Don’t be evil, my ass

So, Google’s motto used to be "Don’t be Evil". Or so I heard, I’ll have to check the Internet Archive later to see if that’s true. Their current motto is "You can make money without doing evil" which may have always been their motto and just paraphrased to death.

Since going public, their motto of course is "Don’t be so evil that we can’t make tons of money."

I once adored Google. Ok, maybe that’s too strong but I once thought they could do no wrong. Mostly because they supplied an excellent service and hadn’t done any wrong that I knew of.

That’s all changing.

From draconion treatment from their ad service to more and more news of how they’re focusing on profits over not doing evil I’m coming to believe what I always suspected. That Google is no better than any other profit-focused company. And nobody over the age of twelve would expect a public company to do what’s right over what will make them a profit.

Cases in point:

  1. Google goes into China and let’s the Chinese government impose censorship on their service. They may claim that being there and limiting access is better than not being in China at all. For whom is it better? The Chinese? No. I’d argue that it would be better if all the search services pulled out at the same time rather than submit to censorship (and I won’t even touch Yahoo’s behavior). The Chinese have already had a glimpse of what freedom of information can get them. You want to force a government change? Take open search away completely and let their citizens apply pressure to the goverment. I think their days of getting away with Tiananmen square tactics are over.
  2. Google opens up a video service and shortly announces that they’ll be adding DRM "features". These features will prevent you from playing a video that you’ve paid for unless your computer can talk to Google’s servers. What?! Most of the videos I watch on computer I watch on my PalmTX. I’ll be damned if I’m going to connect to the internet every time I want to see part of some TV episode or movie, even assuming I’ve got a connection available.
    I’ve paid for the movies once already, don’t trade them online and I don’t need big brother deciding if I have the rights to watch those movies whenever or wherever I want to.

More and more companies are trying to take away our rights in order to make another buck on top of those we’ve already paid.

Enough is enough.

I will not pay for DRM enabled anything from this point on.

Apple can go jump in a hole (I don’t care that their prices are reasonable, I do care that I can’t play their music on my Zen Micro without going through hell first).

I won’t buy any music from Sony, they’ve already shown their stripes and they’ll have to stay clean for a long long time for me to give them another dime.

I will no longer support Google by including a link to them on my web site (it goes away tonight).

I will not be buying Windows Vista when it comes out. Microsoft and the hardware manufacturers that are trying to control how and what we view on our computers can all go right to hell. I will not support them and I’ll urge everyone I know and can talk to not to go anywhere near it. Who knows, Vista may be the Microsoft app that launches Linux into the true mainstream.

Yes, I know this article started out with just Google but the straw that did them in as far as I’m concerned is the DRM attached to their video offerings.

Their motto should be "Refuse no profit."

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Michael Harrison

Husband, Programmer, Irish dancer, tinkerer, astronomer, layabout (as much as possible)

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