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"With the official start of the summer movie season set for next week with the opening of Spider-Man 3, security in cinemas is being stepped up. Security guards at a preview screening for Spider-Man 3 inspected bags, confiscated portable phones, and scanned movie goers with metal detectors. With a budget of $250 million, Spider-Man 3 is a heavy investment for Sony Pictures and it is trying to stop the film from being recorded and leaked to the internet.
The proposal cites the UN Declaration of Human Rights and declares that "technology companies in the United States have failed to develop adequate standards by which they can conduct business with authoritarian governments while protecting human rights to freedom of speech and freedom of expression". If adopted by shareholders, it would call for management to adopt 6 minimum standards including: not storing data that can identify an individual in repressive countries; using all legal means to resist censorship; and documenting and publicizing "all cases where legally-binding censorship requests have been complied with." The proposal was submitted by the Comptroller of New York City, which owns large amounts of Google stock in City pension plans.
Is a proposal like this (assuming it ever passed) feasible to implement? Would it actually do anything to open up repressive regimes? Is this a reasonable balance between upholding liberal democracy values and doing business in dictatorships? Would it have any effect on domestic issues such as DMCA takedown orders? Most of all, as a shareholder, what is Google's board of directors' justification for recommending that shareholders vote AGAINST this proposal? If you are a Google shareholder, were you aware of this proposal, and if so, are you going to vote for or against?"
Dear Vonage Customer:
Vonage invites you to be among the first to join a new grassroots campaign aimed at preserving your right to choose your phone service. We're launching a national movement — Free to Compete — because we believe marketplace competition is good, and we want consumers to have a choice. To learn the facts and find out how you can help preserve competition and your right to choose your phone service, please visit FreeToCompete.com.
Since the day we opened our doors, our mission has been to provide consumers with an alternative to the services offered by entrenched landline phone providers. In our five short years, we've gone head-to-head with many of these industry giants, and amassed 2.4 million customer lines with our innovative technology, cool features and value pricing.
You may have heard that Verizon® is suing us over patents they say we violated. Verizon has pursued litigation against Vonage in an effort to achieve in court what it cannot achieve in the marketplace. The suit could result in limiting competition and consumers' freedom to choose a communications provider, which could ultimately drive up the cost of phone service. Vonage will continue fighting this attempt to limit your choice, while ensuring that you continue to receive the reliable, quality service you've come to expect.
As our customers, you are the most passionate and effective spokespeople we have. Let your voice be heard by visiting FreeToCompete.com where you can:
1. Send an email to Verizon telling them you support Vonage as they defend your right to a better phone service
2. Sign our Petition
3. Learn the facts of the case
4. Spread the word
We hope you'll join us in taking up this important challenge by visiting FreeToCompete.com. Together, let's move the battle for free competition and choice in the phone industry out of the courts and back into the marketplace!
And thank you for choosing Vonage.
Chairman, Interim CEO and Chief Strategist"