Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I was in Taiwan for one day and am at the airport on my way back to Tokyo now. Even though the bloggers at the bloggers meeting probably came mostly for the iPod Shuffle give-away, it was a great turnout and it was a treat to meet the vibrant Taiwan bloggers community. The talk the next day to the somewhat more sober, but venerable TWNIC audience was also interesting. It was great to meet Paul Wilson from APNIC and listen to John Klensin who was almost as convincing on video as he is in real life.

Special thanks to Ching Chiao for organizing a wonderful trip and the excellent meals. Taiwan is right up there with Italy now in my "best food overall" category.

I'm off to Taiwan today. Tonight I'm giving a talk at the TW Blogger BoF and tomorrow morning I'm giving a talk at the TWNIC Annual Seminar. I haven't been to Taiwan for over 20 years so I'm looking forward to visiting, albeit briefly.

UPDATE: Video of Jedi, the father of Taiwan blogs. (312K .3gp taken with my Nokia 7610) I have no idea what he is saying.

UDPATE 2: They gave away 3 1G iPod Shuffles at the end. No wonder so many people showed to the talk. Maybe I should make it a condition of future speaking engagements. I'll speak if you give way 3 iPod shuffles at the end of my talk. ;-)

New York Times
Growing Number of Lawsuits Could Hurt Google's Ad Revenue

PARIS, March 27 -

[...]

This month, Mr. Dariot triumphed in his year-and-a-half-old lawsuit against Google's French subsidiary, which has been ordered to pay him $97,000 in fines and legal costs.

Dariot and his travel companies, Luteciel and Viaticum, successfully challenged Google's practice of selling Internet advertising from rivals designed to appear with Web searches for his trademarked Web site name, Bourse des Vols, which means flight exchange.

[...]

Mr. Dariot's company is one of the first to win against Google; similar cases in the United States and Germany that challenged the search engine's use of keywords have failed.

But more companies are piling on. France is home to as many as 15 cases, according to lawyers involved.

[...]

In a recent California case, Norm Zada, the chief executive and founder of Perfect 10, a publisher of nude photographs and adult material based in Beverly Hills, said he started sending legal notices to Google about the unauthorized use of his images in 2001.

"After 16 notices, they said they couldn't do anything," Mr. Zada said.

Since then, he said, his attorney has issued a blizzard of 44 notices in the past two years that covered 9,000 unauthorized images. In January, he sued Google in United States District Court in Los Angeles.

Google is in an amazing position to be the target of tons of lawsuits that will set precedent for many important things for us on the Internet. I personally like that Google is pushing the envelope on fair use and other issues. For instance, I think Google Images "thumbnails" are no larger than 150x150 pixels. Because of this, I use 150x150 as my own "safe zone" for "fair use thumbnails". If someone sues me, at least I can point at Google. The other thing that Google, Yahoo and others are involved in is transborder lawsuits, which are a very interesting issue from an Internet governance point of view.

Maybe Google should get into the legal advisory business too. ;-)

I'm in New Delhi airport on my way back to Japan. It will be nice to be home but unfortunately, I'm only going to be home for three nights and then I'm off again to Taiwan... I'm sorry to miss the Holi Day today where people throw paint colored water at each other, but I need to get home. New Delhi was excellent. Thanks again. India's an amazing place. I must come back.

I realize this is a bit old, but in the context of my post yesterday on "What would Gandhi do?"... I googled around and apparently this aired on Air America and a number of other places, but I can't find an audio or video file, just references to it. (If anyone has a link to the video or audio, let me know so I can update this post.)

President Bush explaining his Social Security plan - Tampa, Florida - Feb. 4, 2005

Woman in audience: I don't really understand. How is it the new [Social Security] plan is going to fix that problem?

President Bush: Because the -- all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculated, for example, is on the table. Whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those -- changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be -- or closer delivered to what has been promised. Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled. Look, there's a series of things that cause the -- like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate -- the benefits will rise based upon inflation, as opposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those -- if that growth is affected, it will help on the red.

I wonder if President Bush also feels he can't say exactly what he means when he knows that his words will end up on the Internet...

originally via Markoff

UPDATE: Transcript on Whitehouse site. Thanks Rod.