From looking at some Google Places I would say they are the king of scrapping content and definitely help contribute to the ruining of the Internet.
Example would be my wife's company, which is a large non-profit science center that helps educate kids and adults about science and has a wonderful website that they pay a lot of money to maintain and support. However, Google doesn't see any problem with the fact that they've scrapped my wife's company website to get their contact data, hours, and a few other points that they then put on their own page (Google Places - whatever that is), along with their own Google ads, as well as link to my wife's company competitors all for the purpose of keeping visitors on their site so that they can get the ad dollars while adding no additional value of their own.
To me this is the biggest scam in the world and makes them look like giant lying crooks on the web because they steal content from others, while banning competitors that do the same thing and all the while telling people that they doing it for the good of the web.
Yeah right?!? Google is doing it for the good of your pocket books. Here's a thought, why doesn't Google start paying sites, or splitting profits with the sites that they scrap data from and then make money off of. They are stealing visitors, traffic, and ad dollars while providing no additional content or benefit to the reader. I believe Google is getting really close to anti-trust issues and should be looked at very closely by the US Gov. They broke Ma Bell up in the 80's because they got too big and I see something like this coming down the line for Google.
People are starting to get concerned that their hands are dappling into many areas that cross-support each other, putting a lot of control and power into one company's hands. Google is not the Internet, they make no original content of their own, they regularly police the web and try to tell us what is relevant or not, similar to a dictator in a closed society, and they make money off all of this so of course it's in their best interest to keep it going and make us think we need them to show us the web. Truth be told, I can find anything I'm looking for on any engine, and often I find good and bad results on all of them so to me Google is just another search engine and if they keep going down their slippery slope they will wind up like Alta Vista.
Here's a suggestion. Drop your bunk PR and link structured algo and develop a new tool that doesn't support spamming the web with paid links. Google created this monster when they put so much emphasis on links and people all over the web buy and sell links to push their rankings up. This model is so old and out-dated that it doesn't make sense. Now Google is putting band-aids all over their old bunk algo trying to keep their out-dated ways going instead of putting in the time, dollars, and effort on making a new model that will actually produced good nature results instead of manipulated results that have to be regularly policed and manipulated to keep it going. The fact that Google has to regular update their algo shows that they know there are problems with it, but they just keep sticking more patches and band-aids on it instead of building a new model that will not support the spam techniques on the web.
All I can say is CONGRATS on putting another band-aid on the OLD ALGO. Maybe this one will only effect a small number of legit sites and, heck, those are casualties of the war on spam, right?
Good luck to all the legit sites that are trying to jump through Google's hoops! Just remember, if you don't make it through today you will be gone tomorrow.