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I have a strong suspicion this is a hoax. The wording just doesn't seem like something SOCA, or any other law enforcement agency would say in this situation. For a start, the statement "stolen from the artists" suggests they're already guilty. That's for a jury to decide. The statement regarding "damaged careers" really doesn't seem like something SOCA would say. It's not SOCA's place to say something like that, and strongly doubt they ever would. The link to pro-music.org seems to be pushing the agenda of the music business too. Why would SOCA endorse what is effectively a campaign to push the music industry's agenda? I'm really not convinced.
Indicentally, The Register has picked up the story. I hope they checked their facts first.
So, since he's been in jail for two years
Who said he's been in jail for two years? The police only came across the USB drive in July 2011, and he's been sentenced today.
Is there any evidence this letter was actually mailed to anyone? emailed? anything?
Why does he need to have mailed the letter for it to be an indication of his mindset? What if it had been a diary and not a letter that he'd written? Don't forget there was also this "shopping list" that was found in his room (according to the Guardian). That seems to add to the idea that there was intent.
The police certainly aren't doing themselves any favours with this statement though:
"I also want to stress that this case is not about policing people's freedom to browse the Internet. The materials that were downloaded were not stumbled upon by chance - these had to be searched for and contained very dangerous information that could have led to an explosive device being built. That is why we had to take action."
I don't know about everyone else, but that really doesn't follow to me. Whether he actively seeked out the material or not, taking action on that basis alone is still "policing people's freedom to browse the internet" in my opinion.
I'm not sure we're going to get very far, but here goes...
I think you're missing my point. For a start, these anti-competition complaints are largely related to organic search results, not ads.
I'm yet to see any evidence of that - despite the amazing coincidence of an inquiry taking place in the US at the same time as in Australia.
All I heard so far is people saying it happens - but failing to supply a shred of proof. So I call bullshit.
First the claim was that Google was giving paid advertising (like I buy) an unfair advantage over "organic search results"... In Australia, despite refusing to "prosecute" because they were unable to find an evidence to support the claim ACMA was still dragged to an Inquiry instigated by a company called Sensei (maybe you should do a little research and find out what happened there). Result - dismissed, as the "unfair" advantage is bullshit. The claim that by putting clearly marked, different coloured, ads at the top of search results - it was "unfair".
Now the story (like yours throughout this thread) has changed - and the distortion is hidden within the search results. Funny that the same people complaining that people game the search results and that Google benefits from it - now claim that when Google relegates the gamers off the front page (Rusty Compass and their 10s of thousands of spammy link farms backlinks) it's proof that Google is taking an "unfair advantage".
Yes, I'm aware of the history, but thanks for the lesson. Perhaps I need to spell out the fact that, "these anti-competition complaints" is referring to those mentioned in the links in the article. Believe me, the point I've been making hasn't changed since my original comment. Perhaps your interpretation is off. You're clearly convinced that you have me suss'd, so I doubt telling you you're way off would make much difference.
Secondly, I'm saying that abusing your position in one market to gain an unfair advantage in another is anti-competitive.
How? When? You make a lot of claims and keep lugging those goal posts round the field but so far you haven't pointed at a single fact. Having failed to demonstrate an abuse of the position in the market (third) you now want to build another case on it? There's a term for that - grasping.
That statement is so hypocritical. You keep quoting this apparent fact that Google is third in the search engine market. Practice what you preach. Perhaps if you dropped this rubbish about me having some sort of hidden motive to spout anti-Google FUD, then you'd be able to grasp the fact that it's not that I've failed to demonstrate an abuse, it's that I don't even suggest there is one! My original comment was predicated with "If true". You seem to believe that's being a weasel. You're entitled to your opinion, but it's also central to my point and you've chosen to gloss over that. I'm merely debating hypotheticals. Not pie in the sky hypotheticals, but ones that are relevant to current events and the original article. I happen to not have much of a view either way as to whether Google are abusing their market position. If anything, I doubt they are. My whole point has nothing to do with trying to say Google is being anti-competitive; it was in response to someone suggesting that it if competitors claims about Google giving prominence to their own products in organic search results were true, it was simple as "Wow, they're promoting their own products on their own website. That's hardly controversial." I disagree. If that's FUD, then I'll eat my hat.
That's not an unusual statement to make.
Fortunately, I'm under no obligation to meet your criteria for relevance in my own posts. I said it because you somehow seem to believe it IS an unusual statement to make.
You may not see it that way, but to use the word "bullshit" in response just highlights your inability to have an intelligent debate in a respectful manner.
Oh it's a debate now is it? Grow up - you want "respect" then present some facts instead of opinions. To call a lot of baseless fan boi FUD the basis for an "intelligent" debate is to abuse the word "intelligent" and distort the purpose of a debate. Either a company broke the law, or the didn't. It's not a matter for debate.
But let's mince words shall we? I'd call you a liar and you say I'm offensive (though you're still a liar). You'll say I need to prove what your saying is not true, and that everyone knows what you're saying is right. I'll point out that you don't have any proof and you'll argue that's proof of the conspiracy - and that we just have a difference of opinion.
Wow. Of course it's a debate. We're exchanging views on something. Is that not a debate? "Fan boi FUD"?! What a load of rubbish. Fan of what exactly? How can I be spreading FUD when I haven't suggested Google are doing anything wrong? Oh, wait. I forgot. That's not actually true; I'm being a weasel. Your last few ranting sentences, in which you attempt to assume exactly what I think and what I'll attempt to say/do are a little sad to be honest. Not to mention very wrong. Where did this suggestion of a "conspiracy" come from? I'd be a little embarrased if I were you. You really are convinced I'm coming from somewhere that I'm just not. Not even close. Trouble is, your premising all your answers on that poorly made assumption. I smell a hypocrite (again).
I think you may need to take a look at your own standards.You may not agree with me, but that was totally unnecessary.
Obviously I don't agree with you - I consider it good manners to present facts before flinging shit - if you cannot present any facts to support your claims you're hardly in a position to pat yourself on the back for taking the moral high ground. There's a term for that sort of behaviour too - you're a bullshit artist and guilding the truth with manners doesn't change that fact.
You fail to back your slime and slander - then avoid the issue like a weasel by having the audacity to take the moral high ground when called on it.
What next? Oh right - bluster and more bullshit. No facts. Not one.
What proof do you want exactly? I take your point that it's not a fact until it's been proven in court that something is anti-competitive. In that sense, yes, it's my opinion. An opinion that I've shared. An opinion that is based on my interpretation of competition law; not just pulled out of thin air. If you're looking for me to present facts in the form of rulings (either US, or EU) that have yet to be made, then obviously that's not going to happen. I take your criticism that my wording was suggesting there's only one outcome if it were to be found that Google are giving undue prominence to their products. The rest, well... I think we've covered that.
more complicated than can be understood from a Wikipedia article
Amazing - you could bullshit for your country in the Slander Olympics.
If the OP wants to try and suggest it was as simple as they did, then they're inviting such a comment. Perhaps if they demonstrated that they appreciate the complexity of the issue a little more...
Maybe I should re-iterate the fact that my whole post was predicated with "If true".
Pure weasel talk - how about "I'm concerned about....".
Also central to understanding my point as it was intended, but hey. If you want to interpret that in such a way that it allows you to make the arguments you have, then who am I to stop you?
Yeah right - it's too complicated for us to understand so you don't have to explain anything - not because it's bullshit, but because only you can see the truth.
Not sure where "us" comes from. It was in response to a single person. Careful. If my post ended there, then you might have a point. Unfortunately I gave an explanation.
My use of the phrase 'gate-keeper of all things internet' wasn't meant in quite such a literal sense.
More weasel - "I didn't mean what I said - I meant something else".
Again, also the truth. No goal post moving here, I assure you. There it is again - you making assumptions (despite me even saying things to the contrary) that fit your argument. Either I'm a liar (I'm not), or you're doing more of the same.
I was just referring to their dominant market share.
Yeah right - third biggest - like Iran had the third biggest army, oh wait "I meant...".
Again, please practice what you preach.
It's the fact Google are using their dominance in the search market to possibly gain an unfair market share in other areas.
A fact huh? Then the "maybe" as an out. Pure greased weasel - or would you be less offended by the technical term for such skullduggery which is "sophism".
Wow, talk about quoting me out of context. You should be well aware by now that that's a hypothetical statement which allows me to make my point. Even within the statement you've chosen to quote, is the word "possibly".
If it's true,
If? If?? How about - "everybody knows"
Errr, no. How about, "If it's true".
of course it's controversial;
I'm concerned about you and small children, if it 's true... of course it's controversial... [nods head and looks serious]
Perhaps the phrase "of course" was a bad choice. It's my opinion, yes. You honestly believe that debating whether that behaviour would be contraversial IF it were shown to be true isn't a serious discussion to be had? I should probably say that I still believe the word "controversial" has useful meaning if used in the correct context. There's a huge difference here. There aren't scores of people (whether rightly or wrongly) complaining about my behaviour around small children. There isn't any suggestion (again, whether right or wrong) that my conduct with small children is even remotely likely to be a problem, or worth debating or investigating. This, on the other hand, is.
not to mention anti-competitive and therefore illegal.
But you did mention it! Oh I get it... more innuendo.
This is getting a little pathetic. Clearly I'm referring to the word 'illegal'.
It's all about context.
Indeed - please supply it. The baffle 'em with bullshit has lost it's novelty effect.
Uh, no baffling intended. While we're on the subject of things getting old - there's those baseless assumptions again. The context is exactly as I have explained several times.
The vast majority of content on the internet is found via search engines. Google are the dominant player in the search engine market.
Nope, not even close. But hey! You can wriggle out of that by shifting the focus and maybe a bit of name calling.
I think you know my opinion on that by now.
Yes, Google are producing Chrome because, either directly or indirectly, it advances the web as a platform. The thing is, they're only doing it because the web IS their platform.
Oh yeah? Do go on.
What's your point? My argument was developed in the areas you've chosen not to quote.
It's hugely advantageous to their business model that the web is a viable platform for their products in the years to come.
Well - that's proof Google are evil. I bet British American Tobacco are ruing the day you left.
Now why did I think you were lowering the standard?
Let me guess - I love Google, Google pays me - couldn't possibly be because I'm interested in the truth, run Ad-Block and use DogPile as a search engine.
What?! I'm not even sure what you're trying to suggest here. I have no vendetta against Google. I have no idea why you have this idea in your head, but it might be an idea to lose it. Being me, I'm quite familiar with my own views, and I can tell you, categorically, that you're way off the mark. I was merely suggesting that they're a business, doing what businesses do. It's not evil, or wrong. I just felt it was a little disingenuous of a Google engineer to suggest their motives weren't based somewhere in business. We have no way of knowing for sure what their motives are, but I had a hard time believing it was something they would have done if it didn't ultimately provide a business benefit. If you have an issue with me sharing that opinion (after all, I wasn't sat in the Google board room), then I really don't care.
Thanks for keeping the standards high.
Wow, surely you're able to have an intelligent debate without resorting to troll like comments such as that. Do you say that to everyone who disagrees with you? Do you hear me calling your logic "bullshit"? I think you may need to take a look at your own standards.You may not agree with me, but that was totally unnecessary.
Simply saying "anti-competitive and therefore illegal" is at best lazy or ignorant, at worst shows contempt for real discussion and betrays desire to foster "controversy" for some other aim.
That's a little strong. Bordering on trolling if you ask me. I merely didn't think it was necessary to explain the link quite so explicitly.
How so? It's pointless to make such a statement without saying why. Merely offering other products seems entirely unproblematic under established competition law [wikipedia.org]. For example it seems to me there' no evidence of tying, anyone is free to choose which of Google's products they do or do not use. Similarly Google seems to steer well clear of other behaviours that could be problematic under competition law Google seems to steer well clear.
With respect, things are a little more complicated than can be understood from a Wikipedia article. Using your dominance in one market sector to in such a way as to give you an unfair advantage over competitors in another market sector is one of the main reasons competition law exists. If a company that runs a competing tool to one of Google's ancillary services needs to have their own market leading search engine to effectively compete with Google, then there's something wrong there that's ultimately detrimental to consumers if it's allowed to continue.
Maybe I should re-iterate the fact that my whole post was predicated with "If true". I made no mention of whether I believed Google were engaging in such practices.
"If it's true, of course it's controversial" -> it's their own website. They are free to promote or not promote whomever or whatever they life. They are a business...it would be like forcing McDonalds to show advertisements for Burger King.
Competition law exists because things really aren't that simple. In a capitalist society, healthy competition is what helps ensure prices are low and products are constantly improving. At some point, a company can do so well in one market sector (yes, usually because they've earned it), that they can use that leverage, if they so choose, to gain an unfair advantage in another market sector. Sure, there's a grey area, but there's limits. This is well established under monopoly and dominance provisions within competition law. Regarding your Burger King comment, I don't think anyone (certainly not me), was suggesting Google should be forced to unduly increase the prominence of their competitors. We're talking about organic search results here, not ads. The European Commission's concern centres around Google's supposed tactic of giving undue prominence to their services in organic search results. If they are doing so (and I'm not suggesting they necessarily are) then, to me, that clearly seems like an abuse of a dominant position in one sector to gain an unfair advantage in another. If a company that runs a competing tool to one of Google's ancillary services needs to have their own market leading search engine to effectively compete with Google, then there's something wrong there that's ultimately detrimental to consumers. That's why competition law exists.
they aren't the gate-keeper of all things. Yahoo, Bing, Baidu and so forth all offer competition.
My use of the phrase 'gate-keeper of all things internet' wasn't meant in quite such a literal sense. I was just referring to their dominant market share. Yes, there are competitors to Google (Bing, Yahoo, etc). That's fairly irrelevant to the issue we're discussing though. It's the fact Google are using their dominance in the search market to possibly gain an unfair market share in other areas.