Google’s Washington Foray & Database Protection
The New York Times has published yet another article about how Google is revving up their Washington, DC lobbying efforts in an attempt to further domestic and international business objectives. Esther Dyson is quoted in the article saying “It’s sad. The kids are growing up. They’ve lost youth and innocence. Now they have to start being grown-ups and playing at least to some extent by grown-up rules.”
Google’s move into the political game is not really news, as regular CopyCense™ readers have been aware of this trend for quite some time. (See our Politics archive for background.) What surprises me is how shocked and disappointed other influential technologists seem to be about this inevitable development.
Despite its Stanford roots and academic progeny, Google is a large business that is competing for market and mindshare against well-heeled and -connected firms (like Yahoo! and Microsoft, both of which have developed an extensive Washington infrastructure). The company was just added to the S&P 500 index. Frankly, it may be corporate malfeasance for Google not to make the sort of political, governmental, and international contacts that would help them get done what they want or need to get done.
One recent internationally dormant area that Google may explore with its new lobbying machine is database legislation. More on this is forthcoming in my new article “O’Connor’s Copyright Legacy: Feist & Database Protection,” published exclusively in the April 2006 edition of Information Today.
K. Matthew Dames. “O’Connor’s Copyright Legacy: Feist & Database Protection.” Information Today. April 2006. (Forthcoming.)
Kate Phillips. Google Joins the Lobbying Herd. The New York Times. March 28, 2006.
Paul R. La Monica. Google: Too Legit To Quit. CNNMoney.com. March 28, 2006.
American Library Association. Current Status: Database Protection. Jan. 26, 2006.
American Library Association. Database Protection Legislation. No date.
Issues in Scholarly Communication. What Does Reed Elsevier Lobby For? Jan. 24, 2006.
The Patry Copyright Blog. Sandra Day O’Connor. July 5, 2005.
Bitlaw. Database Legal Protection. No date.
American Association of Law Libraries Washington Affairs Office. AALL Issue Brief: House Legislation To Protect Databases. July 2001.
Doug Isenberg. The Great Database Debate. Gigalaw.com. April 2001.
Peter K. Yu. Evolving Legal Protection for Databases. Gigalaw.com. December 2000.
U.S. Copyright Office. Report of Legal Protection for Databases. August 1997.
CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the law, business, and technology of digital content. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.