"Google has benefitted from a liberal interpretation of fair use," Sterling said. "There is definitely some irony here in Google pointing out that someone else is copying them."
Google didn't respond to a request for comment for this story.
IDC analyst Hadley Reynolds is one of those who questions if the incident is a sign of a new Google attitude in the marketplace with Page at the helm.
"I wonder if this came directly from Larry Page, and thus signals a kind of taking off the gloves and setting up what will be a more aggressively competitive stance [regarding] Microsoft/Yahoo and other tech competitors in the future," Reynolds said via e-mail.
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