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Re: Google in Wall St. Journal

This is a tricky issue.

As it happens, the Financial Times has an interesting article a day earlier in which John Sulston (Nobel Prize winner and far-sighted outright winner of the dispute as to whether Genome information/data should be free or proprietary), points out the seriousness of the poverty gap and the information imbalances between the developed and the developing world.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/bf22d1ee-80a5-11db-9096-0000779e2340.html (edited extract from Sulston's BP lecture at the British Museum)

Increasing open-ness and availability of information is essential in many of the most serious issues which face us. Extending and entrenching the rights of patent and copyright owners is not necessarily beneficial or the best use of legislative powers. The WSJ essayist's phrasing is somewhat tendentious, the question that is in dispute, is whether or not Google IS pirating copyright owners property (is it really so clear that Google is *pirating* copyright material?). If it is, it will doubtless have to withdraw and/or pay substantial fines. My guess is that they are being quite careful about what they do....and broadening the accepted uses of copyright material may be in everyone's interests (especially the copyright holders and even the publishers).


On 12/2/06, Joseph J. Esposito <espositoj@gmail.com> wrote:
There is an essay in today's (Dec. 1) Wall Street Journal on Google and
copyright.  An excerpt:

"In coming months the courts will have to work toward an equitable
compensation system for intellectual-property owners whose works are being
pirated for the financial gain of third parties like Google. The Institute
for Policy Innovation estimates that each year the U.S. produces roughly $1
trillion of intellectual property -- 40% of the world total. It is our
primary export in the global marketplace.

"The U.S. government is rightly fixated on deterring piracy of U.S. patents
and copyrights in nations such as China and India -- a theft that costs
American firms tens of billions of dollars. If the U.S. government won't
fully protect these intellectual-property rights at home, it undermines the
case for protecting them abroad. Google ought to steer clear of this
expensive legal thicket by accelerating what it has already started to do:
Enter into revenue-sharing agreements with such content providers as Sony,
Reuters, and the Associated Press."

Note that sentence:  "It is our primary export in the global marketplace."

Joe Esposito