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Google protesteth Larry Ellison too much that Google does not steal… Part 15 Google Disrespect for Property Series

Yet again, Google has violated the first rule of holes; when in a hole, stop digging.

Google is unwisely keeping the story alive that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said this to Charlie Rose on air: [Google] “took our stuff and … that was wrong. This really bothers me. I don’t see how [Larry Page] thinks you can just copy someone else’s stuff. 

In a Google+ post to his followers, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt responded: “We typically try to avoid getting dragged into public battles with other companies. But I’ve gotten a lot of questions about Larry Ellison’s claims that Google “took [Oracle’s] stuff”.  It’s simply untrue -- and that’s not just my opinion, but the judgment of a U.S. District Court.” 

Does Google really want to engage in a broader public conversation about the truth and facts of Google’s serial disrespect for the property of others?

Sadly, there is copious evidence that Google has taken others’ “stuff” without permission or payment. Let me highlight some of the more egregious examples. 

How does Dr. Schmidt square that Google did not take Oracle’s “stuff” when: Google is the only major commercial entity to not license or pay for Oracle’s Java software when Google’s Android head said in internal emails that “we’ll have to pay Sun for the [Java] license,” and when Google engineer Tim Lindholm emailed  the head of Google’s Android Division the following: “What we’ve actually been asked to do by Larry [Page] and Sergey [Brin] is to investigate what technical alternatives exist to Java for Android and Chrome. We’ve been over a bunch of these and think they all suck. We conclude that we need to negotiate a license for Java under the terms we need.” Contrary to Dr. Schmidt’s revisionism, Google indeed “took [Oracle’s] stuff” without Oracle’s permission.

Has Google forgotten what Apple Steve Jobs said about Google taking its stuff? In the book Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, then Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously said: "…I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this." According to Steven Levy's book on Google, In the Plex, Jobs "concluded that he was a victim of deceit." He felt "he had been betrayed by the two young men [Larry Page & Sergey Brin] he had been attempting to mentor. "… he also felt that Google had stolen Apple's intellectual property."

Has Google forgotten what the Judge Stanton said in the Viacom vs. Google-YouTube court decision: "a jury could find that the defendants not only were generally aware of, but welcomed copyright infringing material being placed on their website..."  Moreover, the Undisputed Statement of Facts in the Viacom vs. Google-YouTube case make it clear that Google's leadership knew that buying YouTube would involve breaking copyright law. Google co-founder Sergey Brin said in an email: "…is changing policy [to] profit from illegal downloads how we want to conduct business? Is this Googley?" (SUF 162) Google manager David Eun told then CEO Eric Schmidt in an email: "I think we should beat YouTube…but not at all costs. They are a video Grokster." (SUF 158, 159) Another Google video manager said in another email: "It crosses the threshold of Don't be Evil to facilitate distribution of other people's intellectual property." (SUF 164)

Concerning the proposed Google Book Settlement, Federal Judge Chin rejected Google’s proposed settlement because it would reward Google "for wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission."

If Google does not take others’ “stuff,” why did Google pay Overture Services Inc. over a quarter of a billion dollars to settle a lawsuit that per the LA Timesaccused Google of misappropriating the patented system advertisers use to bid on keywords” i.e. the AdWords auction process-- Google’s primary source of revenue.

If Google does not take others’ “stuff” why have so many other companies sued Google for theft of trade secrets and/or patents?  Skyhook Wireless sued Google for multiple patent infringements involving wireless location services.  Google industry ally Google-Paypal sued Google for theft of trade secrets for Google Wallet. BuySafe sued Google over theft of trade secrets in its Trusted Stores Program. And CamUp has sued Google for theft of trade secrets relating to Google HangOut.

Finally, if Google in fact does not take others’ “stuff” without permission, why have so many different industries sued Google for infringement of most all types of content: wire services, newspapers, broadcasters, movie studios, authors, publishers, visual artists, software providers, photographers, artists, graphic designers, illustrators, and filmmakers.

In sum, are all these varied, independent industries and companies, throughout the economy, over the last decade, all wrong in their charges that Google took their property without permission or payment?

Or does Google indeed take others’ “stuff” just like Oracle’s Larry Ellison charged on Charlie Rose earlier this month?

For an American company, Google’s serial property infringement is both unique in scope and unique in scale.

If the U.S. Government is to have credibility overseas in combating piracy, theft of U.S. intellectual property, and the trafficking of U.S. counterfeit goods, law enforcement must be vigilant in enforcing the law in the United States as well. There can’t be a law enforcement double standard.

Simply the evidence indicates Google stole much of its success. That’s wrong. If Google believes that evidence to be “simply untrue,” Google should continue to correct the record publicly.


Google Disrespect for Property Series

Part 1:   Google TV: Dumb Content vs. Content is King [10-7-10]

Part 2:   Why Google's Motorola Patent Play Backfires [9-9-11]

Part 3:   Google 21st Century Robber Baron [9-19-11]

Part 4:   Google's "Infringenovation" Secrets [10-3-11]

Part 5:   Google's Piracy Liabilities [11-9-11]

Part 6:   Grand Theft Automated! Online Ad Economics Fuel Piracy, Oppose SOPA [11-30-11]

Part 7:   The Evidence Google's Systematic Theft is Anti-Competitive [1-20-12]

Part 8:   The Real Reasons Google Killed SOPA/PIPA [1-24-12]

Part 9:   Google's Rap Sheet [6-4-12]

Part 10: Googleopoly IX: Google-Motorola's Patents of Mass Destruction [7-10-12]

Part 11: Four Under-Appreciated Implications for Google from Apple-Samsung Verdict [9-5-12]

Part 12: What Made Apple's Steve Jobs So Angry with Google-Android? [9-6-12]

Part 13:  Google News-ster, Google Book-ster, YouTube-ster, Android-ster [11-2-12]

Part 14:  Google’s Content Settlements are a Tacit Admission It is an Essential Facility [2-11-13]