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Google follows SOPA down the slippery slope of corporate censorship.

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By Joshua Kopstein on August 15, 2012 02:13 pm



When the citizens of the internet rallied against SOPA earlier this year, Google was among the prominent tech companies raising the banner of free speech against Congress' flawed anti-piracy bill. But in implementing changes to its search algorithm this week which lower the ranking of sites that receive too many copyright complaints, Google has imposed its own opaque system of copyright justice that's reminiscent of the despised, Hollywood-sponsored bill it once fought so adamantly against.


The changes, detailed last week in a blog post, effectively dissolve what remains of Google's stance as a neutral search provider, having already announced in May that it would begin offering placement in Google Shopping based on the highest bidder rather than relevance or popularity. From now on, "valid copyright notices" from third parties will affect page rankings in Google’s search results, meaning that any site which receives enough complaints will have its placement on Google's search engine results pages (SERPs) automatically lowered.


In a way, the new system seems to draw from one of the most dangerous aspects of SOPA: its attempt to combat piracy by allowing copyright owners to take direct action against alleged infringing sites. These "private rights of action" would have allowed rightsholders, for example a TV network or film studio, to have sites removed from search engine results, payment processors, and ad networks, leaving the accused infringers out in the cold before it was even determined whether or not the copyright claim was legitimate.



Source Link and Read More: http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/15/3240549/google-pagerank-sopa-censorship

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We need something truely open and free. We already have it for several things:


Encyclopedias: Wikipedia

Computers: personal computer hardware

Operating Systems: Linux, FreeBSD

Office Software: LibreOffice

Content Distribution: BitTorrent, or any number of P2P applications

Search Engine: ?


Each of the above are examples of resources that are important to the average person and can be used/made without kneeling to any single corporation. Wikipedia can be edited by nearly anyone and read by all. You can pick your components for your computer and customize it at will. Neither Linux nor FreeBSD are going to impose unwanted features (like DRM).


Search is the next thing to be opened up.

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