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Open Internet

AP: "Ethics group urges Congress to examine Google's Copyright controls"

Google's copyright kleptomania just can't stay out of the news for long. Per the AP/San Jose Mercury News last week:

  • "In letters sent to several lawmakers Wednesday, the National Legal and Policy Center excoriated Google for allowing its video-hosting service to become an online theater for showing and promoting illegally copied movies."

  • "The nonprofit group, which says it has no financial ties to the movie industry..."

  • "The grievances made to Congress focused exclusively on content found on Google's Web site rather than the company's more popular YouTube subsidiary that is being sued by Viacom Inc. for alleged copyright infringement."

My Senate Judiciary Testimony why the Google-DoubleClick merger should be blocked

Below is the summary of my testimony before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust yesterday on why the Google-DoubleClick merger should be blocked.

  • I find the Google-DoubleClick merger review process to be one of the most illuminating and fascinating ways to explore the future of the business of the Internet.
    • I also strongly believe the trajectory of Internet content business will be profoundly affected by the outcome of this merger review.
  • I highly recommend you review the six charts I prepared which provide a very useful visual overview of why this merger is so far-reaching, little understood and important. 
  • My full testimony and my previous white paper, "Googleopoly" can be found at www.googleopoly.net.

Call for "National Broadband Strategy" is "code" for a Government Industrial Policy

Senator Kerry's recent echoing of the call for a "National Broadband Strategy" by House Telecom Chairman Markey and FCC Commissioner Copps -- is really a slick coordinated bicameral campaign to reverse current national communications competition policy and replace it with a Government industrial policy.  

Calling for a "National Broadband Strategy"  implies we don't have one when we do -- and it is the law  of the land -- the 1996 Telecom Act -- and it was supported by over 95% of Democrats and Republicans when it passed during the Clinton administration -- and by the way it is working.

  • The purpose of the law is our "national communcations policy/strategy": "To promote competition and reduce regulation in order to secure lower choices and higher quality services...and encourage the rapid deployment of new technologies."
  • The part covering the Internet: ""To preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet..., unfettered by Federal or state regulation."
  • The part covering promoting new technologies, Section 706: "The Commission...shall encourage deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans..."

What's wrong with that national broadband strategy?

  • Nothing.

What's wrong with the progress and achievement of that strategy to date?

  • Nothing.

Lets review the facts, not the spin that those promoting a new industrial policy cannot support with facts.

Responding to Art Brodsky's broadside on my credibility and integrity on Huffington Post

Art Brodsky of Public Knowledge comes to Google's defense in an extensive broadside attack on my credibility and integrity because I have the gall to stand up to one of his patrons -- Google -- by testifying tomorrow at the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust -- where I will show in great detail why the Google-DoubleClick merger is anti-competitive and why I recommend that it should be blocked by the FTC. Stay tuned.

Mr. Brodsky is not the first person to come after me for my provocative forward-thinking and unconventional views, nor will he be the last.

More OpenLeft unabashed election manipulation using "Google bombs"

Open Left, a close ally of Moveon.org, is unabashedly bragging about how it has successfully manipulated Google search results, with the intent to manipulate the Presidential general election, with its "Google-bombing" campaign of Republican Rudy Guliani.

This is far from the first time Google has enabled "Google-bombing".

New academic study challenges notion Google & DoubleClick aren't competitors

A new antitrust analysis by leading academics in the field provides some very relevant and eyebrow-raising new third-party survey data that appears to debunk Google's main defense of the DoubleClick acquisition: that Google and DoubleClick are not competitors. 

  • This first and most comprehensive market survey of advertisers suggests that DoubleClick's customers do indeed view Google and DoubleClick offering as substitutes/competitors for their ad dollars.  

For those following this merger review closely, this study is a must read:

Why is this study important?

Great FT article on Google provides more evidence of Google's cultural aversion to internal controls

Richard Waters of the FT produced a very insightful and newsy article on how Google reportedly passed on buying DoubleClick two years earlier over internal concerns about how that alignment of businesses could clash with Google's famed "don't be evil' highmindedness.

  • It's a must read article for Googlephiles.

My big takeaway from this article was an undercurrent of Google's struggle over internal controls to ensure Google's "ethics" are carried out in practice.  

Frontline Wireless' shameless misdirection to pickpocket the American taxpayer

Reed Hundt's Frontline Wireless is proposing more changes to the FCC's 700 MHz auction rules upon reconsiderataion -- so watch your wallet!

Per today's Comm Daily: 

Google competing in yet another way with DoubleClick

The New York Times (and others) reported yesterday Google's announcement that it was launching a "Gadget ads" program  which is essentially display-ad-serving to "widgets' which are essentially "mini-websites" within websites.

It is getting harder and harder for Google antitrust lawyers to argue with a straight face that Google does not compete in the market of "display-ad-serving" with DoubleClick.

  • Google is the world leader in "serving":
    • search text ads
    • contextual ads;
    • video display ads through YouTube,
  • And is now entering: 
    • mobile ad- serving;
    • and widget ad-serving to these mini-websites withing websites.
  • Google's definition of "ad-serving" is increasingly becoming too-cute-by-half semantic wordplay and not a functional or factual definition.

Antitrust officials should ask Google if they are colluding with DoubleClick to not compete while the merger is pending.

Cities learning there is no wireless "free lunch"

It seems the "pixie dust" of "free" municipal wifi isn't so "magical" after all.

To quote one of my conservative heroes, the late great Milton Friedman, "there is no free lunch."

  • The article chronicles the growing trend that cities around the country are finally learning that simple economic lesson -- which should have been obvious to them from the start.
  • But how could the cities forget the economic truism that "there is no free lunch" and let their expectations so far exceed reality?
    • The answer lies in how many companies, who routinely expect a "free lunch" from communications carriers (like net neutrality supporters: Google, eBay-Skype, Amazon, Intel et.al), whispered in these cities ears that they could easily have free or very low cost wireless broadband access.
      • The problem that these net neutrality/open access proponents brushed under the rug was that building and operating a wireless broadband network, even a lower cost WiFi or WiMax network, still costs a substantial amount of money, and requires substantial resources and expertise to pull off at a minimum quality level.

Bottomline:  What I hope cities take away from this painful lesson is what they were taught when they were young: "if it looks too good to be true, it is."

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths