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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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Why Google Opposed and Should Oppose SOPA/PIPA

The last post might leave you wondering: if closing down small start up domains prevents competition, why were the big guys against SOPA/PIPA? That is the difference between a growing innovative industry and a dying industry. Music, movies and books may be thriving, but studios and publishing houses are dying. So: what is the last refuge of the desperate? Government protection - read SOPA/PIPA.

In a dynamic growing industry the incentives are different. Sure: Google would get some protection from competition from SOPA/PIPA. But Google isn't after the few dollars to be gained by smashing the competition. They are after the big dollars to be gained by growing their business. The Google vision is that of the cloud: always connected internet devices connect us to our own data and shared data stored on Google and other servers. What is killing Microsoft? Google docs is certainly part of the story. But if our data online is at risk - either because Google is required to pry into our private data, or because the Feds may come along and grab it - the rest of us aren't going to buy into that Google vision. Crucial to the big markets Google sees as still ripe for plucking is that we have to trust that the cloud is safe. SOPA/PIPA, domain seizure, the DMCA, take-down notices: these all make us rightfully distrustful of the cloud.

Perhaps I should remind you of the history of Microsoft: while they were a growing dynamic company they were opposed to software patents. Now that they are pathetic and declining that's all they have left. They can't sell their own products, so they use (pretty meaningless) patents to tax Android phones.

When an industry or company turns to the government, sell short, they are going down.


Comments

Congrats to all who voted against SOPA. I and my site http://www.usemeplz.com protested anywhere we could. But now ACTA is going to sign by presidents of U.S., EU, Japan, Australia, Canada, South Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and Switzerland. It's awful, because the development of this agreement was carried out in secret, without public consultation.
Microsoft can't sell their products? Really? I'm sure Sony would love to sell as many Playstations as Microsoft sells Xbox's. I'm sure Nintendo would love to be selling Wii's as fast as Kinects. I'm sure Apple would love to sell as many copies of OS X (i.e., Macs) as Windows 7. Google would probably like to get paid for Google Docs, but they give it away and still have a fraction of the market share Office has. Bing is gaining search engine share as it chips away at Google's.

Google does a lot of things really well, too. So does Apple. But you people who are stuck in this 1998 mindset look increasingly stuck in the past as time goes on. I suppose you think Ford can't make a good car or CBS only makes shows for old people and McDonald's has bad coffee.


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