Google’s Ipsedixitism – Gootube and Viacom

bullshitNo, I’m not going to make you look up ‘ipsedixitism’. It means ‘unsupported assertions’ but ipsedixitism is a lot more interesting isn’t it?

I wasn’t following the Viacom v. Google lawsuit until I read something in a thread at Webmasterworld yesterday. It was this bit from Google’s Associate General Counsel, Alexander Macgillivray, “”We will never launch a product or acquire a company unless we are completely satisfied with its legal basis for operating,” Macgillivray told Reuters in an interview.” Well said, well said Mr. Macgillivray. It’s a perfect example of ipsedixitism.

Macgillivray must have a short memory. He seems to have completely forgotten about the European Gmail trademark case that Google lost.

While his memory may be bad, his aim isn’t. His words were a shot at Viacom. Legal posturing for the Viacom v. Google-owned YouTube copyright case.

I simply can’t figure out how Napster, which was P2P software, could lose in court, and Google could possibly win. That’s exactly what I think will happen though. Google will trample all over copyright law again, win in court, and effectively prove that nothing is fair and equal under the law. The uneasy, symbiotic relationship Google had with content creators is becoming ever more parasitic. If Google can walk all over Viacom, what will they do to you? What will they do with you when they no longer need you?


  1. Google have never been all that interested in what content creators have had to say, they just want to profit of their content :) They showed their attitude right from the start with their policy of having us opt-out of their cache rather than opt-in, but I guess most search engines are the same

  2. DG

    What surprises me Chris is that more people don’t realize that Google isn’t anyone’s friend. At best, it’s a business arrangement and an increasingly lopsided one at that.

    Youtube is making money off of copyright infringement. it’s pretty simple and all the metaphors and convoluted arguments portraying Google as the good guy in this baffle me.

  3. I feel conflicted.

    On one hand, I am happy with Google’s outreach to webmasters. I mean that in the sense of sitemaps, in the sense of webmaster tools. It has helped get my site get indexed in a faster way, and also identify a few odd problems I never knew were there.

    On the second hand, I almost feel smug satisfaction in the way Google slaps these companies around. I don’t like the corporatization of everything, and in a manner similar to my enemy’s enemy is my friend, I do enjoy this. The Mickey Mouse extensions have gone on far too long, as does the bloody copyright leapfrogging that the US and UK/EU are always doing with each other.

    And yet in the end, what Google is doing underlines my other frustration – that with enough money, you can get around pretty much most laws. Anyone that argues YouTube is popular because of home videos is nuts. It was SNL’s Lazy Sunday that put it on the map, not someone’s homemade video.

    Anyhoo – I am starting to ramble. On one side of the coin, I am happy that these companies who use their massive weight to push around end-users are getting some of their karma back. But the other side is not happy that the only reason it is happening is because it is against another company with a lot of (more?) weight.

    Btw Dean – if you like LocalMN, you should read Local Onliner and Greg Sterling too.

  4. DG

    I understand that conflicted feeling you describe. Google and others have enjoyed both sides of their double-standards for too long though.

    Greg, et al. I have them on my RSS reader. ; )

  5. Actually, Napster lost in court because it maintained a central database of all the downloadable files.

    The P2P case was lost by the Australian company whose name I forget.

  6. DG

    Exactly. Youtube keeps a database as well.

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