When Google challenges the law
On the basis of its sales figures of 29.3 billion dollars for the year 2010, Google each day converts a few more internet users to the altar of services it is developing on the Internet. In his recent essay (1), Alain Strowel, a lecturer at the University of Liège and a lawyer at the Brussels Bar, a specialist in intellectual rights and the new information technologies, throws juridical light on the major challenges to the law set by the American giant.
Author’s rights in question
‘Everything accessible to everyone free of charge.’ If it almost blindly seduces the majority of internet users, the leitmotif which the new economy of content proposed by Google is shot through with is nevertheless disturbing book publishers, the press and the audiovisual world. ‘Google’s new practices,’ points out Alain Strowel, ‘and the new modes of distribution for protected content have the merit of asking the right questions concerning copyright laws and interrogating their applications to the new information technologies in particular.’ The internet tools Google Books, Google News, YouTube and Google Image plunge us into the challenge Google poses to copyright laws.
(1) Alain Strowel, Quand Google défie le droit. Plaidoyer pour un internet transparent et de qualité. Published by De boeck & Larcier, 2011.