Author Archives | Greg Piper

Lawmakers Created Google Settlement Mess, But Some Urge Staying Out Of It

Friday, September 11, 2009

By failing to pass orphan works legislation in previous sessions, Congress practically guaranteed a messy settlement would result from Google’s scanning and display of millions of out-of-print works found only in libraries, several lawmakers said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday. Consumer Watchdog’s John M. Simpson, perhaps Google’s most vocal
nonprofit critic in Washington, said the settlement "simply furthers
the relatively narrow agenda" of Google, the Authors Guild and
Association of American Publishers. Congress should pass orphan-works
or fair-use legislation, so Google won’t get an "unprecedented
monopolistic advantage" over some books.

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Microsoft-Yahoo Deal Faces Moderate Antitrust Scrutiny, Say Experts

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Microsoft and Yahoo finally tied the knot, but they signed an expansive pre-nup to limit antitrust scrutiny. Vocal Google critic Consumer Watchdog didn’t denounce the deal
outright, noting that "some have suggested" that the tie-up may
increase competition against Google. But the Microsoft-Yahoo deal is a
chance for regulators to "set to the gold standard for privacy
guarantees by Internet companies and for the government to use its
leverage to obtain it," it said. Consumer Watchdog’s John Simpson said
the FTC should take a strong lead on privacy matters. "If the result of
this deal is that there are two stronger Internet search enterprises
who exploit users’ data at the expense of their privacy rights,
consumers are worse off, not better," he said. "Justice and the FTC can
– and must — insist on this."

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