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Conflict of Interest

Why Viacom Likely Wins Viacom-Google Copyright Appeal

Viacom is likely to ultimately prevail in its appeal of the lower Court decision in the seminal Viacom vs. Google-YouTube copyright infringement case.

  • If one only reads either the lower court's decision or the press reports of it, without considering likely appellate arguments and the broader constitutional context of copyright protection, it is easy to missread the likely ultimate outcome here. 
  • Both sides agreed to an expedited summary judgment process in the lower court, because both sides fully expected this case to ultimately be decided at the appellate level, and most likely by the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Expect the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York to decide Viacom's appeal in 2011 and the Supreme Court to likely take the case and decide it in 2012 -- given how central this case is to maintaining copyright protection in the Internet age.

Why is Viacom likely to prevail on appeal?

Is Mr. Masnick Becoming Google's go-to Apologist?

Has Mr. Masnick of techdirt fame joined Google's legendary PR team as its go to apologist in the blogosphere?

Randy May has must read post on media socialism

For anyone wanting to better understand the big picture threat to our Nation's communications and media infrastructure/business models, please don't miss Randy May's outstanding post: "Not Mao Zedong or a communist... but a Socialist."

Building on the great foundation of work laid down by Adam Theirer of the Progress and Freedom Foundation in this area, Randy adds another laser spotlight on how there are powerful ideological forces championed by FreePress' leader Robert McChesney that seek ultimate government control of both the media and the communications infrastructure. 

The disturbing common thread here that deserves much more attention from freedom-loving people everywhere, is the deeply (and scarily successful) anti-free-enterprise, anti-property, anti-individual-freedom efforts by FreePress in promoting a de facto government takeover of both the media and broadband communications infrastructure.   

  • Look no further than the FCC's proposal to turn the competitive free enterprise of the broadband sector into a de facto public utility over the objections of a majority of members of Congress.

    If you want to learn and appreciate what is really going on ideologically here, don't miss reading Randy's and Adam's important work on this. They are spot on.

Mr. Masnick is Ostriching on Search Neutrality

Mr. Masnick of techdirt fame is putting his head in the sand, just like an ostrich does, in hopes that the danger of "search neutrality" will somehow go away as long as he manages to not see or hear anything about it.

  • Mr. Masnick's head-in-the-sand stance is in full public view in his latest full-throated defense of Google
    • "There Is No Such Thing As Search Neutrality, Because The Whole Point Of Search Is To Recommend What's Best"
  • Since Mr. Masnick's mind is obviously made up, let me present some information and evidence for those who remain open-minded to what is actually happening in the marketplace -- concerning the lack of Google search neutrality.

First, none other than Google's founders railed against advertising causing "insidious" bias in search results -- in their famous Stanford paper on search engines -- see Appendix A

NetCompetition Statement on FCC's Broadband Legal Framework NOI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June, 17 2010

Contact:  Scott Cleland

703-217-2407

 

 

“FCC Regulating the Internet like a Phone Company Would Enthrone “Ma Google”

“FCC’s Broadband De-competition Policy Would Accelerate Google-opolization of the Net”

 

The Perils of Google's New War on Apple

Google has much to lose in its ill-advised PR and public policy war with Apple, its previous closest Silicon Valley ally.

Antitrust or Fiduciary liablility? Google's recent market behavior puts Google and its CEO Eric Schmidt in a lose-lose situation.

FCC & Google's Extreme Internet Makeover -- A Preview

At its Thursday meeting, expect the FCC to adopt Google's PR script to try and better sell the FCC's upcoming "Extreme Makeover" of Internet regulation.

  • The centerpiece of the FCC and Google's "extreme Internet makeover" plan is the creation of an entirely new, Google-inspired, regulatory classification called "Broadband Internet Connectivity Service" or BICS.
  • The BICS extreme makeover is designed to:
    • Enable the promotion of integrated "edge" products and services like Google Voice, Google TV, and Google's Chrome/Android operating systems; and
    • Empower the FCC to implement its National Broadband Plan on its own without additional Congressional authorization or action. 

Predictably, the FCC's Google-oriented-BICS-scheme has three fatal flaws -- making it a disaster waiting to happen. 

Google protesteth too much...

Google unwisely brought closer scrutiny to Google's public representation of its business model by pushing WSJ columnist, Holman Jenkins, to run this footnote/correction

  • "Google objected to a line in a column two weeks ago that summarized its business in part as "collecting data it can sell to advertisers." We didn't say "user data," but Google nonetheless wants you to know it doesn't sell any data directly to advertisers, and doesn't employ user data to sharpen the efficiency of its search advertising, but only its display ads."

With all of the controversy surrounding Google's business model (WiFi privacy-invasion investigations on four continents... a massive private data spill from Chinese hackers stealing Google's password security system... and increasing calls for the DOJ/EU to bring an antitrust case against Google), it seems particularly ill-advised for Google to be nitpicking about how Google wants to represent/misrepresent its business model to the public.

Let's parse Google's misleading nitpicking.

First, Google is being too cute by half in insisting its business is not as Mr. Jenkins succinctly encapsulated it to be: "collecting data it can sell to advertisers."

Google's goobristic permission policy: We never need your permission, but you always need ours

Google's CEO Eric Schmidt, dismissed the notion that Google was "arrogant" in an FT interview.

  • Mr. Schmidt: "The arrogance comes across because we trying to do things for end-users against organised opposition from stakeholders that are unhappy -- and they paint us as arrogant. But I am sure that all successful organisations have some arrogance in them."  

It seems to me that "the arrogance comes across" with Google because Google operates, and expects to operate, under a double standard -- where rules, laws and expectations apply to others, but do not, and should not, apply to Google -- because Google is somehow special.

The latest example  of Google's expectation to be treated differently and better than Google treats everyone else -- is Google's "permissions" policy (See the Goobris Series below for other examples.)

Google's "Total Information Awareness" Power -- A one-page graphic of all the information Google has

To help you picture both the enormity and unprecedented power of what Google knows about you and the world's information: public, private and proprietary, I have organized all the world's information types that Google collects onto a one-page chart/PDF: "Google's 'Total Information Awareness' Power."

For those who really want to understand Google and its impact on most everyone and most everything, please read and study this one-page chart/PDF, because much valuable work and insight has gone into it.

  • While the chart is visually packed with information that many may find difficult to unpack or digest, the chart itself is an apt metaphor for both how much information Google has, and also how difficult it is for all of us to get our head around all the information Google routinely collects and uses.

A short refresher on where the term "Total Information Awareness" came from and why it is aptly employed here.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths