Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Google’s Universe-like Expansion Continues– did I say Universe? I Meant Matrix.

This Magazine Staff

I’m assuming that at some point in the near future, I’ll just be lying in bed mumbling the word Google while my “consciousness” experiences a world entirely created and controlled by the multi-gazillion dollar search engine. I hope at least, in Googleality, I’ll be able to fly across the landscape like in Google Earth.
In the meantime, here’s some new Google, and some less new Google:
Google sues a bunch of Polish poets for building a Polish poetry website that, when acronymed in Polish, spells out GMAIL. As we all know, Google loves and respects the intellectual property conventions. Shouldn’t Google actually be thanking poets and the sovereign country of Poland for getting their name out there and giving the word gmail all sorts of great PR. So what if they don’t have control over their intellectual property. With the interest in gmail Polish poets will be fostering, Google can make up for their lost revenues with appearance fees and t-shirt sales. (thanks to bookinja for the tip).
Google gives money to Stanford University’s law-talking department. No word on whether Stanford or Lawrence Lessig will be signing Michael Geist’s copyright funding related pledge of financial do-goodery, or some such equivalent. I know, there’s a public/private distinction here, but is that relevant when the world’s leading and most influential experts on the law and the Internet are taking money from a company with a vested interest in world opinion going in one specific direction? I’m just asking, but is this not sort of like a tobacco company funding university cancer research?

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