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Blog Post
4/16/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Why would anybody trust their private medial records to a service that by its own admission doesn't have all the kinks worked out?  Believe it or not, that's exactly what Google is asking you to do with its Google Health service. I've been thinking a lot about Google lately.  There are serious privacy concerns about how the Internet...
Blog Post
4/15/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt recently sat down with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd and discussed how newspapers can emerge from their downward spiral.  His solution, not surprisingly, is less privacy. Google built its gargantuan multi-billion dollar business by selling targeted ads linked to the creative work of others. When you search...
News Story
4/10/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
A proposed settlement in a copyright lawsuit involving Google's book search has drawn applause, envy, and from a handful of critics, an attempt to derail the deal. The settlement covers orphan works, meaning books that are still copyrighted but whose copyright holders can't be located, and in some cases may even have abandoned. Google would like...
News Story
4/7/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Complaints over Google's sweeping digital books settlement have reached a boiling point. And Google wants you to know that Microsoft is funding some of the heat. In October, Google reached a $125 million agreement with the US Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, hoping to settle a three-year-old class action suit that accused...
News Story
4/7/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Advocacy group Consumer Watchdog has joined the ranks of organizations expressing concern about the proposed Google Book Search settlement. The group criticizes the settlement on the grounds that it would give Google "an effective monopoly over digitized books" and is asking the Department of Justice to intervene. "Because the...
News Story
4/6/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Traditional media is once again rattling sabers in the direction of Google and other sites that aggregate the news. There's tough talk coming from managers at The Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press that include threats of legal challenges and even name calling. "There is no doubt that certain Web sites are best described as...
News Story
4/6/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
With May 5 the deadline for filing objections to Google’s settlement with the AAP and the Authors Guild, the consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog has sent a letter to the Justice Department asking the department to delay the settlement, which still needs court approval. The letter cites two objections to the agreement: a so-called...
News Story
4/6/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
While much mainstream news coverage of the pending Google Book Search settlement has focused on the potential boon to researchers, concerns raised by librarians and consumers have begun to hit critical mass. One sign was a front-page article in the April 4 New York Times, headlined Google’s Plan for Out-of-Print Books Is Challenged, which...
News Story
4/6/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Google's recent and far-flung attempt to digitize the world's "orphan" books, or out-of-print tomes that remain under copyright but whose rights-holders cannot be found, may soon hit a roadblock in the form of the U.S. Department of Justice, at least if a consumer group gets its wish. John Simpson, a consumer advocate for Consumer...
News Release
4/6/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
"Orphan Works" provision and "Most Favored Nation" Clause Raise Antitrust Concerns Santa Monica, CA -- Google’s proposed settlement with authors and publishers raises antitrust concerns, Consumer Watchdog said today and the nonpartisan, nonprofit group called on the U.S. Department of Justice to intervene. In a letter to...