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Intellectual Property

How Google and China are alike

Ever since Google announced it suffered a cyber-attack from China, Google's legendary PR machine has gone into overdrive, opportunistically framing the conflict as a good versus evil story, and positioning Google as the Internet's benign superpower defending free expresssion, and as a new kind of business that puts morality before money.   

  • Google understands it is easy to politically demonize China, because China's pervasive censorship and trampling of fundamental freedoms and human rights offend all freedom-loving people.

However, those willing to look behind the curtain of Google's self-serving political rhetoric here, will discover that many of the attributes that offend so many people about China, Google shares to an unfortunate extent.

  • Let's review four significant strategic similarities between Google and China -- brought to you in Google's own words.

First, Google's leadership, like China, has affirmatively chosen to not be democratically accountable.

Viacom vs Google evidence has big antitrust implications

Wow. The evidence Viacom unearthed in discovery in their $1b copyright infringement suit against Google is surprisingly damning. The evidence shows willful, premeditated, deceptive, and organized efforts by YouTube, Google and Google-YouTube to infringe copyrights for anti-competitive and financial gain.

  • Read the quote summary first here, then review the copious evidence/history in the 86 page Viacom Statement of Facts here, and then review Viacom's Summary Judgement memo of law here

So what are the broader antitrust implications of all this new and serious evidence of illegal activity and misconduct by Google-YouTube?

First, DOJ really blew it for not even asking for a second request of information on Google's acquisition of YouTube.

Google opposes public access to Viacom-YouTube filings -- Google's Discovery Risks -- Part I

A potential flood of very illuminating documents and information about the inner workings of Google are likely to be released soon by the Federal Court hearing Viacom's $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against Google-YouTube, despite strong Google opposition to the court's release of the information Viacom found in "discovery."

Must-see Australian clip: joining the dots on Google

Thanks to John Simpson's post at the ConsumerWatchdog.org, which flagged this succinct and illuminating 2 min 46 sec video "produced by Hungry Beast, a weekly news show on Australian television puts Internet giant Google's huge ambitions and gargantuan reach into dramatic perspective."

THE BEAST FILE: GOOGLE from Hungry Beast on Vimeo.

It is one of the best and most accessible pieces I have seen for the average person to get a better perspective on all things Google.

Big Brother 2.0: Google-NSA through foreigners' eyes

Today's New York Times front page story "Google's computing power betters translation tool" by Miguel Helft spotlights that Google arguably owns and operates "the world's largest computer." The article quotes a Google  engineering VP explaining that Google's unparalleled computing power enables Google to "take approaches others can't even dream of."

Combine the world's largest computer, with the best automated translation capability for most all of the world's top languages, with reports from the front page of the Washington Post that Google proactively sought help from America's top spy agency, the NSA, for its cyber-security vulnerabilities, and it is not surprising that foreigners would be growing increasingly wary of Google and the extraordinary potential power that Google holds over them. 

So what do foreigners increasingly see Google doing?

First, they increasingly see "The United States of Google," a term Jeff Jarvis coined in his book on Google. Shortly after Google publicly accused the Chinese Government of being behind or complicit in the cyber-attacks on Google:

Apple-HTC patent suit: Google's CEO is most at risk

Apple's patent lawsuit against Google's outsourced handset manufacturer, HTC, is all about putting Google's "innovation without permission" credo in the legal crosshairs and exposing Google's exceptional legal liability here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Boldly Deceptive: FreePress' extreme agenda in their own words" -- great Americans for Prosperity report

Kudos to Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity for their spot-on report of quotes from FreePress that exposes what FreePress is really all about.

Their report shows, in FreePress' own words, that they are a dystopian nightmare masquerading as a public interest group protecting freedom of the press.

 

Takeaways from DOJ's Opposition to Google Book Settlement; Winning the Battle Losing the War?

While Google may be slowly losing the legal battle over the amended Google Book Settlement Agreement, the protracted legal process and Google's political "slow rolling" of the broader process are enabling Google to win the much larger marketplace war for global dominance over digital content and distribution.

  • From a big picture perspective, Google is cleverly "playing" and slow rolling both rights holders and the DOJ because Google understands that time is on Google's side, not the side of rights holders or the Government.
  • Google's market dominance is only growing and becoming more irreversible, and copyrighted material is only being devalued as long as Google is the only entity that can copy it without permission and currently commercialize it for themselves via search without any compensation to rights holders.   

Takeaway #1: DOJ still strongly objects to the proposed amended settlement (ASA).

In the DOJ's latest statement of interest to the court, the DOJ continues to strongly object that the ASA violates three bodies of law: class action, copyright and antitrust. Key opposition quotes: 

Google's "Immaculate Collaboration" with NSA? Part XIX of Privacy-Publicacy Series

Ellen Nakashima may have a career-making scoop with her front page Washington Post investigative reporting piece: "Google to enlist NSA to help ward off cyberattacks."  

  • As Publisher of the Google watchdog site, www.GoogleMonitor.com, I can't say I am surprised about a Google-NSA connection, especially given that over the last year my PrecursorBlog has posted: 
  1. An 18-part "Privacy vs. Publicacy" series;
  2. A 6-part "Security is Google's Achilles Heel" series; and 
  3. A 16-part "The Open Internet's Growing Security Problem" series

Ms. Nakeshima's revelation that Google sought out NSA's help shortly after it suffered massive cyber-attacks, apparently from China, opens a Pandorra's Box of privacy issues given that Google's aggressive "publicacy" (anti-privacy) business model, policies and practices have shown little respect for people's privacy in practice over the last decade.

Google's Showdown with DOJ over Book Settlement

Most have missed that there's a big antitrust showdown happening this week. 

  • February 4th, the DOJ must file a second round of comments on the Google Book Settlement 2.0 with Federal District Court Judge Chin, after Google almost completely ignored DOJ's substantial legal objections in its Book Settlement 2.0 revision.   

The Google-DOJ showdown in a nutshell:

  • The DOJ's 9-18-09 Statement or Interest made clear DOJ believes the settlement is likely illegal under three completely different bodies of law (class action, copyright and antitrust), and also may be per se illegal in multiple different ways. (analysis here.)
  • Google and the other parties, in their 2.0 revision of the Book Settlement, almost completely ignored the DOJ's stated legal concerns.
  • If Google and the parties do not address the DOJ's concerns in advance of the DOJ's second statement of interest filing due February 4th, the DOJ will be thrust into law enforcement mode.     

This is a big deal.

  • The DOJ has drawn a line in the sand that the Google Book Settlement as configured is illegal and anticompetitive.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths