Consumer Freedom

MoveOn.Org Lets Sen. Susan Collins be Sen. Susan Collins

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MoveOn.org does the right thing. It had been using a dubious Google policy that allows owners of trademarks to ban use of their trademarked name in ads to quash ads from Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). Collins had been dropping the hated-by-conservatives MoveOn's name as a hook to rally supporters. MoveOn has decided to let Collins say what she wants in her ads. Read all about it at Wired.com.

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  1. Thumbs up to MoveOn.org!

  2. So…MoveOn.org have moved on?

  3. J sub D,

    Don’t you mean MoveOn.org??

  4. That was a chintzy move. Good for MoveOn.

  5. What’s interesting is that Google allows businesses to bid on trademarks for driving traffic to sites (i.e., by way of the sponsored results). So using other people’s trademarks is bad for political commentary, good for money. Google’s policy is unnecessary under intellectual property law (mentioning or using trademarks in commentary is totally permissible) and contrary to the principles of free discourse. Obviously, this isn’t a First Amendment issue, but is another not-not evil action by Google.

    At least MoveOn did the right thing, albeit under considerable pressure.

  6. Is it just me or is Google the most stealthy scary company in the world? Does it get a pass because it’s not Microsoft?

  7. J sub D,

    Don’t you mean MoveOn.org??

    Yes. Please don’t sue me, I promise I’ll never do it again. ;-(

  8. Is it just me or is Google the most stealthy scary company in the world? Does it get a pass because it’s not Microsoft?

    Last I checked there were 1 or 2 other browsers out there. I’m not exactly worried.

  9. Is it just me or is Google the most stealthy scary company in the world? Does it get a pass because it’s not Microsoft?

    Well, when I googled “most stealthy scary company in world”, neither Microsoft or Google came up, so they must not be not-not-evil.

    😉

  10. Is it just me or is Google the most stealthy scary company in the world? Does it get a pass because it’s not Microsoft?

    It gets a pass because their motto is “Don’t be evil”. Therefore, they must be a good corporation — their motto says so

  11. There’s always Ask.com. They’re not Google and not Microsoft to boot.

  12. Last I checked there were 1 or 2 other browsers out there. I’m not exactly worried.

    Google makes browsers now?

    Look I’m as free market as the next guy, but being pro free markets doesn’t mean turning off your brain. If you care one whit about civil liberties, it’s important to keep an eye on companies that have access to that much information on you otherwise they’ll sell you down the river like the phone companies.

  13. Search engine domination is tenuous at best. If Google really pissed off a sufficient number of consumers, it could lose that market in a very short amount of time. Plenty of other players could take advantage.

    As for the browser market, I’m stickin’ with my Firefox browser, though IE 7 seems okay.

  14. Remember our motto: “Don’t be evil”

  15. Search engine domination is tenuous at best. If Google really pissed off a sufficient number of consumers, it could lose that market in a very short amount of time. Plenty of other players could take advantage

    I would agree with this. It wasn’t that long ago when Yahoo was the big man on campus in the browser world. And I remember when altavista and lycos were even somewhat relevant. Although I think Google losing it’s dominance would be harder, but not impossible at this point.

    As for the browser market, I’m stickin’ with my Firefox browser, though IE 7 seems okay.

    I’m a firefox man myself, but I haven’t tried IE7. They make you install that Genuine Advantage software on your system to upgrade to it. No thanks.

  16. Is it just me or is Google the most stealthy scary company in the world? Does it get a pass because it’s not Microsoft?

    They get a very similar pass to the one that Apple gets. It’s all about – A making a product that people want and – B garnering goodwill by conspicuous acts of either excellence or generosity while keeping ones acts of evil minimized by either obscure legal issues against companies (Google’s trademark hawkishness doesn’t effect your regular computer-geek joe) or just following it up with more excellence (Apple getting past killing off the PowerPC licensing deal by putting out the iMac and making thier Darwin core to OSX open source).

  17. ProGlib

    Hell, AltaVista’s still out there. I have no idea how they fund themselves, but they’re out there, and not just for Babelfish.

  18. Google’s motto is an anagram for “Bend, Love It”. Don’t know what that means–perhaps someone from Google could explain.

    ChicagoTom,

    I just heard that MS is dropping the validation requirement for IE 7. MS must crave that browser marketshare more it worries about XP/Vista pirates.

    lunchstealer,

    Altavista used to be my favorite–they had very robust Boolean capabilities as well as proximity searches well before any other player in the market. As for Apple, let’s just say that any evil coming out of Redmond is nothing compared to what we would’ve gotten if Apple had ever dominated the PC/OS market. Apple is like Scientology for computers. . .and mp3 players.

  19. I just googled Google’s motto. It really is “Don’t Be Evil.”

  20. I just googled Google’s motto. It really is “Don’t Be Evil.”

    Isn’t that setting the bar pretty effing low? As long as we’re not evil, we’re meeting/exceeding expectations? Man, I’d love to get me some of that action at my annual review.

    Except, actually, I think as in-house counsel they keep me around in case they need someone to lay down some evil.

  21. R C,

    You’re at Google? Is Evil one of your areas of responsibility?

  22. Does it get a pass because it’s not Microsoft?

    No, it gets a pass because it’s using Linux. If Google used Windows, it would be Evil?. If it used Solaris or FreeBSD, it would be viewed with extreme suspicion. But because it uses Linux, it can do no wrong.

  23. You’re at Google? Is Evil one of your areas of responsibility?

    I think he was implying that he is at a company that doesn’t mind a bit of evil now and then. He is pretty pro-war, so I am guessing it is some kind of munitionsmaker.

  24. If MS pulled half the closed system stuff that Apple did, they’d be slapped by so many anti-trust suits the SS gap would be solved.

    Apple is like Scientology for computers. . .and mp3 players.

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve read today.

    Maybe the lawyers at Google are supposed to be the Diet Coke of Evil, just one calorie, not evil enough.

  25. You’re at Google?

    Sadly, no.

    Is Evil one of your areas of responsibility?

    I really couldn’t comment on that.

    He is pretty pro-war, so I am guessing it is some kind of munitionsmaker.

    Hospital, actually. Non-profit charitable organization, gives away millions in care to the poor every year.

  26. R C Dean,

    I figured you weren’t at Google, given your location, but I’ve seen “virtual” in-house counsel before. I fear that Dave may be fatally disappointed that you aren’t involved in nuclear weapons manufacture or something along those lines.

    So, any Google counsel available for comment?

  27. I fear that Dave may be fatally disappointed that you aren’t involved in nuclear weapons manufacture or something along those lines.

    No. It makes me marginally more interested in what RCD has to say. I find people more credible when not speaking in ways you would predict based on their economic bias.

    gives away millions in care to the poor every year

    thank goodness for emtala.

  28. I call it MooOn.borg, as it has hivelike qualities much akin to the Star Trek bad guys. But without the charm.

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