It appears that Google has caught M$ in industrial espionage or theft of search results. Google set up a sting by creating nonsensical search results and verified that Bing copied them. Google’s Terms of Service include
“5.3 You agree not to access (or attempt to access) any of the Services by any means other than through the interface that is provided by Google, unless you have been specifically allowed to do so in a separate agreement with Google. You specifically agree not to access (or attempt to access) any of the Services through any automated means (including use of scripts or web crawlers) and shall ensure that you comply with the instructions set out in any robots.txt file present on the Services.”
M$ is all Gung-Ho to defend intellectual property but here they are caught, publically, stealing intellectual property, search results.
This should hurt M$ in many ways:
- remind the public that M$ is evil,
- Google can likely sue them quite seriously. Search is big business,
- remind regulators that M$ does not take law seriously,
- inform the public that M$ has inferior tech to Google and that M$ knows this,
- could cause a restatement of earning for several years and
- inform potential customers of cloudy services that M$ lacks integrity.
Just when I thought M$ was aware of its limitations, they surprise me by smash-and-grab on Main Street. I hope this matter goes to court so Groklaw can index the details of discovery.