Google to be on hot seat for helping people steal property rights

Google's destruction of property rights is across the board. It is good that they are getting some scrutiny here.

Google's antipiracy efforts are likely to come under scrutiny during a congressional hearing scheduled for next week in Washington.
Google has accepted an invitation to appear April 6 before a U.S. House subcommittee investigating Web sites accused of distributing pirated intellectual property, sources with knowledge of the witness list told CNET.
Should Google testify as expected, it is believed it would be one of the first occasions the search company has been questioned publicly about whether it plays any role in Internet piracy.
Trade associations representing the film, music, software, and video game industries say "rogue" sites violate copyright law and profit from their work without compensating owners. Many of them have accused Google for years of helping to fund copyright infringement by enabling site operators to post Google ads on their sites.
A Google spokeswoman did not respond to an interview request.
Kent Walker, Google's general counsel, is expected to appear at the hearing on the company's behalf. He should be prepared for a grilling. If members of the subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet, are anything like the Senate committee conducting a similar review, they will be tough on Google.
Prominent members from both major political parties appear more determined than ever to stamp out intellectual-property theft. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is preparing to reintroduce legislation that would hand the government sweeping powers to take down alleged pirate sites and try to cut off their revenue sources. Leahy tried to get a similar bill passed last year but it was held up by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). . . .

By the way, remember all Google's claims about being "open source."

“When Android hit the scene in 2008, Google had a tantalizing pitch: Android was ‘open source.’ That is, Google would do the hard work of developing the code, and hardware and software makers were free to use the system at no charge. Carriers and device makers relished the idea of not paying royalties,” Vance and Burrows report. “As Google introduced Android updates, each named after a sweet, devices of varying capabilities flooded the market… It isn’t easy for consumers to keep up—and the same goes for software makers, who have to retool apps for every version and device to give their products a consistent look and feel.”
Vance and Burrows report, “Google owes it to its partners and consumers to prevent Android from running amok. And yet murmurs abound that Android’s master has tightened up too much—that its policies limit licensees’ ability to differentiate their products. “The premise of a true open software platform may be where Android started, but it’s not where Android is going,” says Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft executive who recently inked a deal with his former employer instead of Google. He says he did so in part because he thought he would have more opportunity to innovate atop Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 software.” . . .



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