Monday, October 23, 2006

Sign Of Growth

Some say, you can measure the success of a company by the # of law suits it attracts and the # of attorneys it employ.

On both fronts, Google is blazing the trail. Its attorney population has grown 100 fold from a mere 1 in 2001 to 100+ 2006. Similar statistics are not available on the law suit front, but suffice to say it is several times more than what it was 5 years back.

From its YouTube video to search engine algorithm to Google Books, everything that Google does now attracts litigation. Why is that? Is it because they are pushing the envelope with everyone one of its product? Or, is it because Google is a cash cow now?

Who needs to change / alter its behavior? Is it Google or the archaic rules / laws?


  1. Ram,
    Probably you have read the recent NYT article on this topic

    Well, my take is that Google will change its policy. It is simply the laws of economics. People who produce content has the right to determine who and how the content will be used. If Google wants to drive ad revenue to YouTube that hosts bootlegged content, then Google has to share its revenue with the content creators. It is not the question of who posted the content, but who created it. The liability is still with Google for allowing bootlegged content hosted in their website. Google recognized that already making changes. Recently, GOogle(Youtube) removed 30,000 clips from their Japan site. As Youtube becomes part of mainstream value chain driving profits, its content will be closely scrutinized.


  2. Chandra
    Yes.. I did read the article in NY times.

    Google's stock price is at all time high now.. It will be interesting as how Google keeps up with innovation on one front and keep the 'law suits' at bay..

  3. There is a saying an idea is worth thousand pictures. The idea here is YouTube. If all the pictures are not ones own, then the owner of that picture will like to get a slice of the pie. The only way to get that slice is to sue legally. It is upto YouTube to prove that they did not use the picture owned any others.

    At one time I used to see businesses who thrive on others money and craftism; and it went like.....

    Do not pay tax, buy but do not pay, hire but pay poorly, sell do not ship, etc etc.

    These tactics perhaps are diminishing.

    The barometer for measuring the success of organization will be always their performance in terms of profit & product and long term growth potential, whereas law suits will work like a pendulum to decide the market value of its stock. Does not that make sense?

  4. Raman
    Youtube is an amazingly simple yet wonderful innovation.. Google will certainly invite lawsuits.. but I am glad it is taking them head-on to define lot of stuff in the unchartered territory..