December 11, 2018

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Setting The Record Straight on PROTECT IP Act

Posted by: Andrew Langer on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (1)

Last May, I wrote about the need to combat rogue websites—websites that offer counterfeit and pirated products – and commended Senators Leahy, Grassley, and Hatch as well as the entire Senate Judiciary Committee for their unanimous support of the PROTECT IP Act.This bipartisan legislation now enjoys the support of 43 state Attorneys General, the Conference of Mayors, a coalition of over 360 companies, trade associations, and labor groups. These groups all recognize that enhanced enforcement tools would help protect American consumers and workers from these blatant thieves hiding behind rogue websites.

However, the legislation has also faced numerous blatantly unfounded allegations. The fact is that according to our Constitution, we all are entitled to our property, including our intellectual property. And the government has a fundamental responsibility to protect its citizens from theft and harm beyond our borders. That is why rogue sites legislation like PROTECT IP Act is needed. Every marketplace needs rules to protect people from fraud and theft, but no one wants those rules to be overbearing. And PROTECT IP Act strikes the right balance.

Here’s how you can help get this bill to the finish line:

  • WRITE: Tell your public officials that we cannot let rogue sites undermine U.S. innovation, consumers, and the online ecosystem.
  • JOIN: Join the conversation online to learn more about latest happenings on rogue sites legislation. [link to facebook]
  • SHARE: Know of someone who suffers from online counterfeiting and piracy? Share the call for rogue sites legislation with them and recruit them to join the coalition against counterfeiting and piracy!
  • LEARN: Check out www.fightonlinetheft.com to learn the latest on the fight against rogue sites.

The online thieves are stealing our products, our ideas, our property. Why should we tolerate their criminal activity? Support rogue sites legislation today!

 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What DID Google Learn From Microsoft?

Posted by: Andrew Langer on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Yesterday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) spent a considerable amount of time delving deeply into Google’s operations.  Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said that the company has “learned the Microsoft lesson,” but one wonders which lesson Schmidt was referring to?

You see, this isn’t the first time that Google and Microsoft have butted heads—in fact, what Sen. Lee is unraveling is that Google is learning from its years of experience trying to topple Microsoft from its hard-earned place as “king of the mountain”.

It would be one thing if Schmidt were one of Google’s founders—one of the entrepreneurs who had turned a simple dream into a marketplace juggernaut (like so many other tech companies, Microsoft and Apple included).  While Schmidt has a long history in the world of corporate high-tech, he also has a history of using government power to the advantage of his employers, and to the detriment of his competitors—he was one of the men feeding information to the Clinton-era Justice Department that eventually led to the Federal Government filing suit against Microsoft! 

You read that correctly—while Schmidt was working for Sun Microsystems and Novell, two of Microsoft’s most-earnest competitors, he was trying to convince the Feds that they ought to investigate Microsoft, actions which would cost that company billions and could serve to immeasurably benefit Sun and Novell.

So while Schmidt claims that Google has learned the “antitrust lessons” of Microsoft’s well-earned rise to prominence, it begs the question:  is he talking about side-stepping the landmines of what some might consider to be monopolistic behavior?  Or is he talking about learning from his own tactical errors during his decade of leadership at Google?

Make no mistake about it—Schmidt’s envy of Microsoft is well-placed.  He wants to build a venture that ultimately supplants it.  He has wanted to do so since before his days at Google.  But by steering Google today, he has built a tool powerful enough to do so.   Google can undercut Microsoft by offering freebies that go after their business model: from office software to information access.

Sure, Schmidt learned the lessons from Microsoft’s antitrust battle.  Because he was one of the forces behind it.

One of the best things about the new climate in Washington is that people really understand the importance of transparency.  When it comes to Google's work at trying to topple Microsoft, such sunshine is sorely needed, and we ought to be applauding folks like Sen. Lee for taking on this unenviable task!

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