The Continuing War on Google

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This time it’s a weird tie-in with Google’s dispute with the China Writers’ Association over Google’s online book project:

Chinese intellectual property rights (IPR)†authorities said on Wednesday that information transmission on the Internet should be prevented if it is found to be violating China’s IPR regulations, especially copyright, referring to the Google issues in China.

Yin Xintian, spokesman of the State Intellectual Property Office, said that it had been China’s consistent stance.

He was responding to a question about Google’s threat to retreat from China over Internet management disputes, at a press conference on the amendment to the implementation rules of the Patent Law.

“Information flow on the Internet should follow the basic principle of respecting and protecting the intellectual property rights of others,” he said. (Xinhua)

1. Why did someone ask a question about Google to a SIPO spokesman who was talking about the Patent Law Implementing Regs? (FYI, SIPO is China’s Patent Office with no authority over copyright matters.)

2. Regarding the answer, what does this copyright dispute have to do with Google’s complaints over censorship and Gmail hacking?

3. Why is the SIPO person alleging, in a way, that Google is somehow not respecting IP rights? Is this some sort of equivalence argument? (i.e. “Google’s hands are not clean, they should shut up)

The “It’s OK to pile on Google” message appears to have gotten out there.