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Big Internet’s Most Special Interests – Part 7: Internet as Oz Series

If the Internet Association is presumptuous enough to unilaterally deem itselfthe unified voice of the Internet economy,” I guess we should not be surprised that on the same day that our duly-elected President delivered the State of the Union, the unelected President of the Internet Association would be presumptuous enough to deliver the “State of the Internet.” 

Googleopoly X: Google's Dominance is Spreading at an Accelerating Rate -- See Pictorial Analysis

Please see the full pictorial analysis in “Googleopoly X: Google’s Dominance is Spreading at an Accelerating Rate"here.”

The conclusions and recommendations for antitrust authorities are reprinted below.

  • Note: Given the old adage is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, please don’t miss the Googleopoly pictorial charts that: make this complex subject much simpler and more accessible; tell this important story more interestingly and clearly, and enable the reader to better understand the critically important big picture dynamics addressed in this analysis.

A. Conclusions:

Google’s Content Settlements Are Tacit Admission It Is an Essential Facility – Part 14 Google’s Disrespect for Property Series

Google’s recent public actions appear to be a tacit admission that its antitrust risks in the EU are more serious than it has acknowledged publicly.

  • First, Google’s recent newspaper settlements -- with the Belgian and the French media -- signal that Google appreciates it is now considered by the EU to be a de facto essential facility for consumer information access.
  • Second, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s sudden, rapid acceleration of his selling of his personal Google stock holdings trumpet his apparent insider pessimism about Google’s growing antitrust, property-infringement, privacy and tax liabilities.     

Google’s Content Settlements

Exposing the Copyright Neutering Movement's Biggest Deceptions -- Part 7 Defending First Principles

The copyright-neutering movement, which is fueled by free culture activists and Big Internet interests, regularly employs four deceptions in their lobbying efforts to weaken copyright law and change the public conversation about copyright.

The movement obviously seeks to distract political attention from the proven real-world problem of online piracy and the urgent need for more anti-piracy enforcement of online copyright-infringement and counterfeiting, to their artificially-manufactured problem that copyright itself is the problem because it limits free online "sharing" and "innovation without permission."

The four deceptions are:

  1. Advocate with deceptive "free" and "open" messaging.
  2. Claim copyright's power comes from industry lobbying.
  3. Represent infringers as victims.
  4. Rewrite the history of SOPA/PIPA.

 

1.  Advocate with deceptive "free" and "open" messaging.

Free culture and Big Internet interests view copyright-property-rights and enforcement of those rights as a threat and obstacle to the realization of their techtopian vision for the Internet where "free" means no cost (or online ad-funded), and "open" means taking without permission (no property online) and government regulation (net neutrality).

Implications of Google's Broadband Plans for Competition and Regulation -- Part 1 Modernization Consensus Series

Google's latest broadband pilot, experimenting with micro-cell (mesh) wireless broadband in its Mountain View headquarters, comes on top of Google Fiber's high-profile, commercial broadband pilot in Kansas City, that Google's CFO recently told investors was not a "hobby" but a real business opportunity.

These broadband pilots put a spotlight on Google's overall broadband plans and beg an analysis of the potential implications of Google's broadband plans for competition and regulation.

Summary of Conclusions:

  1. Securing much-faster broadband access for its users is a strategic imperative for Google.
  2. Google can offer much-faster broadband access, more widely, less expensively, and potentially more profitably, than conventional wisdom believes.
  3. Competitively Google is counting on favorable industrial policy to accelerate rollout of its broadband offering in the U.S.
  4. The more Google offers broadband access the more it will need modernization of obsolete communications laws.
  5. Potential FCC Title II regulation of broadband could be the single biggest threat to Google's ultra-fast broadband plans.

 

The Google Lobby Defines Big Internet's Policy Agenda -- Part 6 Internet as Oz Series

Google not only dominates the web, the Google Lobby also dominates Big Internet's policy agenda in Washington in part via its new proxy, the Internet Association, the self-appointed "unified voice of the Internet economy."

Since market dominance attracts antitrust scrutiny, it necessitates lobbying dominance. The FTC's antitrust investigation prompted Google to hire twelve lobbying firms in a week and to rapidly organize them and legions of law and PR firms into one of the top corporate lobbying operations influencing Washington. Tellingly, a Wall Street Journal op-ed lionized "Google's $25 Million Bargain" lobby and Politico got behind-the-scenes to explain "How Google Beat the Feds."

Top Takeaways from FTC's Google Antitrust Decisions -- Part 16 Google Unaccountability Series

Summary of Top Takeaways from the FTC's Google Antitrust Decisions:

  1. Google's U.S. search bias win establishes a broad Internet-friendly FTC antitrust enforcement precedent.
  2. Google has already lost on search bias in the EU.
  3. Those harmed by anti-competitive behavior are now much less likely to seek redress from the FTC.
  4. The FTC effectively has redefined self-regulation to include self-enforcement too, establishing a new de-facto FTC "honor system" for potential Section 5 Internet antitrust problems.
  5. The FTC's decision effectively makes the FTC Section 5 authority largely irrelevant in Internet enforcement going forward.
  6. The FTC's Standards Essential Patents consent order means Google's core reason for buying Motorola has backfired and the primary perceived benefit of the acquisition is largely nullified.
  7. Google's 2013 enforcement risk is centered in the EU on antitrust, privacy and intellectual property.

1. Google's U.S. search bias win establishes a broad Internet-friendly FTC antitrust enforcement precedent.

Don't Miss the CFIF paper: “The Constitutional and Historical Foundations of Copyright Protection.”

Kudos to the Center For Individual Freedom CFIF for its outstanding paper: "The Constitutional and Historical Foundations of Copyright Protection" authored by former Solicitor General Paul D. Clement, Viet D. Dinh, and Jeffery M. Harris, all of whom clerked for the U.S. Supreme Court.

This paper is an exceptionally lucid and particularly timely addition to the current discourse on copyright, given the recent boomlet in revisionist copyright history proffered of late by opponents of copyright specifically, and intellectual property in general, who obviously have not done their homework.

The best new fact that I learned from the  paper is that: philosopher "John Locke himself... argued in a 1694 letter to the Parliament that formal publishing rights should last for the life of the author plus seventy years."

That shows that the penultimate natural rights conservative, John Locke, would not find current copyright durations out of bounds.

 




Copyright Reform or Neutering? Depends If Baby's Thrown Out with Bathwater? -- Part 5 Defending First Principles Series

Current attempts to deem consensus around copyright legislation appear contrived and one-sided because they isolate a particular copyright problem out of context of the other countervailing problems with copyright law. TechFreedom's event this week asks: "CopyRIGHT: Can Free-Marketers Agree on Copyright Reform?"

The initial question for free marketeers will be whether the goal here is true "reform" that addresses the full range of real copyright problems for copyright holders, users, and intermediaries, or if the goal is more about a one-sided "neutering" of copyright by those who don't believe in intellectual property rights at all, and/or those who politically seek a property-less and permission-less Internet commons (i.e. the "information wants to be free" tech-left of Professor Lessig's Free Culture/CopyLeft movement and the Google-led Internet lobby.)

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths