Media,  UK Politics

A brief guide to Henry Porter’s Google article

Henry Porter is at it again.

1st Paragraph. The internet is anti-civic and destructive. The web is controlled by monopolies.

One could quite easily argue the opposite. The internet has opened up channels for criticism of governments and the banding together of like-minded individuals in a revolutionary way.

2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Paragraphs: moaning about the lot of artists, writers and commercial institutions and the issues of intellectual property rights in the internet age.

OK, there are issues, but cry me a river. The recording industry made huge strategic mistakes with regard to online music that are only now starting to shake out to some form of resolution.

8th Paragraph: Argues that Google is making money. The horror! “Google is in the final analysis a parasite that creates nothing, merely offering little aggregation, lists and the ordering of information generated by people who have invested their capital, skill and time.”

Oh come on. Google is more a symbiont acting in concert with the user. People who generate information, want it found. Google helps people find it.

9th Paragraph: Moaning about the lot of newspapers, another business under threat because of the evil Google.

10th Paragraph: “newspapers are the only means of holding local hospitals, schools, councils and the police to account, and on a national level they are absolutely essential for the good functioning of democracy”

Apparently Google are going kill newspapers off and we will all have to live under the totalitarian boot. Newspapers are the only means of holding local hospitals and schools to account? Oh come on. Newspapers have a struggle on their hands, but that isn’t all Google fault (if it is at all).

11th Paragraph.
Google is anti-civic, and “delinquent and sociopathic”.

12th and 13th Paragraphs. Some valid criticism of Google’s China policy, and then….

naturally, it did not exercise Google executives that Street View not only invaded the privacy of millions and made the job of burglars easier but somehow laid claim to Britain’s civic spaces. How gratifying to hear of the villagers of Broughton, Bucks, who prevented the Google van from taking pictures of their homes.

We could do worse than follow their example for this brat needs to be stopped in its tracks and taught about the responsibilities it owes to content providers and copyright holders.

Back to protecting the wealthy. Forces of reaction. Everywhere. In the guise of civil liberties.

This comment at CIF hit the mark:

I can see that Mr. Potter [sic] should be very afraid, since his livelihood is threatened by pirates who work outside the law, bloggers, librivoxers and wikipedians who are work within it, and YouTube which appears to be at the boundary. The first thing that Mr. Porter should do to protect his livelihood is to ensure that his arguments are clearly expressed, something he has not done on this occasion.