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Intellectual Property

Google is indeed a media company!

Miguel Helft/The New York Times has figured out that Google is indeed a media competitor, but apparently doesn't think other media have connected the dots -- given how they framed their lead business article today: "Is Google a Media Company?"

While its obvious that Helft/NYT get the joke that Google is most certainly a media company by the prominence, graphic, and headline of the story, they also did their journalistic duty in presenting both sides of the question, including allowing Google a lot of space to continue its charade that Google is not a media company.

Let's have some fun with Google's "who? little old us? a media company? you must be kidding..." --defense in the New York Times article.

Googleopoly's new self-granted entitlement: "Automatic Matching" is evidence of monopoly abuse

Kudos to Cade Metz of The Register for exposing Googleopoly's new self-granted entitlement to take their customers money without permission -- called "automatic matching" in Adwords.

Google's Cerf continues push for nationalization of Broadband -- Favors forced structural separation

Google's Sr. VP Vint Cerf, took his call for effectively nationalizing America's broadband infrastructure to a new level of freedom-crushing, Big Government expropriation by calling for the forced structural separation of competitive phone and cable companies into wholesale and retail arms, per the CBC News.

Where does one begin in addressing this self-serving, outrageous and clearly socialist proposal?

First, Mr. Cerf is calling for a policy that would treat the country with the most facilities based broadband competition in the world by far... as if it were a proven monopoly guilty of monopoly abuses!

  • This flies totally in the face of the obvious and plentiful facts in the marketplace, repeated rulings based on these facts from the FCC, and the property rights protections in the Consitution of the United States.

Second, Google's structural separation proposal of broadband, (remember Google pulled this outrage in the 700 MHz auction as well), is a full scale repudiation of the bipartisan purpose of 1996 Telecom Act, which was "to promote competition and reduce regulation... to encourage the rapid deployment of new...technologies."  

Google's Cerf digs a deeper 'nationalize the Internet' hole...

Kudos to Jim Harper of Tech Liberation Front for eliciting a comment from Google's Vint Cerf on Mr. Cerf's public ruminations in favor of 'nationalizing the Internet'  which was reported first on TechCrunch and which prompted me to post why nationalizing the Internet was such a horrible idea. 

While claiming his comment:  "Should the Internet be owned and maintained by the government, just like the highways?" -- was taken out of context -- Google's Mr. Cerf essentially repeats in his comment to Jim Harper's post -- the thrust of the thinking that has created the bruhaha:

  • "What I was getting at is that the Internet is in some ways more like the road system..."
  • "What I was speculating about in the Personal Democracy Forum was whether incentives could be provided that would render the Internet more like the public road system which is open to everyone." 

I think it is pretty clear that while Mr. Cerf may not have liked the "nationalized" term TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld used in his headline to describe and denounce Mr. Cerf's thinking -- it was indeed accurate -- given how Mr. Cerf reiterated in his comment his desire for the Internet to be more like the "public road system."

Google's Cerf floats trial balloon:" why not nationalize the Internet?

Google's Internet Evangelist, Vint Cerf recently asked publicly: "Should the Internet be owned and maintained by the government, just like the highways?" according to a post by Erick Schonfeld on TechCrunch. 

  • Since the Government neither owns or maintains the Internet today, Google may have much grander plans for 'nationalizing the Internet' than anybody appreciated.
  • Maybe we should take Google's CEO Eric Schmidt much more seriously when he declares: "The goal of the company is not to monetize anything," "The goal is to change the world -- and monetization is a technique to do that."  

Let's dissect how radical and destructive Google's notions for nationalizing the Internet are.

First, the Government privatized the Internet from 1992-1995 in recognition that the government was totally incapable of enabling the social and commercial potential of the Internet. 

"All-you-can-eat" bandwidth expectation shenanigans

I wanted to follow up and build upon my post of last week: "The logic of Internet Pricing Diversity and the Fantasy of free limitless bandwidth."

  •  I keep hearing this backward-looking refrain from net neutrality proponents that because some people characterize dial-up and early broadband bandwidth as unlimited or as an all-you-can-eat usage model -- that that model should never evolve or change.
    • Balderdash! This is some people's wishes being presented as analysis.

I believe U.S. Internet access consumers have come to understand at least two truths: 

PFF's Sydnor brilliantly exposes Lessig's "quasi-socialist Utopianism" advancing net neutrality

Tom Sydnor of the Progress and Freedom Foundation has done a brilliant analysis of Professor Larry Lessig's book "Free Culture" in the important context of Professor Lessig's other works. 

  • This analysis is outstanding foundational-thinking and a must read for anyone who cares about preserving a free market Internet.  

Let me highlight some gems:

First, his conclusion:

  • "The preceding analysis shows that FREE CULTURE does demonize copyright owners and does urge the government to eliminate copyrights and impose "quasi-socialist utopianism." Nor does this pattern stop with copyrights. Indeed, the preceding analysis shows Lessig has already claimed that to Save the Net, the government must nationalize or heavily regulate:

      • The providers of Internet-access services that own the physical network infrastructure, (e.g., net neutrality);


      • The providers of commercial internet applications and services, like eBay, Amazon, and Google (e.g., CODE); and


NPR on public libraries' concern over Google's aspiration for one world library of books

National Public Radio's All Things Considered" did a great 5 minute segment on: "Some Libraries Shun Google in Book Battle."

The story is set up as who should control the world's future virtual libraries as libraries and Google rush to digitize the world's books?

  • Several public libraries object to Google digitizing all their books and are doing it themselves.
  • They worry about a "single corporate entity" having so much power over the world's information.
  • If the old adage is true, that information is power, there is reason to worry.

I note this story because these libraries are a spontaneous and very real grass roots response to Google's megalomaniacal mission: to organize the world's information and make it universally available and useful."

  • These public library advocates worried out loud about how much more effective censorship could be if "a single corporate entity" controlled the world's main library and how would they respond to political pressure to ban a book or an author?

Google should take note. Here is a grass roots rebellion brewing from their left flank, which looks un-willing to be bought off by Google to go away. 

Dick Armey's clarity of thought and perspective on net neutrality

Be sure to read Dick Armey's succinct analysis and perspective on net neutrality in his op ed: "Spare the Net."

  • I am a big fan of Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey -- he is one of the true free-marketeer giants of our era.

The fatal flaws in Lessig-Scott net neutrality editorial sermon

Self-appointed Information Commons messiah Larry Lessig and his Free Press acolyte Ben Scott, advance a slew of "beliefs" that they assiduously proselytize wherever they can gather an audience.