Tim Daneluk

Page 8 of 13  

says...

China is famous for ripping off intellectual property of many kinds -- patents, copyrights, etc. Google has a competitive advantage in the search engine business. It says it wants to "organize the world's information". If it didn't comply with China's request, I can think of a few negative consequences for Google.
If it wants to include China's information, it has to submit to China's conditions. They may have included either submitting to censorship or granting access to records far beyond what the Bush administration is seeking. I don't know whether there's a quid-pro-quo for agreeing to censorship, but it's possible that China may have agreed to enforce any intellectual property rights Google may use to protect its competitive advantage. I don't know the world of search engines, and for all I know, there may be no IP to protect? Another possibility is that agreeing to China's conditions allows Google access to the Chinese market, thus helping to forestall (or even prevent) a Chinese competitor from establishing a foothold in the Market. Yes, Google has a big lead, but only a fool thinks a big lead is insurmountable. Ask GM.
Rick
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Joe Barta wrote:

IIRC, a couple of years(?) ago when this all started, China was blocking google altogether, but bowed to internal pressure. Then they tried blocking the google cache. That meant the user was confronted with broken links. Google had only to put a notice up saying "hacked by PRC" or whatever and they could have called it good.
So this deal doesn't remove Google from a ban list or otherwise stop google from making money in china. It is a convenience to the PRC that a nice government friendly airbrush is being applied to the world, courtesy of Google.
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dave@N_O_T_T_H_I_Sbalderstone.ca wrote:

Yes, and then the Chinese government would have blocked access to Google altogether. I don't see that as an improvement.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

No.
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Doug Miller wrote:

Oops... I meant to say, "No, the Chinese govt. would not have done that."
They tried once, and had to open it up again. Instead they blocked items in the cache.
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Oh. Then it's far, far, better that a US company participate in the censorship and profit by doing so.
Thanks for clearing that up, Doug.
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wrote:

that clears it up.. no internet access is better than censored access, right?
Mac https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis/wood_stuff.htm
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You're not suggesting that without Google there would be no internet access in China, are you?
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Dave Balderstone wrote:

I'm guessing he misspoke. That aside, I have a few questions for you...
Let's suppose we toss aside the profit motive. Let's pretend that Google is a genuinely benevolent entity that is entirely removed from the pesky necessities of raising money or paying bills.
Would you agree that FOR NOW, an agreement to provide censored search results to the good people of China is better than no agreement at all?
Would you also agree, that as is often the case with change, change comes slowly? And it's reasonable to assume that as time progresses, the level of government censorship in China will likely decrease?
Would you also agree that it's also reasonable to assume that quite a bit of content intended to be censored will probably make it through to the Chinese people anyway?
Keeping all this in mind, profit motive aside, would you now agree that this unpleasant compromise is at least a good step in the right direction?
Joe Barta
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While we're at it, let's pretend that the moon really is made of green cheese, Elvis is alive, and everyone owns flying cars.
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Dave Balderstone wrote:

You miss the point... the point is to isolate issues of contention. If you can't do that, then what's the use of further discussion? We each throw up our hands and walk away thinking the other is just another dumb clod.
Joe Barta
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But you want to discuss issues in a context that has no basis in reality.
To remove the profit motive from the discussion means we're talking fiction.
Google's actions, like those of Yahoo and Microsoft (and Cisco, if memory serves) are solidly based in profit. If there was no profit to be made, Google would have told the Chinese "Look, we're against censorship and refuse to censor our service. If you choose to firewall your country and block your citizens from accessing Google, go ahead, but we refuse to play along."
That's what "Don't be evil" means. That's what people who aren't evil do.
Instead, Google said "Well, we don't really like the idea, but if you're prepared to pay us and allow us access to your market in the future, we can be a *little bit* evil."
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Dave Balderstone wrote:

Quite honestly, I can't see why you're having such a hard time doing this. It's a simple thought excercise.
Imagine a nonprofit entity... they get their money from whoknowswhere.
Can you see any benefit coming out of the nonprofit providing search results for the Chinese people even though at this time some results will be censored with a notation stating such on the search results page?
(IIRC, the search results, if censored, will indeed have a notice on them. Unfortunately I'm not 100% certain of this and am too lazy to check at the moment ;-)
Joe Barta
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Why do a "thought exercise" that isn't based on reality when we have the actual scenario staring us in the face?
Quite honestly, I can't see why you insist on moving the discussion from reality to some imaginary scenario that has not, does not and will not exist.
Profit is the key reason why Google and others are cooperating with the Chinese Communist Party. Discussing their actions outside of the context of profit is, as far as I'm concerned, a waste of time.
djb
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Dave Balderstone wrote:

As far as you're concerned it's a waste of time... fair enough.
Joe Barta
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A little bit evil is similar to me like being a little bit pregnant or a little bit dead.
This following story has been variously ascribed, but the way I heard it was that Leonard Cohen was in a cafeteria at McGill. A female student sat down at the same table to eat her lunch and Cohen asked her if she'd be willing to sleep with him for $ 100,000.00. She thought about it honestly and said that considering the offer was coming from Leonard Cohen and that she was financially somewhat hard up, she would agree. He then asked if she would do it for $ 50.00. She replied, indignantly; "What do you think I am?" Cohen replied: "I know what you are, now we're just arguing about money."
I see Google in similar light.
Rob
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"Robatoy" wrote

I have heard this attributed to Mark Twain.
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Rick
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That would work. Sounds more like it too.
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Robatoy wrote:

A little bit evil to me is like a little bit dirty or a little bit wet. I think mine is a more accurate view of evil in the world.

Excellent story.

Actually, I'm not sure the Chinese govt is actually *paying* Google anything. I think it's just allowing the Chinese people access to the search engine and Google hopes to make money there in much the same way it makes money here. I should add that I'm not entirely sure of the details of the agreement/proposal so I might be dead wrong on this point. I understand that either way it will likely benefit Google, but it does change the flavor of the agreement.
Joe Barta
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Mr. Cohen has way too much class to behave so crassly. In addition, he can undoubtedly get as many girls to sleep with him just by introducing himself...
Of course he's not a young man anymore and he's undoubtedly learned that it's much more fun when the girls come onto him...
John E.
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