Saturday, September 05, 2009

Making Google Accountable

There is a fundamental difference between Google’s search engine and its YouTube and Reader products.

The former indexes other people’s content, living on other people’s web servers. There’s little doubt about the usefulness of this model, nor about the veracity of how Google makes most of its money exploiting this, even though it is a virtual monopoly that has not been challenged.

But Google now holds vast amounts of other people’s content on its own servers and seems unable to be accountable for this. So, even though YouTube publishes deplorable and illegal videos on Google’s servers, the company denies responsibility for this content.

Equally, the company want to publish (and control) every book ever published, but will take no responsibility for this either - just the profits.

The media world certainly has changed, but allowing Google to operate under different laws, rules and mores to traditional publishers and broadcasters is sheer madness that the FCC, OFCOM and other regulators should address this immediately.