Friday, February 26, 2010

The Google detour

Is Google hijacking our traffic?

An Orwellian Big Brother is a lot closer than I thought.

Let's see, you want to visit the Miami Seaquarium...

Courtesy of Michael Grey

You're Google search will give the above result, which shows you their hours of operation and a link to More information... which takes you to a Google maps page with more Google ads.

Google is adding detours to allow for more billboards in this extended new road —while hijacking and denying the traffic and potential up sell at the website motivating the search.

As shown, the parasite behavior of Google, Yahoo, Gawker, Newser and other aggregators is quite more pervasive than expected.

This kind of ruse should be contested in court. Intent, and damage to the commercial value of the work voids any "fair use" exemption to (U.S.) copyright law.

According to Brad Templeton's essay:
The "fair use" exemption to (U.S.) copyright law was created to allow things such as commentary, parody, news reporting, research and education about copyrighted works without the permission of the author. That's vital so that copyright law doesn't block your freedom to express your own works -- only the ability to appropriate other people's. Intent, and damage to the commercial value of the work are important considerations. Are you reproducing an article from the New York Times because you needed to in order to criticise the quality of the New York Times, or because you couldn't find time to write your own story, or didn't want your readers to have to register at the New York Times web site? The first is probably fair use, the others probably aren't.

Fair use is generally a short excerpt and almost always attributed. (One should not use much more of the work than is needed to make the commentary.) It should not harm the commercial value of the work -- in the sense of people no longer needing to buy it (which is another reason why reproduction of the entire work is a problem.) Famously, copying just 300 words from Gerald Ford's 200,000 word memoir for a magazine article was ruled as not fair use, in spite of it being very newsworthy, because it was the most important 300 words -- why he pardoned Nixon.

But it's not all negative news for content providers, Google has joined the Apple and Amazon group vying for the distribution of books. In the ensuing competition, publishers have been able to lock-in better deals, distributors are now getting a 30% agency commission and Google cannot break apart nor search these books.

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