Google Starts Towards The Path of Evil

The unofficial motto at Google has been Don’t Be Evil. Google’s philosophy states that “You can make money without doing evil.” The funny thing about being evil is that there is no technical IEEE standard of evil. That said, Google is on a slippery slope sliding towards impish and evilish behavior. As Google has a lock on the search and online advertising market, it has started to tailgate other industry leaders. Most notably, Google has started to tailgate Facebook and Twitter with different incarnations and versions of a social networking site. Depending on how you count, Google Plus is their fourth attempt at creating a social networking site. Google is also trying to compete with Apple in the mobile space. Well after a year into Apple revolutionizing the mobile phone market, Google got into the arena with their free mobile Operating System Android. In trying to compete in these two distinct markets, they have started to make decisions whose moral compass points towards evil-like behavior.

Even though Google’s latest attempt at a Facebook killer, Google Plus, has been well received it has also generated some of the most passionate arguments against any of their policies. Google Plus does not allow users to use pseudonyms, alias, nicknames, or any online handle other than their real names. There has been opposition against this stance from even within Google engineers tasked with implementing such draconian technology. The reasoning behind this rule makes no sense, and goes against a fundamental human right of self identity. I have the right to go and respond by any name I wish to be known as. In fact, many celebrities often use names other than their real names. Vic Gundotra, the Senior Vice President of Engineering at Google does not go by his real name that was given at birth so this all seems hypocritical.

The second misstep is their self serving stance on patents as written in a recent corporate blog post When Patents Attack Android. In this post, David Drummond, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Google, practically accuses Microsoft, Apple, and Oracle of conspiring against Android with “bogus patents.” These are the same “bogus patents” that Google itself had tried to purchased from Novell for $3.14 billion. I doubt that any publicly traded company would bid $3.14 billion on “bogus patents” and in fact publicly complaining about having lost those patents demonstrates that they are not entirely bogus. Having lost the auction for said “bogus patents” Google went on to buy over 1000 patents from IBM for an undisclosed amount.

9 Responses to “Google Starts Towards The Path of Evil”

  • Matt Giuca Says:

    “These are the same “bogus patents” that Google itself had tried to purchased from Novell for $3.14 billion. I doubt that any publicly traded company would bid $3.14 billion on “bogus patents” and in fact publicly complaining about having lost those patents demonstrates that they are not entirely bogus.”

    You nong! Google bid billions for those patents because they knew that if someone else got them, they would sue Google. And they did. If you were Superman and a large chunk of Kryptonite was on sale, wouldn’t you rather buy it up and store it safely in your Fortress than let Lex Luthor buy it?

    When they use the word “bogus” they don’t mean “without legal merit”. If the patents were without legal merit, nobody would be trying to buy them. Google knows the patents are valid. By “bogus” they mean these patents should not be valid, because they are patents on simple computer science algorithms and user interface elements that nobody should have a monopoly on.

  • bigpicture Says:

    What about some real journalism? Do you think that Google would need any patents if it did not need to defend “a better user experience” business model? When is the last time that Google used any patents offensively? Ever?

    Do you think that there would be any “real names issues if both Google and Facebook did not have to comply with the law? (No under 13 year olds using the service)

  • Ben Says:

    The way I understand it, the patent auction began at a measly $1B, with everyone bidding individually. It wasn’t until the price jumped up and the others (IBM, Microsoft etc) were outbid, that they then joined forces so to speak and purchased the patents together with Apple.

    This is the point Google are making. Why would rival companies get in bed together if not to solely keep Google from winning.

    That’s anti-competitive in my book.

  • clarity Says:

    Yea, the company Google, who displays your article about them being evil, as one of the top links for the blog post this article is about….yea those guys, are so evil!

    And lets also totally ignore the logic and reasoning behind the consumers (the people) being at a loss due to this patent lawsuit “campaign”.

    Google’s tip toed around publicizing these sneaky attacks by their competitors long enough. Now, it had become directly related to the consumer having to pay more, and they did the right thing by making their voices heard.

  • Ellen Says:

    I’d like to see Google become more innovative. Success is not achieved by copying the current trends; they should be working to develop the next trend..A day will come when facebook, twitter, and the rest of the social networks will become something of the past..So Google, what’s next??

  • TechKnow Says:

    I’ve written before about what I thought were invalid patents, see US Patent: Virtual Currency and US Patent: Linked List. Like most techies and engineers, I dislike the current state of patents and patent trolls. I know that it is a negative trend for smaller companies and startup if patents are sold for what amounts to a king’s ransom. That said, I would challenge anyone to look at all the patents in question and say if they are “bogus.” Patents are a legal mechanism that provides a monopoly for a given amount of time to protect a firm’s capital investment in a new technology. Patents in themselves are not bad, immoral, illegal, or wrong.

  • Brian Gillespie Says:

    Google needs to stop crying foul when they get busted for using other people’s ideas without paying for them. Google was hoping to buy the Nortel and Novell patents to use as bargaining chips for licensing deals on patented processes pilfered from MS and Apple. Google is copying innovations they did not create, including them in phone software they give away for free, then trying to compete with MS and Apple for customers by attracting them with MS and Apple’s own innovations. And now they’re whining because MS and Apple won’t let them get away with it. Poor little Google, life is so unfair.

  • TechKnow Says:

    Microsoft officials have responded to Google’s “it’s not fair bogus patents” blog post and revealed that Microsoft had asked Google to be part of the consortium that bid on said patents. Google refused to buy the patents together with Microsoft, Apple, etc. This is not the first time that Google use their bully pulpit to try to bully public opinion and smear misinformation against competitors.

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