Announcing the UK government review into IP and growth last November, prime minister David Cameron “explained that the review was a response to Google’s concerns”, says the story.
After all, when Google, the net’s most powerful online advertising outfit, says ‘Jump’ governments — especially Obushma’s — hop right to it.
“The founders of Google have said they could never have started their company in Britain … they feel our copyright system is not as friendly to this sort of innovation as it is in the United States,” claimed Cameron, says the story, going on >>>
So not surprisingly, the review has earned itself the nickname the “Google Review”, and creative industries fear its recommendations will achieve Google policy goals at their expense.
It’s certainly a very odd claim. Is copyright law really the insurmountable obstacle to the creation of search engines and content aggregators in the UK? The UK has, and has had, many such startups. Today, their biggest competitive disadvantage is not IP laws, but Google itself. Among potential investors, the elephant in the room, and the biggest chilling factor, is the 800lb gorilla. Set against this brutal reality, the review looks like a misdirection.
All of which leaves the review’s head, Ian Hargreaves, in an unenviable position. Nobody wants to embarrass The Emperor. And judging by last night’s performance at the Royal Society for the Arts, which was the only public outing before the review reports next month, Hargreaves will deliver exactly what The Emperor wants to hear. Hargreaves was invited, in various ways, to offer a glimpse into his calculations. But he declined. Any tally of economic winners and losers from various changes to IP law would be an unbalanced list. It’s best not to make it at all.
The RSA panel “brought Hargreaves himself together with representatives of publishing, music, the British Library … and Google itself”, says the Register, continuing >>>
Sarah Hunter, the emissary from the Chocolate Factory, repeated the Cameron line.
“When Cameron launched the review, he said Google wouldn’t have set up in the UK. It’s true. Larry has said it publicly a number of times. Their view is that when you look at fair use it’s relatively straightforward to assess if something is going to be legal. The law is not clear in the UK,” said Hunter, Google’s UK head of public policy.
She suggested that if Google had been setting out in the UK, it would have changed its product.
But Association of Independent Music boss Alison Wenham saw it somewhat differently.
She questioned the purpose of the ongoing Independent Review of IP and Growth after arguing the UK’s banks rather than its copyright system “should be held responsible for stifling innovation and growth”, says Music Week.
She thought IP wasn’t the problem, says the story, quoting her as stating >>>
One of reasons you know why Google didn’t set up in this country has nothing to do with IP laws.
It was because they couldn’t get funding. We have a long history in this country of a criminal lack of funding for high risk ventures starting in a garage.
In the US they have a culture of high risk investment for high return.
Now you know.
No need to stay tuned.
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
World War III will be a global information war with no division between civilian & military participation ~ Marshall McLuhan
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