networking mainstream by releasing its Buzz social networking service. People who already have Google email accounts can easily join Buzz and immediately have a network of their Gmail contacts. The problem? Google may have been premature in its fervor to join the social bandwagon. When existing Gmail users signed up their private information about other contacts were automatically released and viewed by everyone else on the Buzz network. As a result, lawsuits have been filed over invasion of privacy may many users.

So what is in store for Google and their lawsuit fights? It will be interesting to view the outcome of the copyright issue. This very minute you could walk into your local library and check out books, magazines, photos, movies, music, etc., all for free. But libraries have not been faced with copyright lawsuits. Why should Google? Even research platforms like LexisNexis have been providing access to articles and information databases, but for a fee to their users. Google simply wants to do it for free. So why shouldn’t LexisNexis be included with copyright lawsuits?

Indeed Google will need to address the privacy issue. They have already modified their Buzz network to allow users to choose what contacts and information they want to remain private or public. But people on social networks are vehement about their privacy. Google will need to respect that if they want to compete in the social networking industry.

These are just a couple of lawsuit examples. Google faces many more, and as they continue to expand their services, lawsuits will remain a way of life. However, as internet technology and copyright laws continue to evolve, the need and demand for information will be met by Google’s superior search results.

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