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NYT Does the Google Dance April 20, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.

Schizophrenic article in the Times Magazine about Google in China. Google caves to China, while the Times caves to Google:

    It was difficult for me to know exactly how Lee felt about the company’s arrangement with China’s authoritarian leadership. As a condition of our meeting, Google had demanded that I not raise the issue of government relations; only the executives in Google’s California head office were allowed to discuss those matters.

6,000 words later:

    Zhao’s moral calculus was striking, not least because it is so foreign to American ways of thinking. For most Americans, or certainly for most of those who think and write about China, there are no half-measures in democracy or free speech.

No half measures, eh? Not like agreeing to avoid topics to get an interview? I guess this piece doesn’t count as free speech.

Oh, and here’s a nice bit:

    Almost one-fifth of Baidu’s traffic comes from searching for unlicensed MP3’s that would be illegal in the United States. Robin Li, Baidu’s 37-year-old founder and C.E.O., is unrepentant. “Right now I think that the record companies may not be happy about the service we are offering,” he told me recently, “but I think digital music as a trend is unstoppable.”

Yeah, Western content companies will make lots of money in China. “Right now.” Oh, they’ll come around eventually, those silly record companies.

Meanwhile, over at the Journal, Walt Mossberg continues to promote piracy er, advise how to break DRM systems er, get the most out of your content:

    If you have an iPod and it contains all of your songs and play lists, you can skip these steps. Just download one of the many cheap utility programs for the Mac that will copy the contents of an iPod to a computer. Two examples are [blank] and [blank], the latter of which comes in a Windows version for Windows-to-Windows transfers.

I’ll let you look them up. Not that I’ve ever used one.

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