Software giant Microsoft on Tuesday launched a stinging attack on Google, accusing its internet rival of riding roughshod over copyright in a rush to grab content for its own commercial benefit.

The attack by top Microsoft lawyer Tom Rubin came as the two corporate titans step up their competition in both software and online content.

But Google won support from the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), which argued that Microsoft had given an "unfortunate mischaracterisation" of copyright law that was outdated in the digital age.

Google "appears to be trying wherever possible to skirt copyright law's boundaries", Rubin, Microsoft's associate general counsel for intellectual property, wrote in a Financial Times opinion piece.

His remarks were a foretaste of a speech he was to make in New York later on Tuesday to the Association of American Publishers.
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