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Google vs Baidu  (View post)

Peggy Youngblood [PersonRank 0]

Wednesday, May 7, 2008
9 years ago4,447 views

I am so happy to be able to purchase BIDU here in the USA. Do you think that ADRs will be a bit pricier since the governmemt has lowered the interest rate so much?

Jade [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

While the points about google maps and music download issues are valid, I'm not so sure about those on Baidu Post and the blog platform. As far as I am aware of, baidu post forums aren't the most respected nor well sought after source for dissemination of accurate, credible information, the most popular ones being those related to celebrity names and hot current issues, and frequented mostly by fluffy teenage fans and/or haters, slanderers and spammers. The 'popularity' is due to the sheer volume of Chinese internet users and the relative ease of usage (no registration required to post or comment. But IP address is recorded AND displayed..talking about anonymity!)

And baidu blog has advantage over google blogger not because it understands the market better or technically better or easier to use (it's rather primitive...and all 'cute' templates, obviously targeting teenagers and young adults), it's because blogspot is blocked in China for its unwillingness to censor! I'd like to see the surge of Chinese user registrations when (IF) the ban on blogspot is lifted.

If google does better localization and the GFW disappears one day, baidu has every reason to be very, very afraid...

tim [PersonRank 0]

9 years ago #

comparing these two companies prospects is ridiculous, Baidu has more in common with Napster 5 years ago than it does with the current Google. If Chinese law ever addressed copywright Baidu's use would be severely hampered. Their business model is built around media downloads. Don't get me wrong I like free music like everyone but Google has a much more robust service offering and will clobber baidu.

Padw [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

"Baidu understands this reality and its music search product – which presents a list of links for free music downloads when people search by song, singer, or label – is extremely popular. Google is unable to compete with Baidu in this regard due to its adherence to US copyright laws."

Hah.. yes. Just like Google's adherence to US copyright has stopped Google from taking books from the library that they do not own, and scanning them, en masse.

Padw [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

FWIW, 6 years ago I told Google that they could do exactly for music what they are now doing for books, i.e. "index" music without actually serving up full copies. And their response was "no, we can't do that.. it would be against copyright". And yet, here they are, 6 years later, doing exactly the same thing for books.

Padw [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

And YouTube. Let's not forget about YouTube. If Google thinks that YouTube is able to avoid copyright issues, then it should set up a music version of YouTube as well, a place where anyone can upload and download music just like anyone uploads and downloads video.

So why isn't Google doing this? If YouTube adheres to US copyright laws, then so would a YouMusicTube, right?

Hong Xiaowan [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

On search engine, Baidu win China, it is the main part.

Google did a perfect work, but Google China did bad. That's all.

Veky [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Padw: You can't download video from YouTube.
(Well, of course you can, de facto, but officially, you can't.)

Besides, there _are_ a ton of music "video"s on YouTube, which nobody _watches_, just listens to. It's just that really awful quality is much less tolerated by our ears than by our eyes.

Padw [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

Veky: Sure you can download video. Even officially. You just can't save it to your hard drive. But every time you fire up a web player, you are downloading that video, and Google is distributing that video.

In a day and age of ubiquitous, always-on networking, what does it even matter if the video is on your hard drive, versus only in RAM? If you can watch it whenever and wherever you want, in full, that has the same overall end effect.

Your second argument about the quality of the audio is a red herring. I myself prefer 44Khz, PCM audio, and I consider 128 and even 192 bit mp3 a degradation in quality. And yet that didn't stop the music industry from going after Napster.

The point is, Google wears two faces: One face for video and books, another for music.

They should either do for music what they are already doing for video and books, or they should do for video and books what they are doing for music. But to treat one different from the other just makes them look weak and confused.

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

Map data is generally subject to national security in the mainland China, though the US government had such data for a few decades through spy satellites. However, it is very hard for outsiders like Google and those spy satellites to get precise street maps.

There's no regulation to govern the info publishing. PRC government may provide convenience to Baidu to access street map data, but not to Google. Unless China has become a free market, there's no way for Google to win Baidu in areas of search and maps etc.

Satan [PersonRank 6]

9 years ago #

Padw : "In a day and age of ubiquitous, always-on networking, what does it even matter if the video is on your hard drive, versus only in RAM? If you can watch it whenever and wherever you want, in full, that has the same overall end effect."

There's nothing like having a copy on your HD. It's like money in the bank. Well, that's the expression, but it's more like paper cash in your wallet, metaphorically.

Padw [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

So why can't I just walk into the movie theatre, for free? I'm not copying it to my hard drive. So I should be able to just watch whatever I want to.

That's essentially what YouTube is doing. YouTube lets you walk into the movie theatre for free.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

> That's essentially what YouTube is doing. YouTube lets you
> walk into the movie theatre for free.

Actually (here in Germany) you can also watch individual TV programs for free, as long as you pay your broadcast/ TV tax... which as of recent years also includes a tax if you own a computer*. We have two types of programs, one state-financed (which live by the taxes) and the other ad financed, which similarly to YouTube would make revenues via sponsors. The difference to YouTube seems to be that these TV programs license their material upfront so they own it (unless shorter clips for commentary I guess), and that it is all pretty boring/ horrible most of the time :)

Oh yeah, and you are even allowed to make private copies of TV shows and movies as you like on VHS (and pass on the VHS tape to friends).

* en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geb%C3%B ...

Padw [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

"which similarly to YouTube would make revenues via sponsors. "

Philipp, things similar in the UK. The point is, whether you are paying your TV tax, or whether the television is being supported by ads, the money is being paid, by *someone*, back to the content creators.

With YouTube, the money is not being paid back to the content creators. 3rd parties (users) are uploading content that does not belong to them, to another 3rd party (Google), and then a final 3rd party (also users) is downloading and watching that content again.

No money is ever flowing to the creators of that content. Oh, maybe there are a few licensing exceptions here and there. But for the majority of what YouTube serves and distributes, the owners of the copyright are not getting paid.

My point still stands: If this is all so Good and correct and legal, then why doesn't Google do the exact same thing, for music?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

> But for the majority of what YouTube serves and
> distributes, the owners of the copyright are not getting
> paid.

I'm not as sure about that. Perhaps you're right, but perhaps content creators are also sometimes benefitting from the extra attention (say, a Madonna video clip is mirrored and viewed a million times, and then Madonna found 10,000 new fans of which 1,000 start buying her latest record the next day. Numbers of course just for illustrative purpose.)

> My point still stands: If this is all so Good and correct and
> legal, then why doesn't Google do the exact same thing, for
> music?

Yeah, good question.

Padw [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

"but perhaps content creators are also sometimes benefitting from the extra attention "

Perhaps they are. But then it should be up to the content creators to decide whether or not they want to participate in this attention databank. It should not be up to 3rd party users and 3rd party companies (Google).

If I break into your house, but I do nothing other than wash and iron all your shirts, does that make it ok? Perhaps you actually benefited by my breaking into your house, right? But somehow, I think you'd prefer it if I didn't.

Google publicly comes out and talks all the time about how much they respect copyright. That was the whole point of your Google vs. Baidu post, right? Baidu was winning, because they supposedly don't respect copyright, while Google supposedly does.

But if you really look at it, Google doesn't, either.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

9 years ago #

> But then it should be up to the content
> creators to decide whether or not they want to participate in
> this attention databank. It should not be up to 3rd party users
> and 3rd party companies (Google).

Actually it would probably be defined by laws and laws often seek a compromise between content creators and content users which does *not* require the content creator to always give permission ("fair use" in common law but it may well go beyond that, as this law is not "natural" but derived) – in fact, if you create content there may well be situations where you should not fully own it at all (e.g. if the idea is too simple, or the idea was a copy of something else – e.g. a straight photograph of the Mona Lisa painting – or the idea would be too important to humanity... the latter is discussed by Lawrence Lessig in the context of patenting medicine drugs which drives up the price to something so that certain countries won't afford the drug even though they really need it).

> If I break into your house, but I do nothing other than
> wash and iron all your shirts, does that make it ok?
> Perhaps you actually benefited by my breaking into
> your house, right? But somehow, I think you'd prefer
> it if I didn't.

Heh. I found it's often tough to discuss metaphors, though. You can make up many metaphors that prove this point or that and then when you discuss them in detail, sometimes you get lost in discussing the analogy which has its flaws of course as it's not the real thing. Actually, if you would like to iron my shirts at night, I'd probably leave the door open and we could strike a deal of some sort, as I think it could be a cool service!

But here is another analogy: When you paint a picture and I look at the picture while I pass by, I make a mental note of the picture – call it a copy – and yet I never asked you for permission. Still, this "copy" can then be basis for my further creative work.

People today have far too little freedom to use such works for their own creative output (the "mixing and mashing" of content) – the copyright laws have grown far stricter over time (e.g. copyright terms being expanded often, due to lobbyism of content-owning companies... like Disney, which creatively copied a whole lot of stuff in their time – Brother Grimm's, for starters – but then does not like to allow others to make creative copies).

DRM is another big barrier between new forms of creativitiy. Ideally, shouldn't people be able to download any movie they buy in high quality and then be allowed to mix this into new, creative forms via "fair use" (which won't take away any revenues from the original)? But today, DRM prevents much of "fair use".

Padw [PersonRank 1]

9 years ago #

Philipp, I am totally on your side when it comes to fair use, when it comes to all these limitations to creativity. I'm not arguing against all that.

I'm just saying that what Google is doing goes way beyond any notion of fair use. And that Google agrees!

Because as I told you, I talked with a very senior person at Google at 2002 and made to him exactly the same arguments about why Google should be doing music search.. the same arguments that Google now makes about, for example, book search. And his response was "no, that would be a violation of copyright.. we don't do that."

So by Google's own admission, these things are violating copyright. And yet they continue to do them anyway. For some media, at least, and not for others. Which is just totally contradictory and makes them look conniving and disingenuous.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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