Google and Microsoft are complaining to the FTC about, in
their view, content providers’ overly broad copyright notices on content provided
by entities such as the NFL, MLB, NBC Universal and more. The allegations of
the complaint suggest that copyright holders are using “strong-arm” tactics to
scare users into compliance. Copyright holders dismiss the complaint as an
attempt to liberalize public sentiment towards the search engine owners’
efforts to index and collect as much content as possible to entice more users
to visit their web properties.
Bottom Line: When it comes to copyright protections we can
expect to see more of this “battle of public opinion” waged between the
different interests. While the complainants realize that their complaint to the
FTC will likely not lead to any particular action the value of the press coverage
is likely substantial enough to warrant such filings.