Thursday, May 19, 2011

Digital Economy Act: Google Points Finger To China, But Patent Application Points to Google

Photo: Danny Friedmann
Google shedding crocodile tears about freedom of speech
Will the real freedom of expression lover please stand up? 

Just as "Digital Opportunity", Professor Ian Hargreaves' independent review of UK's intellectual property law came out, Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google is comparing UK's plans on copyright enforcement with censorship in China.   

He was quoted by Josh Halliday saying: “So, ‘let’s whack off the DNS’. Okay, that seems like an appealing solution but it sets a very bad precedent because now another country will say ‘I don’t like free speech so I’ll whack off all those DNSs’ – that country would be China." Read Mr Halliday's article for PaidContent here.

Well Google does have first-hand experience with censorship, because in most countries, including China, they filter whatever the government wants them to filter. Ironically, Google went even beyond what is required by governments and filed an application in the U.S. to patent censoring methodology, that censors depending on the location of the user. Namely: 'Variable user interface based on document access privileges', U.S. Patent application number: 10/953,496, filed: September 30, 2004, assignee: Google Inc. (Mountain View, CA), you can find it here.

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