Orlowski Details Google’s Silencing Miss. AG

As a follow-up to my last post about Google churning the Sony hack into SOPA suds, I wanted to call attention to this detailed article by Andrew Orlowski in The Register.  In that last piece, I refrained from enumerating Google’s conflicts with the laws of several countries, including our own.  I am not an investigative journalist and don’t maintain a detailed diary of those accounts, though I certainly read about many of them.  I also refrained from speculation as to Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood’s rationale for “taking a break” in his investigation since Google has filed suit against his office; but as Orlowski points out, we should not overlook the fact that the search giant is worth more than Hood’s entire state or that the suit itself looks like a neatly-coordinated PR move.

“The innuendo this time was clear: state AGs were colluding to “break the internet” all over again. It ignited the same persecution fantasy that had fuelled [sic] the SOPA protests (“Let’s get rid of this legislation so we can start enjoying culture again,” wrote one Berkman scholar during the anti-SOPA campaign, somehow implying he couldn’t play music, go to the theatre or watch a movie).

Then, after the stories had circulated, quite coincidentally Google dug into its pockets and launched a highly unusual lawsuit against the attorney general of America’s poorest state.”

Most importantly, Orlowski emphasizes that Hood’s interest in Google hardly begins or ends with the company’s role in copyright infringement of properties belonging to Hollywood studios.

“What Hood wants to know is how Google is complying with a legally-binding settlement. And he’s curious to know whether advertisers are being skimmed – as whistleblowers have long alleged. This is certainly of interest to small businesses, typically “mom and pop” shops, that use Google’s Adsense. That’s the only area where one can argue Hood “opens up a new front” against Google – and he’s seeking more than compliance. And, given the economic interests of poor Missippians and the fact the USA is reluctant to apply fraud or consumer protection laws against Google, it’s hard to see why he shouldn’t.”

If anything, the copyright holders’ interests are among the lower priority concerns for authorities that have been investigating Google, appropriately taking a back seat to fraud, illegal drug trafficking, and human trafficking.

“Have a look how, and where, copyright figures in his 79-page Google subpoena. Just three press releases, none of which relate to copyright infringements, are on the Mississippi website. It’s the very last item on the list. It’s a sub point.”

And in case you don’t read the article, I have to quote Orlowski’s summation in which he makes the most important point:

“My puzzle is, why do intelligent progressives unthinkingly sign up to this agenda? The consequences of Google’s success in silencing Jim Hood are that corporate power cannot be restricted by one of democracy’s main mechanisms for reining it in. Google and Facebook are increasingly resembling “suprastates” to whom national – and perhaps international – law doesn’t apply. But if you think that replacing laws with a free-for-all leads to anything other than the strong crushing the weak, then I have a bridge to sell you.”

See Andrew Orlowski’s full article here.

© 2014 – 2015, David Newhoff. All rights reserved.

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107 comments

  • I meant to post this on your last article. There are a whole lot of people who are trying to legislate something they clearly know nothing about. GOOGLE does not control the internet.

    Let me ask you a question. If you linked to a story on another blog that as a source would you be liable if on another part of that blog, buried deep in the links was a list of porn sites? Torrent sites?

    I mean, you linked to them, right? You granted access from you site to theirs, correct?

    If you say yes, then are you going to check every link on every site you reference? Because that is essentially what you are suggesting Google do. That is what the “countries” you mention are up in arms about. And what you are asking, IS IMPOSSIBLE. Yup, google profits from having the best and most complete index of the internet. Yup, they use that index to mine data from people who agree to their EULA. Yup, there are bad sites on the internet. And places like FB/Google/Bing, they ACTIVELY try to not promote those things. But it is not their job or their place to police the internet.

    What people who believe such as you are suggesting is that Google police the internet, with full liability and NO actual authority to do so.

    I am sorry but the profit margins of major record/movie companies are not a good enough reason to lock down the internet. Sony was ridiculously stupid and should fire/sue every IT person they have on staff.

    All this talk about artists and creators is bull. This crusade against google is about money. There is NOTHING stopping hollywood and the entertainment industry from creating their own gated community. Except money. They don’t want to pay. They want all of the benefits with none of the risk/cost.

    No. Google/Facebook/Twitter/etc found ways to connect PEOPLE like never before. That makes any given creator less important. Because there are always more. If you really want to help IP and copyright. Get people together, build an entertainment equivalent of google and put all of your works behind a wall. Otherwise, accept that you and you alone are responsible for policing your works.

    • Except that what Hood was mostly after had nothing to do with copyright, and it turns out it was quite easy for Google to do something about it – as long as they were forced to:

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/06/10/google-youtube-rogue-online-pharmacy-ads/2409023/

    • http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/06/10/google-youtube-rogue-online-pharmacy-ads/2409023/

      Except that Hood was barely interested in infringement and more interested in illegal prescription drugs ravaging his community. And you know what? Google *could* do it, they just had to be told to.

    • If instead of IP what was being liked to was child porn the sites would be de-listed immediately as Google et al do not have immunity from prosecution for that. As far as IP is concerned they have immunity and the links are economically valuable to them.

      Be under no illusion if Google had immunity from prosecution for linking to child porn their image search search engine and would be full of them.

    • “They want all of the benefits but none of the risk / cost.” You are describing Google! You Tube got to be the profitable behemoth it is by encouraging people to upload copyrighted works to be viewed and profited from while hiding in the DMCA Safe Harbor. Court cases showed You Tube estimated 90 % of their traffic ( and revenue) was from copyrighted content and they encouraged it. Yes, that is quite a profitable business model; take work that other people invested their time and money creating, use it for your profit against their will, pay no compensation, and pay off politicians and fund hysteria propaganda to allow you to keep getting away with it. Yeah, that’s Google! Then Google Search also loves to point people to sites to get pirated works because it is so profitable – and they can get away with it. Yeah – great model – benefits and no costs!

      You are claiming this is not harming artists and creators? It amazes me how people can deny the obvious on this. I suggest you read “Free Ride” by Robert Levine where he provides a multitude of statistics showing how all forms of creators lost massive amounts of money and jobs as slimy operations like Google found “innovative” ways to steal revenue from creators.

      This is not just about the profit margins are big record and movie companies. In fact, the biggest losers were the small independent creators who have absolutely no clout to fight for their rights.

      “Lock Down The Internet??”” That kind of hysteria works great to mobilize the mob of spoiled kids who got use to getting unlimited free entertainment but it has no place among rational people. A basic fact that parasites like Google love to ignore is that there is no such thing as unlimited freedom. Unlimited freedom leads to a situation where mobs and the well to do trample on the rights of minorities and the weak. That is what the wild west was. Settlers and gold miners were killed regularly – whenever someone with a bigger gun came and wanted what someone else already had. That is why both settlers and miners formed tribunals that created laws that gave people rights – before state and governments were able to create the same such laws.

      • Its no longer creators that are getting screwed by these tech companies. They are profiling your life and selling it on. They create cancer support websites and sell on the details of users to insurance companies.

        They profit from sale of abortion drugs to women without prescription – now I’m pro-right to chose, but I also believe that there ought to be medical supervision, otherwise we are back to the bad old days.

        They profit from human trafficking and prostitution.

        Last week Uber were gouging customers in Australia:
        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/12/23/uber_apologises_for_sydney_siege_surge/

        Oh they are sorry now, but at the time it was just normal business.


        They have been inserting little memes in everybody’s mind
        So Google’s shills can shriek there whenever they’re inclined

      • And even into the late 19th century mining companies used “detective agencies” (basically hired goons) to intimidate unions.

        I’m really starting to think we need more real community organization – unions, etc -rather than just clicktivism.

      • Or do you think that people should be forced to provide you with books, music, films, games, music?

        Hmm, might as well go there again…

        I really can’t sit in front a TV for more then a few minutes without being massively bored. It’s a struggle. I don’t know how people do it for hours.

        Imagine if the many billions of dollars of economic activity that goes into making film or music went into NASA or medical research instead? I’d be interested in a world without the billions of $$$ going to music, films, games and TV.

        I don’t believe in absence of these kind of “culture”, people will just sit around and collectively stare at the ceiling while drooling. They’d spend more time with their families, more time with productive pursuits. Build spaceships?

        So to answer your question: No. 🙂

    • I’m sorry to be entirely dismissive, but what you’re saying is simply untrue and is a position entirely unacceptable when applied to any other industry anywhere. Feel free to applaud the positive aspects of networked society, and I’ll probably agree with you, but not to extent that I’m giving any corporation a pass on profiting from criminal and negligent behavior. You think the half-billion dollar fine Google paid was over our desire to have it “police the Internet” That’s just believing what you want to believe, which is certainly your right but not remotely rational.

    • GOOGLE does not control the internet.

      Personally, I find their obsession with Google ominously hilarious. Let them police and regulate Google all they want. Sure it sucks for Google. But their powerful foreign competitors like Baidu are unburdened by a powerful liberal arts intelligentsia or respect for copyright law.

      • Baidu are unburdened by a powerful liberal arts intelligentsia

        I think that they’d object to you labeling them as unconcerned about education.

      • I think that they’d object to you labeling them as unconcerned about education.

        They care about making a buck and they are getting very good at it.

      • In the next few years there will be 195 million University graduates in China. Chinese IP increase at a pace, and just like other emerging advanced economies IP protection is becoming of increasing concern to the Government. It is inconceivable that China will agree to remain a peasant economy or a slave worker economy for Western Corporate Capitalism.

      • In the next few years there will be 195 million University graduates in China. Chinese IP increase at a pace, and just like other emerging advanced economies IP protection is becoming of increasing concern to the Government.

        Except that China’s economy and especially their tech sector is growing at a breakneck speed as it currently operates. Why bother with “strong IP protections” when they can take technology and copyrighted works from foreign entities and simply reuse and resell them without any of the costs associated with development?

      • And really that’s not even the point. The point is your obsessions with Google (or “Scroogle”, whatever) is idiotic. As AV mentioned, Google don’t control the Internet, in fact there are many companies (not just Baidu, but IMO they are in the best position to threaten Google) that compete with Google directly sitting there patiently waiting for Google to stop giving people what they want. I don’t know of any popular Internet companies that share your sensibilities, and some of which are born in a society that itself doesn’t even come close to sharing your sensibilities.

      • I have no idea what you mean by ‘tech’ industry. If you mean content delivery systems, then those require content to be sustainable.

        Currently 7% of content, music, film. books, software are non-pirated. One cannot build content industries where 93% of the product is stolen. And indeed Chinese native content production is piss poor, the majority are accessing Hollywood films. The result being that the Chinese government restricts import of foreign content.

      • Baidu as with Google requires content. So I’ll ask you as with Anon, which internet do you prefer?
        http://illusionofmore.com/copyright-industries-top-1-trillion/#comment-9389

        Or do you think that people should be forced to provide you with books, music, films, games, music? Though I suppose you can all go back to steering a penguin down a slippery slope:
        http://www.squakenet.com/download/tux-racer/6063/

      • m says “As AV mentioned, Google don’t control the Internet..”

        and as I said, you obviously don’t have a clue what the article was about either…
        what Hood was after was compliance to Scroogle’s non-prosecution agreement. If you need that explained, that means Google paid a half billion dollars to not go to jail. The top executives all the way up were implicated in a criminal case, that had zero to do with copyright. That you insist on ignoring that basic fact is grounds for me to discontinue further discussion with you as along with your previous coments (see “f**k artists”) you have proven yourself to be nothing but a troll. Please do not respond to me.. go annoy some other group of people (I’m sure you won’t even have to try..)

      • John,

        Currently 7% of content, music, film. books, software are non-pirated.

        God bless those suckers. Here is the thing, and I’ve mentioned this again and again and again: you will get no where with these morality/”big picture” arguments. The Holy Book has no problem stretching morality to permit killing and enslaving entire ethic groups (god bless!). There is no problem moralizing the righteousness of taking money away from the professional cadre of mind manipulators. If you want to save the artsy industries, you’ll have to find a different approach. You know what they say, be creative!

      • Or do you think that people should be forced to provide you with books, music, films, games, music?

        Hmm, might as well go there again…

        I really can’t sit in front a TV for more then a few minutes without being massively bored. It’s a struggle. I don’t know how people do it for hours.

        Imagine if the many billions of dollars of economic activity that goes into making film or music went into NASA or medical research instead? I’d be interested in a world without the billions of $$$ going to music, films, games and TV.

        I don’t believe in absence of these kind of “culture”, people will just sit around and collectively stare at the ceiling while drooling. They’d spend more time with their families, more time with productive pursuits. Build spaceships?

        So to answer your question: No. 🙂

      • It would be interesting to have some kind of “entertainment tax” on music, film and games. Let’s say an additional 35% sales tax on movie tickets, albums/digital downloads, DVDs, video game sales, etc. that goes towards productive pursuits for humanity, like funding space exploration and what not.

      • Oh poor deluded fool. Mammon is everything. The Chinese government won’t stand for theft from business, especially when the cadres are the recipients of the profits and dividends.

        In China the Death penalty is frequently used for theft especially of the accused is a recidivist, or when it is deemed politically expedient. The question is purely when China considers it to be in their economic interest to deter IP theft. Currently, there are problems with the 4th shift economy (counterfeits) deterring investment in the country. On some industrial sites they are so paranoid that any data recoding device is not allowed on site. Including CD cards and pen drives.

      • The question is purely when China considers it to be in their economic interest to deter IP theft.

        They don’t. Next question?

      • Actually John,

        China doesn’t have any problem copying something from a foreign country, putting a patent/copyright of their own on it, and forcing that company that originally invented/create it to pay them licensing fees for their own invention. So in that sense, China supports IP rights. 🙂

      • Build spaceships?

        Or brew moonshine. So no Azimov, no Arthur C Clarke, and no Sagan with music.

      • John,

        Fair enough. But we all know the background music to Cosmos or whatever is not what people give a shit about, it’s not the money maker and never will be, piracy or not.

        It’s the Taylor Swifts, the Justin Beiber. The revenue of the music industry has made pop stars very wealthy, they are all worth tens of millions of dollars personally and made even more for their record labels. I can’t see this any way except being dirty money. It’s not quite drug money, but it’s money made by promoting social idiocy. These kind of thing should at least be taxed significantly.

      • China doesn’t have any problem copying something from a foreign country

        Dream, dreamer …
        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/01/24/china_piracy_crackdown_arrests/

      • John,

        The government periodically releases such stats to show how serious it is about cracking down on intellectual property abuse, although there’s little way of independently verifying them.

        pfft..

        which saw over 240,000 fake electrical items confiscated.

        http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1998-07-11/

      • Well there was one site I monitored of and on, that hosted cracks of software. This site went offline for about 3 months this year. Came back a few weeks ago, all the cracks and discussions about cracks have gone, and none of the old admins are about.

      • It’s the Taylor Swifts, the Justin Beiber. The revenue of the music industry has made pop stars very wealthy, they are all worth tens of millions of dollars personally and made even more for their record labels.

        Not so. Your claim is equivalent to saying that the banking Industry has made ALL of its employees millionaires pointing at the typists, janitors, and tellers. Or that ALL authors are rolling in cash pointing at Stephen King and J.K. Rowling. And so on …

        Also if we go back to Sagan, outside of the background music, most of that series was illusion, computer graphics, and visual effects. Very little was real. He didn’t sit in a studio and talk directly to camera.

      • M:
        I can assure you that without the FX and music Cosmos would have gotten about three viewers.

        And without music and art, quite a few scientists would be a lot less inspired:

        http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/31/science/31essa.html?_r=0

      • M is here to illicit a response… to get a reaction, nothing more.

      • Not so. Your claim is equivalent to saying that the banking Industry has made ALL of its employees millionaires pointing at the typists, janitors, and tellers. Or that ALL authors are rolling in cash pointing at Stephen King and J.K. Rowling. And so on …

        Why is it always the stupid content that rakes in the big bucks?


        Also if we go back to Sagan, outside of the background music, most of that series was illusion, computer graphics, and visual effects. Very little was real. He didn’t sit in a studio and talk directly to camera.

        The story for Cosmos didn’t come from artist’s imagination. In fact, that was a big theme of [both] series: Imagination is not enough to understand reality.

      • The incentive we have is entirely to create something people want instead of what has real value. This by it’s nature, favors manipulation over truth, since the end goal is to get people to want something, not to expose any real truths. This incentive structure doesn’t just create trite garbage, it encourages the creation thereof.

        Copyright itself is core in this, because it’s a mindless system that literally puts truth and garbage at the same level of legal protection. The only variable leading to profit is how much you can manipulate people into participating.

      • m,
        History has shown that scientific persuits usually end in better weaponry… more efficient killing machinery. Are you sure you want more scientists?
        “space exploration” is a lofty goal, and sounds fun to send other people out there and was fun to watch on star trek (I doubt when it came down to it you would volunteer yourself…) but ultimately just as pointless as every other endeavor done by man. The universe will end, and along with it man (that is if science hasn’t killed us loooong before that time).
        Happy New year, m, may your next year be just as pointless as the last. cheers

      • Thank you for your input.

  • Scroogle is counting on an uninformed public that don’t look beyond the google press release (see: angryvillager). This isn’t about IP, this is about non-prosecution compliance to their buying the top brass out of prison sentences for a half-billion of stockholders money for actively selling drugs to kids. That there is a footnote about IP in the seventy-some-odd page document allows the sheeple who suckle from the google teets to get their boner rubbed about sopa again is what scroogle is counting on: blind alliance, dumb public.

  • As usual AV is on it. He is one negative cat. When David writes something of intrinsic truth, AV is there to pick the bones clean. His posts are long and tedious, and full of meandering “logic” that eats itself. Truth suffers from too much analysis. But I digress . . .

    Google sends me checks every quarter—my RightsFlow/Google payments for my compositions on YouTube and Google Sites. The last one was for .06 cents. That’s the most money I’ve gotten from them. See http://www.jessicawilliams.com/why.html

    As David says, everyone has a right to believe what they want, whether there’s truth in it or not. But in this case, AudioNomic’s “Scroogle” is a great holiday handle for a morally bankrupt culture of indifference and violation for smarmy profit. Google schmoogle.

  • Sigh… GOOGLE DOES NOT CONTROL THE INTERNET. What people are willing and able to attribute to a company like Google, and what they are actually capable of are two completely separate things. Lot’s of really big companies, pay lots of money dismissing frivolous or pointless law suits all the time. That does not make them any more or less credible. It simply means it was easier and some lawyer decided how to proceed.

    Mrs. Williams, for as much as you seem to know about music, you are lacking in even the most basic of understanding when it comes to how the internet actually works. You got .06 cents because no one is listening to your music. You got a raw deal because no one is promoting your work. If any of these people really cared about your plight they would be working to correct that issue, not complaining about youTube and Google.

    “If anything, the copyright holders’ interests are among the lower priority concerns for authorities that have been investigating Google, appropriately taking a back seat to fraud, illegal drug trafficking, and human trafficking.”

    That right there, shows that lawmakers seem to understand how these things work even less than most of you. Again. If you post a link to a site, that links to a site, that links to a site that has something illegal. ARE YOU LIABLE? Multiply that by BILLIONS of links. Google can only track/profit from the links/sites that are tagged to do so. Yes they can and DO try to filter out unwarranted content. But for them to actually control EVERY link on EVERY site would be impossible. The way they track stuff is actually kind of simple, just some code on a page, code that anyone can put on their page.

    It is against their policy to post copyright material on youTube, they go after it all the time. They also can’t track EVERY single minute of video. Which is why it is so easy to report such things.

    You people seem to think the internet is static. That blocking site A with copyrighted material all of the sudden eliminates that material from the web. Or that Google taking down a link removes a site from existence. Again, you seriously don’t understand how the whole thing works. You are complaining about something that ultimately has little to do with the actual problem of copyright infringement.

    “Scroogle is counting on an uninformed public that don’t look beyond the google press release (see: angryvillager).”

    LOL. I have been in this industry for 15 years. You have no idea what you are talking about. I on the other hand have actually built web pages, built tracking code, set up page analytics, and just about anything else connected with the web and web development. Google does in fact mine your data. Something anyone who uses their service agrees to via the EULA. They do in fact track EVERYTHING you do while logged in. They also monitor youTube for copyright infringement. They force people to take things down all the time. They also have 6 BILLION hours of video being watched every month. To claim they are actively ignoring the plight of content creators is just silly. Yeah they profit from piracy, the same way a gun manufacturer profits from a bank robbery, indirectly and without any recourse or liability AFTER the fact.

    • “To claim they are actively ignoring the plight of content creators is just silly. Yeah they profit from piracy, the same way a gun manufacturer profits from a bank robbery, indirectly and without any recourse or liability AFTER the fact.”

      You sure you *really* want to go with that analogy?
      While legally true that gun manufacturers have no liability. most sane people would agree that gun manufacturers ignore the plight of the victims of their products…

      • Because they did not manufacture the product with the intent of victimization. They are no more liable than Chevy is when a drunk driver runs over a pedestrian in a Camaro…

    • theangryvillager,

      I think they hate the Internet itself. They just rage against this single Internet company very often because they are the biggest Internet company, not because they are the worst at compliance or something.

      All the problems they have amount to controlling the flow of information, and the difficulty of that on the Internet boils down to the low barriers of entry to publishing and sharing information on it. If the Internet worked like cable TV, none of this would be a problem. That’s really what they want.

      • Nope, M, I actually quite enjoy the Internet, much as I enjoy the telephone system and highways. However, without some regulation all of these things will be prone to abuse.

      • monkey,

        What regulation?

      • M: that’s for smarter minds than me to decide. I think most people would agree that not encouraging prescription mill pharmacies is a good place to start.

        But in general the idea that the internet can be the Wild West forever is not sustainable.

      • M: that’s for smarter minds than me to decide.

        But in general the idea that the internet can be the Wild West forever is not sustainable.

        Well the Internet has been around for awhile now, decades even, so what is the hold up?

      • If it is truly so hard to deal with pervasive 30+ year old technology, consider that technology that almost certainly will exist in the near and far future will only serve to make regulation more difficult. The means of production itself is posed to become decentralized. How are you going to regulate a drug industry when people may soon be able to produce drugs of great complexity in their own homes? Indeed, even biochemistry itself advances, so surely the psychoactive drugs of the next decade will make a mockery of what is available in the present.

        The regulators are entirely dysfunctional – we operate in a society that it is now acceptable to partake in outright bribery under the term “lobbying”. Over the course of many years, this has resulted in many governments that have become literally lead by severely incompetent “minds”, and people who have no capability or interest in solving any long term issues. Even the simple ones.

      • M: and the lobbying is done by both sides, even more so by Google.

      • Yes, M, there is outright bribery disguised as “lobbying.” And Big Tech does it better than anyone else.

  • They may not be liable, but let’s be serious here: gun manufacturers (not to mention makers of bullets designed to pierce armor) are selling a product with one single purchase – to kill or injure living things. In the case of handguns, their sole purpose is to kill or injure human beings.

    So again, maybe not a great analogy if you’re trying to elicit sympathy for Google.

  • sigh… apparently m and A.V. still don’t have a clue about what this article was about, as they are incapable of reading past headlines. Here, ill make it easy for you: a link to the pdf of their criminal proceding http://musictechpolicy.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/google-agreement.pdf
    THIS CASE IS ABOUT DRUGS.. NOT IP OR “CONTROLLING THE INTERNET”… hello?

    • And again, you apparently don’t know how the internet works. The government and people like you are trying to make Google police the internet. So rather than go after the infringing companies, or the people who were seeking out drugs, they are going after what is equivalent to the billboard manufacturer who puts up a sign on the border of Canada and America that can be seen from both sides. And is this really about Google profiting from ads? No it is about US pharmacies not wanting the extra competition. Ignoring the FACT that the US does not own the internet and foreign companies are free to do what they please.

      A witch hunt almost certainly funded by lobbyists. Stop talking about things you know nothing about. Stick to copyright, as going down this road only makes you look foolish.

      • omg please…
        I know how the internet works buddy, you’re the who looks foolish here.
        This was about seven seperate sting operations. this wasnt about US pharma, but US LAW. athis wasn’t abou indexing, this was about AdSense.
        I know you get offended when internet companies have to oblige the law of the nation they are based in /operate, but that is the social contract businesses must live under if they want the benefits of the same. You can’t start selling nukes on the internet and claim immunity “because my computer is connected to other computers”….

        This is about compliance to a non-procesecution agreement between Google and the government. of which the top brass at google were actively and repeatedly courting fly-by-night pharma sites of which the google brass told these sting operations step by step instructions on how to get around “having a license” to sell prescription drugs. Basically heroin to kids, as oxy is essentially heroin. They paid their way out of PRISON (with stockholders money, see stockholder lawsuit) with a half-billion dollar settlement… the settlement had terms, like… I dunno, they stop doing that……

      • Did Google sell drugs? Or did they sell ads? The fact that you and the government wants them to play internet police is irrelevant. I am fully aware of why they were prosecuted, and why they paid. So while you may say this is about a company breaking the law for profit. I, and a lot of others believe it is about the law being written and manipulated on the fly to exert control over a private company.

        No one is forced to use Google. Did the government prosecute the shipping companies as well? The credit card companies? By your definition they are just as culpable. Is that the world you want? Your CC company and your shipping company checking every transaction you make?

        Google is a middle man.

      • AV, if that is your view and the view of others, you all need a serious time out. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about Google or any other entity or individual. If you knowingly profit from criminal activity that is a crime. That’s not a new kind of law written just to screw with Internet companies. I’m sorry, but the basis of your argument is so depraved that it defies human reason. If a guy stands outside a brothel full of trafficked sex workers and sells coffee and doughnuts because he knows the brothel is drawing a crowd of johns, he’s a depraved sociopathic leech, who deserves prison as the very least of all possible punishments. That’s what Google is guilty of. Your analogy suggests that you think the cab driver who drove the john to the brothel ought to be just as guilty, which is preposterous. But if an AG could prove that a conspiracy of cabbies were getting a bump by acting as first-line pimps to the brothel, then yeah, the cab company could be prosecuted.

      • “If a guy stands outside a brothel full of trafficked sex workers and sells coffee and doughnuts because he knows the brothel is drawing a crowd of johns, he’s a depraved sociopathic leech, who deserves prison as the very least of all possible punishments.”

        That is an opinion. Not a fact of law. As with Google, his responsibility would begin and end with cooperating with law enforcement. You make the assumption in both cases that they are directly supporting criminal activity. As stated before, you are mistaken.

        He is profiting from traffic, not the sex trade. You assume he is complicit with sex trafficking. The analogy is silly anyway. Google is an international company. They do business with companies from other nations. They are selling ads, not drugs. In Canada, the companies in question as I understand it were not doing anything illegal.

        The point? You assume our laws create truth. That our pharma companies are better and therefore safer. That google is akin to a drug dealer for selling ads to a company that is not actually doing anything deemed illegal.

        So a better analogy would be a brothel located on the border of USA and Canada. with the walkway being in the US. And a guy standing there selling doughnuts and coffee. Is HE breaking the law? No. He isn’t.

        Now suppose the sex trade on the other end IS illegal. But he knows that prostitution is OK. You are suggesting it is his fault for not checking into the business he stands in front of. Or in Googles case, for not staying away from any company that does something outside the law of the US. Which is silly considering how many US companies operate outside the law.

        Bottom line. You want to make them culpable for shit you don’t agree with to further your agenda. Same with the FEDS and big pharma. The “criminals” in that case are the people who bought and sold drugs across the border. Not the guy who sold an ad, printed a stamp, or delivered that shit to someones door.

      • No, it’s not an opinion, and you’re wrong about the charges against Google. It’s about knowingly profiting from illegal activity. If the state can prove you know about a crime and that you in anyway get in on the action, you can be charged with a crime. The way in which the analogy is “silly” is that it doesn’t account for Google’s role in helping to promote illegal trafficking.

        If your guy in the US purposely set up his business in order to profit from the slave-supportedd brothel in Canada, he is guilty of criminal activity inside the United States. Remember, I wasn’t even comparing two states where prostitution is legal or illegal. I purposely added the sex slave attribute to make the brothel universally illegal in any state other than psychotic medieval nations.

        This isn’t about big pharma. I bet I’m a bigger critic of them than you’ll ever be, having met more than a few pharma execs in my life. This is about corporations being liable for their actions, even in the murky, bullshit, ethically vague universe of cyberspace.

      • The problem is that they have outgrown the rock they live under. You might allow a Diplopoda space in the rockery, but when it starts demanding free-rent on Mount Rushmore you know things have gone too far.

      • AV, the fact you claim “witch hunt funded by lobbyists” indicates that you are sticking your head in the sand on this one. It’s a matter of record that Google is the fifth largest spender in the country on lobbying — not the Internet industry, just Google. So, if you’re looking to follow any money that may be buying justice, you’re looking at the wrong money and in the wrong direction. As you say, Google does not own the Internet, and this is technically true although it is functionally less true. But the point is that based on your own premise, you cannot reasonably act as though holding Google accountable for potential wrongdoing is an attack on the Internet itself. You’re contradicting your own position.

      • Did Google create child porn? Did Google sell illegal drugs? Did Google take copyrighted material and sell it as their own?

        No. If you see an ad for an escort in the local paper is that paper in the prostitution business? Nope. No matter how much money they make from those ads, they are not responsible for what the people who call the numbers or post the ads do. In the case of Google and other large internet companies, that is what you and the idiots in our legislation would like them to do, but that is not actually their responsibility.

        Why? Because if you make them responsible, then you give them control, even more control over what is and isn’t “allowed”. At some point, the power of personal choice(which we all have right now, and is more powerful than any large company), goes away. And you have the governments of the world controlling what is and is not acceptable, treating people like criminals as opposed to actually going after the criminal.

        Google should have been forced to hand over information. That’s it. That is their responsibility. You do not want companies like google being forced to play internet police. Trust me that is not good for anyone.

      • Then you are unfamiliar with the details of the sting operation. And if it were that simple, Google would not have settled for a half billion dollars. Their lawyers are better than that. And your conspiracy-minded governments of the world telling people what to do bullshit bores me. It is a tedious drone coming from people who haven’t got a clue what government actually does, which is precisely why there are so many unqualified nut jobs in our own. Government is you and me. Google is not. Neither is the Internet.

      • LOL, that is ridiculous. The government is a bureaucracy. That bureaucracy runs on money. Most laws are designed to facilitate that money coming in to keep said bureaucracy rolling. There is no conspiracy, no tin foil hat. That is simply how politics and government works.

        The people SHOULD hold the power, they don’t. They choose to pass it off on whomever looks the best on TV. Don’t talk to me about not having a clue. You are the one who thinks people like Jessica Williams is broke because of freaking iTunes….

        I have tried to be reasonable with all of you. Tried to offer real ideas to actually help people who are having trouble adapting. All you do is spout nonsense about things you know nothing about.

        What is it exactly you do? You are not an artist, and you don’t work in the tech industry, other than complain about big companies profiting from providing services that lots of people seem to want, what exactly do you do?

      • When I used robots.txt file to exclude webcrawlers from parts of my site the crawlers that were still to be found months later crawling the pages in the server logs were all from Google IP addresses. The only way to stop them was to IP block ban every Google IP range in the htaccess file. Of course that meant keeping up with the ranges they were using.

        Google may not own the internet but they behave like they do.

      • No they don’t. Did they crawl your page or index it? Where those pages linked to from other pages on your site? Yeah it is a pain in the ass to go invisible, but you do have the capability and the option of doing so.

        The internet, like it or not is a public space. If you don’t want to be part of it, don’t put up a site. There should be and are laws against taking your content and selling it for profit.

        As in the real world, there is no law saying people have to avoid looking at you.

        Now, I will agree, we should be made fully aware of how and where our data is being used, and we should be given the option of profiting from our own meta-data.

        In that respect all large companies are shady. But for the most part I use third party tools to block adverts and other schemes that manipulate my preferences for profit.

        But as repeatedly stated. Google is a middleman. No one is forced to used it. And even if you block them from indexing your site, or whatever. There are hundred if not thousands of other places where that data would be available. To go after google in any capacity has nothing to do with protecting people from illegal anything, and everything to do with making sure the largest companies fall in line with your policies.

        So when you guys talk about the government prosecuting google as some kind of win, you prove, over and over again, that you do not understand the internet or anything that has to do with how and where your information is available.

      • Billboards are regulated….

      • And so is google. If someone posts an add for a self help seminar on a billboard and steals money from the attendees, no one goes after the sign company, do they?

      • David Newhoff,

        How big is Big Pharma’s collective lobbying though? A lot of this is making it sound like Google is trying to sell cocaine or something, but I don’t this is the case.

        It’s not really about public health here, they don’t want people buying drugs from Canadian pharmacies because Canada’s government actively works to make drugs cheaper in their country, while in the US the drug companies are under little pressure to charge less. These people are buying drugs from Canada because they can’t afford them in America.

        I thought you weren’t a huge fan of Big Pharma anyway, is this a “enemy of my enemy is my friend” sort of deal?

      • It is a “i will pick the “facts” that suite my argument” sort of deal. As is always the case.

      • we still at this point have no indication that you know what the conversation is about…

        Definition of a troll:
        a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community …
        … with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)

      • You want to criminalize google. You do not understand why this makes no sense. The government wants to do the same, they have been proven to also not understand why this makes no sense.

        You are all essentially taking anything you THINK points a finger at google and using it to bolster your points in regard to the criminality of large tech companies.

        You do not in fact know what you are talking about. Literally you have no idea. It’s that simple.

        It would be like me saying taylor swift is only famous because she is blonde. Which is true. She is blonde. But I would be ignoring a multitude of factors that go into making her the artist that she is.

        Google is not “evil” because people use their services for bad things. They do in fact actively work against such things. They are not criminal, because our government wants to control how people get medicine. Again, you THINK that is a good thing. I think people should be able to decide for themselves.

        The argument is always the same. You think more control is the answer, be it copyright, drugs, whatever. You are wrong. Plain and simple.

      • It’s not really about public health here, they don’t want people buying drugs from Canadian pharmacies because Canada’s government actively works to make drugs cheaper in their country

        The drugs that the Federal government used in their sting were anabolic-steroids, RU-486 (early abortion pill), and Human Growth hormones. No prescription needed.
        http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/02/01/david-whitaker-google-sting_n_1247837.html

        These aren’t cheaper pills that your average doctor prescribes that you can’t afford. Google weren’t interested in the ethics of any of those and their employees advised on how to best advertize.

      • This is not about ethics. Very little of what large companies do is ethical. This is about accountability. Googles responsibility ends at providing the information as to who was advertising and who(that was traceable) clicked the ad.

        So unless they refused to so that. The whole thing was a bunch of horse shit.

      • The internet, like it or not is a public space. If you don’t want to be part of it, don’t put up a site.

        I can go into any public space and the denizens there are not permitted to go rifling through my pockets, nor into my bag even if don’t have it locked tight shut. The view that anything placed on a site connected to the internet is fair game for rummaging through is offensive.

      • It seems to me that the Internet is said to be public space when it serves one argument and then private space when it serves another. Public space has rules (far more than cyberspace), and private space has certain liberties granted to that sovereignty but still within the larger rules of society. You may worship any religion you like in your own home, but you may not commit ritual sacrifice in this country because that defiles other laws we feel are more important that your right of worship. And yes that is based on our definition of what is ethical, and I don’t consider that totalitarian, I consider it enlightened.

        And I must say, Angry Villager, that your choice to post anonymously is a refutation of your claim that the Internet is public space because public spaces do not allow anonymity. If a guy stands on a street corner and calls women sluts because he doesn’t like their politics, he cannot hide behind an avatar while doing it. Pity the same can’t be said for Twitter, which is a privately held entity utilizing a semi-public communications network that operates according to the laws and norms of real states around the world. This whole “Internet is a public space” notion sounds very nice; but it isn’t actually true, and I find it interesting that so many who claim to fight for the sanctity of the “open, free, and public” Internet seem to do so from the shadows.

      • Um, but they can take your picture(something that annoys me). They can take down your license plate. Take your description, make note of what you buy, who you are with, how long you stayed somewhere. Pretty much collect any observable data.

        And if you leave your bag unattended. People can most certainly go through your stuff, and they have NO obligation to return it to you.

        Again, you don’t know what you are talking about. You are confusing your PERSONAL space, with a public space. No Google can not just go through your files on YOUR computer, but when you put those files online, and you create a link to them, guess what, that is not PRIVATE space.

        I find your ignorance of even the most basic concepts on this subject, while acting as if you are some kind of expert offensive.

      • Putting something on a website does not make it public. Bloody fools that have bought into the internet/public-space bullshit might think so, but placing information in a file on some computer does not make it public. Lets look at Google on robots.txt

        disallow

        The disallow directive specifies paths that must not be accessed by the designated crawlers. When no path is specified, the directive is ignored.

        the issue is that Google do not obey the disallow they may or may not index the pages found there (see below) but the most certainly crawl them.

        Who knows how they got to the pages? They certainly weren’t linked on the site in question, Maybe they were scanning links in the kids emails. Whatever, and even after I’d put a htpasswd file in place they were still appearing in the error logs. Persistent little fuckers they are.

        Also the disallow doesn’t stop them from indexing the site either.

        # Google Image
        User-agent: Googlebot-Image
        Disallow: /

        Doesn’t stop them putting images into GIS, because despite the direct they crawl the site for images and index them anyway. The only way you can stop the indexing is to add a meta-tag to every page.

        Yet the lying little creeps will tell courts, politicains, and fleas on the sewer rats that if you don’t want pages crawled or indexed to use robots.txt.

      • The internet is a public space. If you put something on an external server and allow access to it, that is in fact public.

        robots.txt is a voluntary filter mechanism. The only real way to secure YOUR stuff if for YOU to secure it. No one is under any obligation to ignore things you are not savvy enough to protect.(Just like leaving your bag on a park bench)

        If something is still accessable, then you have failed in your security measures. OR more likely, your stuff was indexed by some other site and that is in tern indexed and found and whatever…

        Bottom line. It’s not their job to police your stuff. Don’t want images online? Don’t put them there. Don’t want them available to the public or Google? Put them in a database and serve them out upon legitimate request.

      • No one is under any obligation to ignore things you are not savvy enough to protect.(Just like leaving your bag on a park bench)

        Then why do we have a large body of theft laws? Why do we have a large body of trespass laws?

      • Both imply someone has taken something from you. If I make a note that you have 10 bushes in your yard, that is not the same thing as me coming to your yard and taking one of them. I am indexing the topiary on your property. If you have a wall around your property and I climb the fence to take my inventory, then I would be trespassing. However if you have a fence, and I can see the stuff from the street, that is not trespassing or stealing.

        By its most basic definition, trespassing implies interference. The point being. If you have a web page, that is publicly accessible, as in you could make a link to it, then indexing that page is not trespassing. There are a multitude of methods for putting content behind a wall. That is the content providers responsibility, just like it would be yours in real life.

        Yes I AGREE online privacy and ownership claims are VERY important. Yes I AGREE companies should not profit DIRECTLY from illegal activity. Yes I AGREE way too much information is being shared online.

        However, the best defense against ANY of that starts with the user, the content creator and or law enforcement.

        the US does not own the internet. All over the world companies do illegal things on line. PEOPLE do illegal things on line. There is no wall that stops you or I from seeking these things out. And while Google is the largest search provider, IN THE WEST. China has a company that is on par with Google and you have not mentioned it once. And the Chinese steal more IP and content than anyone. That’s a fact. They have a whole industry built on knock offs.

        So saying that Google is the problem shows naivity and an unwillingness to place responsibility in the hands of the user. THAT is bad for everyone. The more you expect the government, or some company to police YOUR information/content, the more control you give to those entities.

        If you don’t want me taking pics of your house IRL, put up a wall. If you don’t want me indexing your content on line PUT UP A WALL… robots.txt is LITERALLY equivalent to a “No Trespassing” sign, it is a request, not a barrier.

      • China has a company that is on par with Google and you have not mentioned it once.

        We’ll get around to dealing with them later. One bunch of arseholes at a time.

        And the Chinese steal more IP and content than anyone. That’s a fact.

        I have other ways of dealing with that.

        http://illusionofmore.com/orlowski-details-google-silence-ag/#comment-9534

        I just need to work out where to send the $0.65 to.

        As for the rest. There are no laws against posting dressed images of kids and then discussing what you’d like to do with them sexually if only they were a few years older. There is a lot of money for sites that are prepared to host that sort of thing. Conde Nast made a nice little pile out of the jailbait and similar subreddits, until people started noticing calling out Conde Nast and when their administrator Violentacrez was unmasked, the one that had brought them all the traffic, they let him take the fall:
        http://gawker.com/5950981/unmasking-reddits-violentacrez-the-biggest-troll-on-the-web

        interesting side story before being a reddit creep (are there any non-creeps there?) the guy used to make a living by scanning police channels and passing potential news stories to local papers. Then he started web2’ing them, and then suddenly found out no one wanted his services any more.

        Anyway so much for Conde Nast.

        A similar thing happens on flickr. People follow women around malls photographing them from behind, using a telephoto lens to zoom in on their breasts, or wait in parking lots for women to bend over to place kids and groceries in the car. Images get uploaded to flickr for prurient discussions. Some specialize in public pools, beaches, and swim meets. Where the focus of attention is the groin area of kids and teens. None of it is illegal, as you say if you and your kids don’t want to be photographed stay indoors. Stay away from malls, parking lots, beaches, and pools.

        The difference here is that flickr won’t tolerate the behavior. Regardless of if such imagery is legal or not, if it gets reported to flickr the account is gone. Earlier this week I reported an account with over 20,000 voyeuristic images of women and kids. 24 hrs later and the account was toast.

        Irrespective of the boundaries of law there are behaviors that a decent society does not want to encourage, snooping through peoples unlocked briefcase, and files are pretty much equivalent to not taking prurient photos.

        We accept that there are thieves and perverts in our midst, but fucked if we’ll accept that multinational corporations should be providing them with hideouts, and commercializing the relationship.

      • So what you are saying is that your original argument was nonsense as stated so now you want to change the topic to suite your agenda.

        You are comparing apples and oranges, AGAIN, because you don’t actually know what you are talking about.

        Google is not akin to Flikr, or Reddit and in BOTH instances it was a USER that reported the problem. When people do the EXACT same thing to Google, guess what, they react in the exact same manner. Sometimes they do it preemptively via the content matching algorithm on youTube. I had to verify my own damn music on MY channel.

        For what you stated to be even REMOTELY relevant, Flickr and Reddit would have had to have been actively seeking out people doing unsavory things. They do not. They respond, which is the extent of their responsibility in the matter. JUST LIKE GOOGLE…

        You know what you think should happen, you don’t actually know anything about how the system works. So I suggest you let it go.

      • John Warr said: “Earlier this week I reported an account with over 20,000 voyeuristic images of women and kids. 24 hrs later and the account was toast.”

        Ah, so you’re the one who got me banned!

        To AV: If you’re saying google has no control over its product, wouldn’t that make their product defective by definition?
        Not to mention the fact ,again, we’re not talking about their search/indexing business in this case, but actual humans…and their direct actions…

      • No, I am saying that they are not responsible for the internet. Any more than a car dealer is responsible for how you drive a car once it is off the lot OR a billboard maker is responsible for what actually happens when people call the phone number.

        The US is not the ONLY market. There is no wall around our internet, no matter how much you might want there to be. The internet is not the US, so a company from a country where whatever they are selling is not illegal, buying ad space on a search index that services places OUTSIDE the US is not akin to Google selling illegal drugs.

        If a site that exists on the internet lists pirated content. And Google did not procure that content, then someone setting up ads is not akin to GOOGLE stealing from the artists. Or facilitating piracy. They SOLD ads.

        If there were a singular way to access the internet, and Google was the gatekeeper. You would have a point. Your arguments would be valid. They still wouldn’t necessarily be culpable, but you would have some type of argument. They don’t, so you don’t.

        As stated, if Google is responsible for “illegal drugs”, then so are the companies in Canada, so is UPS, FedX whatever.

        “Buh-But Google told them to place ads on US sites…” Again, the US is not the internet, but our sites are just as available(AND POPULAR) in other countries as they are here. So they told them where they would get the most exposure, WHICH IS THEIR JOB.

      • Amazingly, AV, that argument doesn’t work for Google, Twitter, FB when they want access to markets in countries with more restrictive laws than our own. They put up with removals and takedowns we would consider censorship in order to do business in those countries. They’re finding out that Europeans seem to care more about privacy than Americans (for reasons passing understanding), and you can bet Google and FB will function different in the EU than they do here in that regard. So, the boundary-free Internet is not quite so functionally true as it is a nice metaphor.

        The fact that Google does not own the proverbial highway has nothing to do with whether or not it profits from illegal activity in the US or anywhere else while using that highway. As a company based in the US, enjoying the opportunities provided by the US (not to mention the the public dollars used to found its very existence), it is bound by the laws of the US no matter what else it does in other countries. If Google executives were profiting from a crime like human trafficking, narcotics, or counterfeit goods and all the physical activity were happening solely in a foreign country, they would still be open to prosecution here in the US.

        You can argue the innocent middleman case all you like on this blog, but the US attorneys have a little more compelling evidence than that. If they didn’t the executives at Google would not have forked over a half-billion dollars in a deal to avoid prosecution. If you think this is about the big bad government bullying these executives, you are sorely naive about where power is in the country right now. To the contrary, try avoiding an indictment if you’re NOT as powerful as Google. If the government’s case were as flimsy as you believe, Google’s attorneys could blow it apart and Google could make PR fodder out of it the way they like to pretend they’re David to the government’s Goliath.

      • I am actually familiar with some of the differences in how the EU and Canada handle privacy. And as stated these laws are being drafted by people with little or no understanding of how the internet works.

        In the EU for example, a website has to inform you of any attempt to utilize cookies in your browser. Which in and of itself is great. They do not however require you to define what those cookies do, or how they will interact with any user data that becomes available. So by creating a pass off catch all law, they are essentially training EU users to click through a standard prompt and thus ultimately become less secure by not actually focusing on malicious tracking practices or companies.

        In another instance the EU has ordered google to allow anyone to petition that google remove any and all instances of that person from their index. Which, for anyone who knows anything about how this stuff actually works, is preposterous. Since Google is not the originator of said information, they can not stop it from propagating. So even if they remove all links on their index, someone else can simply post it somewhere new and the whole thing starts again, or as would always be the case, since the information would still exist outside of Google, who DOES NOT CONTROL the internet.

        Google is a private company, not funded by public dollars, please site a source if you are going to post stuff like that, I am not interested in your uninformed opinions regarding technology. What you think does not equate to the reality of how this all functions on a day to day basis.

        Google pays money to end this nonsense because the law is not on their side. Because they know that they are dealing with luddites who would rather they control the flow of information than have it be as it was intended, free.

        Google did not profit from drugs, or porn, or anything else. They profit from ads. You can say they are the same, they are not. Most people who use google ads never need speak to another persons as it is a largely automated process, just like analytics.

        And the funny thing about all of this? You really don’t want Google to have the control over data and what is available that you think they already are capable of. You don’t want them picking and choosing what is and is not available. Oh, you think you do, but the reality of that scenario is not what you think it will be.

        And you know what else. Say you lock down Google. They start censoring the web, oh wait, they start censoring THEIR index of the web. Just like FB supplanted myspace, and iTunes, napster, some other company, probably outside the US will come along and supplant them, and none of your whining will have made any difference.

        Go after the source, go after the consumer. The middle men are low hanging fruit that ultimately solves nothing.

      • Google is not akin to Flikr, or Reddit and in BOTH instances it was a USER that reported the problem. When people do the EXACT same thing to Google, guess what, they react in the exact same manner.

        No they don’t. Google remove the specific URLs only but leave similar URLs in place. It would be like flickr being apprised by Getty of an account with 20,000 web pics simply disabling the 20 or so with a Getty watermark, and leaving the other 19,980 in place with AP watermarks, CNN watermarks, etc, etc.

        I find it rather comical when people tell others with decades of technical experience in the internet that they don’t know how it works. We know very well how it works. We also know how it is being abused for financial gain by low life quasi-criminal companies like Google. And no Google isn’t the only on, but lets deal with one hive of parasites at a time.

        As others have said this wasn’t about poor people sourcing expensive drugs from overseas. This was about anabolic steroids and abortion pills, amongst others. All without prescription. As I’ve said before I fully support a woman’s right to choose, but I think that it should be done under proper medical supervision.

      • You clearly don’t know what you are talking about, that is painfully obvious from your posts.

        One domain is not akin to one image. A flikr ACCOUNT may have multiple infringing images. Another account may be doing the same thing. If one get’s reported and the other doesn’t, guess what… Infringement continues. Flickr itself does not actively hunt for infringing imagery(at least it doesn’t appear to.) On youTube however, Google ACTIVELY searches out content and locks it, a system that is quite controversial as it tends to be a bit harsh and not always understand fair use.

        I am going to say this one last time then you are out of the conversation when it comes to google.. GOOGLE DOES NOT CONTROL THE INTERNET.

        If a site is reported, and say they remove it FROM THE INDEX. That does not mean they go hunting for other sites that are “bad”. No more than flickr would. They act on what is reported to them in the manner that is appropriate. Period. That’s it.

        I don’t know what it is you do, but I doubt it has much to do with the web or any type of development.

        And your last paragraph is nonsense. Google did not “sell” anything but ads. The internet is not confined to the US. I can, right now, look at shit that is legal in other countries and not legal here and no one can stop me. If I were to buy something that is legal there and not here. I would be responsible for that transaction. Not the search engine I used or the post man who delivered it. It is not their job to police my actions.

        Respond if you like, but I am done debating with someone who does not have the objectivity to discuss this subject rationally.

      • Was I somehow not clear? I don’t expect Google to go searching other domains, I expect that if example.net/dylan/idiot-wind.mp3 is reported today that example.net/dylan/idiot-wind2.mp3 isn’t index an hour later. I also expect that if example.net has had 50,000 DMCAs logged against it that example.net isn’t indexed at all ever again.

        Which is pretty much what flickr do. If an account has 100s of web pics the account is junked, if a site has 1000s of copyright infringements dump the site.

        But hey back in 2006/7 Google had commercialized blogger accounts chock full of images, all surrounded by adsense ads. Report one image and that one would go, report another and that one would go, etc, etc, etc. The blogger account was never killed, and the reporter each time had to do the whack-a-mole via snail mail or fax. ‘cos a tech company couldn’t possible deal with DMCAs via email when there was money to be made.

        Same shit, same company, just a decade later.

  • M: the huffpo article specifically says “overseas pharmacies,”not Canadian ones….
    And that system is in place to HELP CANADIANS, so Americans exploiting it are doing nobody favors.

    • Wait I minute. I’m confused here. Did you just say what I think you just said? Do you… do you, really think trade regulations exist to promote the interests of the general public? What are you?

      • I have no idea what you think I am, but yes, in som cases they do exist to promote the interests of the general public.

        Back in the 50s, movie companies which wanted to important movies into France had to in turn pay levies that supported the French film industry. Out of that we got the work of Godard, Truffaur and others.

        Without trade regulations the largest corporations from the wealthiest countries (guess who?) can run roughshod over other countries’ businesses.

  • Angryvillager: I’m pretty sure a lot of “middlemen” have gone to jail…

  • Actually, Angryvillager, billboard companies that knowingly advertise illegal businesses could be liable. I don’t see many billboard ads for prostitution.

    But you seem to think Google should have no limitations or liability because they just disseminate information, and it looks like many courts disagree with you, so I don’t see the point of arguing.

  • Btw,the law that the AG charged Google with violating is from *1972*, so it not only predates Google it predates Larry and Sergey.

  • Ah,,angry, but isn’t the argument that people pirate because they can’t get access to the stuff conveniently and legally?

    The argument seems to be “if you park your car* on the street, expect it to be stolen.” Then “I broke into your garage because you wouldn’t give access to your car, what do you expect?”

    It’s really simple: someone can offer their works for a reasonable price with no strings attached… and they still won’t be able to compete with free. And when someone is offering a map for how to get the free version, it kind of pisses people off.

    *before anyone says it,yes, a car is a physical object and “content” is not. I don’t care. Analogies are never perfec.t

  • AV: so where are all these billboards advertising cheap drugs from Canada? Or prostitution?

    (And again, THIS IS NOT ABOUT CHEAP DRUGS FROM CANADA. It is about getting drugs without a prescription, including drugs that are highly controlled.)

    But the bottom line is that if google knowingly placed ads for businesses that are illegal in the US on US sites, then they broke the law, laws that existed long before Google.

    • it goes beyond that even. There were person to person correspondence (in several seperate instances) with direct conversations on how to get around Google’s OWN policie (you know.. policies on following the law)… seems the almighty buck is stronger than their own rules (and/or their “rules” are just for show to begin with, to keep the heat off)
      If the owner of Walmart was directing the local crack dealer on how to avoid the police patrols, so he could take a cut of the crack sold out the back of Walmart stores… I’m sure AV would still have such a cavalier attitude towards that.. oh wait, walmart isn’t an internet business, scratch that..

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