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The New Internet Association's Back Story

Google, Amazon, eBay, and Facebook reportedly are launching a new Internet Association in mid-September to be "the unified voice of the Internet economy, representing the interests of America's leading Internet companies and their global community of users. The Internet Association is dedicated to advancing public policy solutions to strengthen and protect an open, innovative and free Internet."

What is the back story here? Why is it being formed? Why now? What unites these companies? What is the Internet Association's public policy agenda? What does its formation mean?

Why is the Internet Association being formed?

The main public policy catalyst was bipartisan anti-piracy legislation that was moving swiftly through Congress last year that Google, Amazon, eBay and Facebook all strenuously opposed and helped defeat with an unprecedented Internet blackout day in January.

Four Under-Appreciated Implications for Google from Apple-Samsung Verdict -- Part 11 of Google's Disrespect for Property Series

Apple's major $1.05b patent court victory over Google-Android partner Samsung has four under-appreciated implications for Google going forward.

  1. The purported Google-Apple settlement talks are going nowhere.
  2. Google-Apple patent talks compound antitrust risk.
  3. Google's actions, defense strategy, and IP track record drip of guilt and legal vulnerability.
  4. Google's acquisition of Motorola has backfired badly.

1.  The purported Google-Apple settlement talks are going nowhere.

Think about it. Whose interest is it to spotlight a phone conversation between Google's CEO Larry Page and Apple CEO Tim Cook and characterize the conversation as an indicator of a coming "truce" or "détente" in the thermonuclear war" between Apple and Google? Google's alone.

My Interview with Managing IP Magazine on Google Books Litigation

To learn more about the status of Google Books litigation and Google's IP problems, see my interview with Managing IP Magazine here, entitled: "Opinion: Google is waging war on IP law."

The Deceptive Politics of Piracy

In writing "Internet Pirates Will Always Win," Nick Bilton, The New York Times's technology columnist whom I read and respect, has unwisely adopted the political logic and public narrative of the piracy lobby that "information wants to be free." Unfortunately, I don't think Mr. Bilton has fully thought through the serious negative implications of his flawed logic and misplaced political support.

Mr. Bilton is not the first, and won't be the last, columnist to buy into the piracy lobby's deceptive political narrative that fighting piracy is akin to a futile game of Whac-a-mole, so content creators should just unilaterally surrender the concept of market pricing of their content going forward and offer it free to the public on the Internet or at a minimal price that Internet pirates judge is "fair." Mr. Bilton concluded: "Sooner or later, the people who still believe they can hit the moles with their slow mallets might realize that their time would be better spent playing an entirely different game."

The unspoken "different game" here is that the Internet should be more of a public information commons where everything is free of cost to access, and no permission or contract is required to do most anything on the Internet, in stark contrast to being more of an Internet marketplace where property owners of all kinds can charge for and contractually control the use of their property and individuals can assert control over how their private information is used.

FreePress Reboots! Internet Freedom is SaveTheInternet.com 2.0 and it has a twin!

Pay attention when FreePress is quiet about something it was ear-splitting loud about before. Without fanfare, FreePress apparently has mothballed its old SaveTheInternet.com agitprop campaign apparatus by redirecting www.SaveTheInternet.com to a refreshed FreePress.net site that reboots under a variety of "Internet freedom" agitprop sub-campaigns. Mandated net neutrality government regulation has now transmogrified into an "Internet freedom."

And FreePress/Public Knowledge have cloned a SaveTheInternet twin, the comic-book-inspired, "Internet Defense League," which apparently will be the new front group responsible for much of the online community organizing and stunt-staging that FreePress/SaveTheInternet became infamous for. Think of the FreePress 1.0 email list of ~500,000 activists pinging around in a social media 2.0 echo chamber, in order to defend the Internet from capitalism, profit and private property.

FreePress' "Internet freedom" reboot apparently is in the process of getting the people and organizations which signed the original oath of allegiance to SaveTheInternet, to sign the new FreePress 2.0's Declaration of Internet freedom.

Google Mocks the World

Google has no shame. This week Google sponsored a two-day summit in Los Angeles entitled: "Illicit Networks: Forces in Opposition" and trumpeted Google's leadership in combating illicit networks, with no acknowledgement of Google's own uniquely atrocious track record of illicit network activity, and even worse, with no public acceptance of responsibility or remorse for Google's illicit behavior.

There is no question that Google's professed public goals of combating "narco-trafficking, human trafficking, organ harvesting and arms dealing" are noble, needed and welcome. However, the serious problem here is Google's extreme cynicism and deceptive PR that they can burnish their global brand without having to practice what they preach.

Let's have the evidence speak for itself, because it proves that Google is its own worst enemy, in not doing what they say.

Google's Rap Sheet

Compare Google's law enforcement record here with Google's public representations below to determine for yourself if they match up.

  • "We're a law abiding company." Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, June 28, 2011, in The Daily Mail.
  • "Google respects the law. We do not steal." Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, December 16, 2011, in the French paper Libération.
  • "We have always wanted Google to be a company that is deserving of great love." Google CEO Larry Page, in his 2012 Update from the CEO.
  • Google's Corporate Credo: "Don't be evil. ...This is an important aspect of our culture and is broadly shared within the company." per Larry Page and Sergey Brin in Google's Founders IPO letter in 2004.

 

Why Google Thinks It is Above the Law

Google often acts as if it thinks it is above the law. That may be the most plausible explanation for why Google is under antitrust investigation on five continents, has had 35+ privacy scandals, and has been sued for eight different kinds of infringement/theft from most every content industry.

I. Cover-ups

Poll: Americans Not With Internet Lobby on SOPA/PIPA

A recent poll from JZ Analytics on how Americans view the problem of online piracy and online counterfeit goods – the problem that anti-piracy legislation (SOPA/PIPA) attempted to address -- indicates that Americans’ views overall are different than the several million subset of Americans that signed Google’s and other’s online petitions opposing the anti-piracy legislation as “censorship” that would “break the Internet.” The poll also indicates Americans have concerns with Google’s record and stance on piracy.

The JZ Analytics online survey of 1,001 Americans was conducted December 27-28, 2011 and has a margin of error of +/-3.2%.

I. Summary of Poll Results:

A. General Questions

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths