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Google humor: "human review trumps technology" in filtering for copyright

I had to stop myself from bursting out laughing when listening to Google-YouTube's product counsel, Mia Garlick, speak on the Internet Caucus panel on "Internet Copyright Filters: Finding the Balance."

  • Google-YouTube's representative said with a straight face: "human review trumps technology" in copyright filtering.  

Let that little quote sink in for a moment.

Google...

  • the self-described technology company,
  • the algorithm leader,
  • the company that automates virtually everything internally,
  • the company that is not interested in pursuing businesses or tasks that cannot be automated or condensed to an algorithm,
  • the company that has taken innovation and technology to a new level on the Internet,
  • the company that uses technology for customer service not humans...
    •  is saying that "human review trumps technology"?

If human review of content trumps technology, why doesn't Google rank/filter all the world's content in its search process with human review rather than technology -- if human review is better?

Google's Regulatory Outlook 2008

The big question for investors is why?

  • Why has Google felt the need to rapidly build up a new lobbying operation in D.C. (rivaling Microsoft's in size) and why did Google just unveil, with great fanfare, its new cutting-edge office space in DC with a party that attracted 650 people and many VIPs?
    • What does Google know that investors may not?

Google's Regulatory Outlook:

Federal Trade Commission

Antitrust:

Busted again! Google ranked worst in "One World Trust" survey on openness and transparency

The Financial Times reported that One World Trust is publishing the results of a new world survey that ranks Google worst in the world on openness and transparency.

  • This worst in the world ranking comes on the heels of a recent Privacy International survey that also found that Google was worst in the world on privacy.
  • Now two independent and respected non-governmental groups have independently found that Google is worst in the world on the values that the Google claims are very important to Google: openness and privacy.

One World Trust "conducts research on practical ways to make global organisations more responsive to the people they affect, and on how the rule of law can be applied equally to all.  It educates political leaders and opinion-formers about the findings of its research." 

  •  Out of a possible score of 100 Google got a 17. Ouch. Even the math whizes at Google can see that is not a good score.
    • And sense the top performer, UNDP, got an 88, their is no grading curve that will save Google's bacon on this one.

It is good to get additional third party confirmation of many of the themes I have been blogging about for over a year and a half on Google.

That DARK "cloud" on the Net's horizon is Google's dominant cloud computing/storage ambitions

The Wall Street Journal article yesterday: "Google plans service to store users' data" is another stark reminder of the very dark cloud on the Internet's horizon -- Google's dominant "cloud computing" capability (i.e. Google's world-leading parallel processing computing grid and storage centers, which Google uses to cache a more-than-daily copy of every page of every website on the Internet and also every Google users' clickstream history.)

  • According to the WSJ, Google is planning to offer a free way to store all the information on people's computer hard drives in Google's "cloud" -- ostensibly to give consumers the 'freedom" to access their computer's files from any where, whether or not they are at their computer.

Now why would Google want to give you that type of service for "free"? Because they want even more personal and total information about you than they have in your search history, in order to sell to advertisers even more info about your most private "hot buttons."

  • If you are a free Google gmail user, Google already reads your email to send you targeted advertising. 
  • If you use Google's free documents or spreadsheets, you may remember from a previous post of mine that:

News Corp needles Google for not protecting copyright -- Is Google an "honest" broker?

Google just can't seem to get on the right side of copyright law -- or the law in general for that matter.

  • Google's MySpace partner, News Corp clearly doesn't believe Google is doing enough to protect copyrights. 
  • Peter Chernin, President of News Corp., in an interview with the Financial Times yesterday, chided Google that ""they could do a better job" at preventing illegally copied video from appearing on its YouTube site."
    • FT asks: "Do they have the technology to do it?"
    • Chernin: "It's pretty safe to say that they have the technology available, that if we [MySpace] have the technology available, a) it's publicly available, and b) I haven't yet heard a lot about Google being technologically constrained."

The point here is that Google clearly has the wherewithal to not violate copyright, but they are making a business decision that it is better or more profitable for Google to disrespect copyright law rather than to respect copyright law.

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."

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.  

I am a panelist with Tim Wu at Future of Music Conference 9-17

I am on a Broadband Policy panel on Monday at 4:45 at the Future of Music Summit with a couple of the lead folks who champion net neutrality: Professor Tim Wu, who coined the term, and Ben Scott, of Free Press who has slickly popularized it in close coordination with Moveon.org.

  • Should be interesting, the panel appears to be fairly balanced: one against NN (me) and the rest of the panel avidly for it.
  • Wish me luck.

 Leveling the Playing Field: how does broadband policy affect musicians?

Congress and the FCC are currently working a series of initiatives designed to revise the telecommunications regulatory framework, with everything from spectrum reform, to broadband deployment, to network neutrality on the table. How will proposed revisions impact musicians, citizens and technologists? How does broadband policy intersect with concerns about protecting intellectual property? What would a pro-musician Telecom Act look like?

Charles Bissell Musician, The Wrens

Scott Cleland Chairman, NetCompetition.org

Peter Gordon President, Thirsty Ear

Jason Oxman Vice President, Communications, Consumer Electronics Association

I'll be speaking at Conservative Leadership Conference on new media in Oct.

I am very excited to be attending, and to be one of the speakers, at the Conservative Leadership Conference on "Conservatives and New Media" in Reno Nevada, October 11-13.

  • This will be "the first national conference of its kind in the western United States to fully utilize the power of blogging and the internet to promote a conservative/libertarian, limited-government agenda."

The left is massively more organized and involved in new media than conservatives, so I am thrilled to help the CLC, Chuck Muth et al -- build a formidable conservative counterweight to the liberal-dominated blogosphere and new media.

I heartily encourage like-minded folks to attend, learn, and get better at promoting free-market, limited government principles over the Internet.

 

WSJ "Googling 'Monopoly' Op-Ed Superficial

Google must be worried about their Doubleclick acquisition having arranged an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today entitled Googling 'Monopoly' by PFF President Tom Lenard and Emory University professor Paul Rubin.

  • While Google must be thankful for the placement in the WSJ, they have to be bummed about the unfortunate title.
    • Google loves to generously slather the "opoly" epithet on any formidable competitor who is in their way, so it must drive them crazy when it sticks to them in the WSJ.

First, let me say that I genuinely respect Mr Lenard and Mr. Rubin, and understand that on antitrust issues, analysts can honestly disagree on outcomes and impacts.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths