Santa Clara University

SCU in the News: March 11 to March 25, 2010

Report Overview:
Total Clips (150)
Other (150)


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Other (150)
California's Latino students graduate college at higher rates than Latino national average 03/26/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text View Clip
SOT PROFESSOR ANNA HAN SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL 03/25/2010 News Channel 7 Daybreak - KRCR-TV Text
Professor Anna Han Santa Clara University Law School 03/24/2010 Washington Business Tonight - NewsChannel 8 Text
Google's action angers China, threatens business interests 03/24/2010 Tri-Valley Herald Text
European ruling makes it tougher on Google advertisers 03/24/2010 Thomson Reuters Text View Clip
Google's action angers China, threatens business interests 03/24/2010 SiliconValley.com Text View Clip
Google's action angers China, threatens business interests 03/24/2010 SiliconValley.com Text View Clip
Google's action angers China, threatens business interests 03/24/2010 San Mateo County Times Text
GOOGLE FEELS FIRST BACKLASH BY CHINA 03/24/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text
Google's action angers China, threatens business interests 03/24/2010 Oroville Mercury-Register Text View Clip
Google's action angers China, threatens business interests 03/24/2010 Oakland Tribune Text
SOT PROFESSOR XXXXXXXX HAN SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL 03/24/2010 Newschannel 5 at 5 PM - KRGV-TV Text
Google's action angers China, threatens business interests 03/24/2010 Los Angeles Daily News - Online Text View Clip
SOT Professor xxxxxxxx Han Santa Clara University Law School 03/24/2010 KAKE News at 4 PM - KAKE-TV Text
Good people do shocking things 03/24/2010 Gazette (Montreal) - Online, The Text View Clip
SOT Professor xxxxxxxx Han Santa Clara University Law School 03/24/2010 First News at 5 PM - WLOS-TV Text
Google's action angers China, threatens business interests 03/24/2010 Daily Review, The Text
Google's action angers China, threatens business interests 03/24/2010 Argus, The Text
Google's action angers China, threatens business interests 03/24/2010 Alameda Times-Star Text
SOT PROFESSOR XXXXXXXX HAN SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL 03/24/2010 ABC 12 News at 5 PM - WJRT-TV Text
SOT PROFESSOR XXXXXXXX HAN SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL 03/24/2010 ABC 12 News at 11 PM - WJRT-TV Text
Good people doing bad things 03/23/2010 Windsor Star - Online, The Text View Clip
Law schools adjust curricula to changing profession 03/23/2010 Washington Business Journal - Online Text View Clip
Leavey School of Business names dean 03/23/2010 Washington Business Journal - Online Text View Clip
Leavey School of Business names dean 03/23/2010 Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal - Online Text View Clip
Opinion: John Edwards, Tiger Woods and entitlement 03/23/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Google's action angers China, threatens business interests 03/23/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Leavey School of Business names dean 03/23/2010 San Francisco Business Times - Online Text View Clip
Good people doing bad things 03/23/2010 Regina Leader-Post - Online Text View Clip
Good people doing bad things; Circumstances have a much greater influence on how we act than most pe 03/23/2010 Ottawa Citizen, The Text
Good people doing bad things 03/23/2010 Ottawa Citizen - Online, The Text View Clip
BUSINESS IN CHINA AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL. 03/23/2010 News Channel 7 Daybreak - KRCR-TV Text
Time Warner Submits Bid for MGM 03/23/2010 Morningstar (Canada) Text View Clip
Google's action angers China, threatens business interests 03/23/2010 InsideBayArea.com Text View Clip
Good people doing bad things 03/23/2010 Gazette (Montreal) - Online, The Text View Clip
Leavey School of Business names dean 03/23/2010 Business Review - Online Text View Clip
Leavey School of Business names dean 03/23/2010 Business Review - Online Text View Clip
Google pulls out of China 03/23/2010 ABC Radio Australia Text View Clip
Fix Your Own Target-Date Fund 03/22/2010 SmartMoney - Online Text View Clip
Dueling Summary Judgment Motions In Viacom v. YouTube 03/22/2010 Slashdot Text View Clip
Editorial: 'Silly' courses offer real education 03/22/2010 Pitt News - Online, The Text View Clip
Letters: ‘Victory at Last' 03/22/2010 Newsweek Text
Sandra Schneiders on Religious Life -- II 03/22/2010 National Catholic Reporter Online Text View Clip
Judge Orders Financial Site To Delay Publishing Banks' Stock Recommendations 03/22/2010 MediaPost.com Text View Clip
Law schools adjust curricula to changing profession 03/22/2010 Business Review - Online Text View Clip
THIS EXPERT ON CHINESE LAW AND DOING BUSINESS IN CHINA AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. 03/22/2010 ABC 7 News at 6 PM- KGO-TV Text
THIS EXPERT ON CHINESE LAW AND DOING BUSINESS IN CHINA AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. 03/22/2010 ABC 7 News at 6 PM- KGO-TV Text
Google gives up fight with 'censoring' China 03/21/2010 Sunday Telegraph (UK) Text
Google likely to win battle over counterfeit goods ads 03/21/2010 New Zealand Herald Text View Clip
Don't be evil, You! 03/21/2010 New York Post - Online Text View Clip
Latinos graduating from college above national rate 03/21/2010 Daily Democrat - Online Text View Clip
Contemporary Clinical Psychology, Second Edition 03/21/2010 Australian PC World Text View Clip
Google Likely to Win EU Court Battle Over Ads 03/21/2010 ABC News - Online Text View Clip
Google in China: we're closing tomorrow 03/20/2010 Telegraph.co.uk Text View Clip
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/20/2010 Seattle Times - Online Text View Clip
GOOGLE LIKELY TO WIN EU CASE 03/20/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text
Google likely to win EU ad battle, but experts say the fight with brand-owners will go on 03/20/2010 Los Angeles Times - Online Text View Clip
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/20/2010 Belleville News-Democrat - Online Text View Clip
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/20/2010 Bay News 9 - Online Text View Clip
Google likely to win EU ad battle, but experts say the fight with brand-owners will go on 03/20/2010 Baltimore Sun - Online Text View Clip
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/20/2010 Anchorage Daily News - Online Text View Clip
PREVIEW - Google adword win in Europe wouldn't end battles 03/19/2010 Yahoo! India Text View Clip
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/19/2010 WSFA-TV - Online Text View Clip
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/19/2010 WDAM-TV - Online Text View Clip
Viacom Says YouTube Ignored Copyrights 03/19/2010 Times-News - Online Text View Clip
Google adword win in Europe wouldn't end battles 03/19/2010 Thomson Reuters - Online Text View Clip
PREVIEW-Google adword win in Europe wouldn't end battles 03/19/2010 Thomson Reuters - Online Text View Clip
YouTube Motions Highlight How Entertainment Industry Lawsuits May Have Slowed Useful Platforms 03/19/2010 Techdirt Text View Clip
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/19/2010 Seattle Post-Intelligencer Text View Clip
Google executives called YouTube a 'pirate' site 03/19/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/19/2010 Salon.com Text View Clip
Viacom Says YouTube Ignored Copyrights 03/19/2010 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Online Text View Clip
Google Nearing AdWords Ruling in Europe 03/19/2010 PC Magazine Text View Clip
Viacom Says YouTube Ignored Copyrights 03/19/2010 New York Times - Online Text View Clip
Barbs Traded By Viacom And YouTube 03/19/2010 New York Times Text
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/19/2010 Merced Sun-Star - Online Text View Clip
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/19/2010 Los Angeles Daily News - Online Text View Clip
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/19/2010 Lexington Herald-Leader - Online Text View Clip
Google, Viacom Don't Hold Back in Dueling Motions 03/19/2010 Law Blog - Wall Street Journal Blogs Text View Clip
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/19/2010 KESQ-TV - Online Text View Clip
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/19/2010 Kansas City Star - Online Text View Clip
Google adword win in Europe wouldn't end battles 03/19/2010 IT Business Net Text View Clip
Google adword win in Europe wouldn't end battles 03/19/2010 International Business Times Text View Clip
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/19/2010 Huffington Post, The Text View Clip
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/19/2010 Herald-Journal Text View Clip
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/19/2010 Greenwich Time - Online Text View Clip
Google adword win in Europe wouldn't end battles 03/19/2010 DVD Studio Pro Text View Clip
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/19/2010 CNBC - Online Text View Clip
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/19/2010 Buffalo News - Online Text View Clip
Google Likely To Win EU Court Battle Over Ads 03/19/2010 Black Enterprise Magazine Text View Clip
Youtube accuse Viacom of 'secret uploads' 03/19/2010 BBC America Text View Clip
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/19/2010 Associated Press (AP) Text
Google likely to win EU court battle over ads 03/19/2010 Associated Press (AP) Text
Google executives called YouTube a 'pirate' site 03/19/2010 American Chronicle Text View Clip
Google adword win in Europe wouldn't end battles 03/18/2010 Yahoo! News Text View Clip
French TV show updates famous shock experiment 03/18/2010 WJRT-TV - Online Text View Clip
A tale of two Great Depressions 03/18/2010 Washington Times Text
Sr. Sandra Schneiders on religious life 03/18/2010 Tidings Text View Clip
Cashier Ethics: Do I Have to Give It Back? 03/18/2010 SmartMoney - Online Text View Clip
The Sandra Bullock Marriage Bombshell; Tiger Not Out of the Woods; Brand-New Kirstie Alley Scientolo 03/18/2010 Showbiz Tonight - CNN Headline News Text
PREVIEW-Google adword win in Europe wouldn't end battles 03/18/2010 Reuters India Text View Clip
Google executives called YouTube a 'pirate' site 03/18/2010 Oakland Tribune Text
Viacom Says YouTube Ignored Copyrights 03/18/2010 El Paso Inc. Text View Clip
Viacom and Google Trade Barbs As $1 Billion Lawsuit Heats Up 03/18/2010 AOL Money and Finance Text View Clip
Google adword win in Europe wouldn't end battles 03/18/2010 AEC NEWSROOM Text View Clip
FRIEDMAN: A tale of two Great Depressions 03/17/2010 Washington Times - Online Text View Clip
The Sheriff 03/17/2010 New Republic - Online, The Text View Clip
Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop 03/17/2010 Gazette (Montreal) - Online, The Text View Clip
Interview With Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich; The Children of Haiti - Part 2 03/17/2010 Anderson Cooper 360º - Cable News Network (CNN) Text
Healthcare Hardball; Haiti Homecoming; Game of Death; Corey Haim Drug Arrest; Making Green Beer - Pa 03/17/2010 Anderson Cooper 360º - Cable News Network (CNN) Text
Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop 03/16/2010 Windsor Star - Online, The Text View Clip
Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop 03/16/2010 Vancouver Sun - Online, The Text View Clip
Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop 03/16/2010 Times Colonist - Online Text View Clip
Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop 03/16/2010 Star Phoenix - Online Text View Clip
POINTER SISTERS BRING BRONCOS TO THEIR FEET 03/16/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text
Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop 03/16/2010 Regina Leader-Post - Online Text View Clip
Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop 03/16/2010 Province - Online, The Text View Clip
Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop 03/16/2010 Ottawa Citizen - Online, The Text View Clip
With love for community spirit A senior from Aloha High is this year's Metro princess 03/16/2010 Oregonian, The Text
Now's the time to shop in U.S.; Surging loonie makes foreign assets cheaper 03/16/2010 National Post Text
Sandra Schneiders on religious life 03/16/2010 National Catholic Reporter Online Text View Clip
Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop 03/16/2010 Global TV - Online Text View Clip
Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop 03/16/2010 Global Lethbridge (CISA-TV) - Online Text View Clip
Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop 03/16/2010 Calgary Herald - Online, The Text View Clip
Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop 03/15/2010 Westerly News Text View Clip
Pizarro: Entertaining pinch-hit by the Pointer Sisters 03/15/2010 SiliconValley.com Text View Clip
Pizarro: Entertaining pinch-hit by the Pointer Sisters 03/15/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop 03/15/2010 National Post - Online Text View Clip
22 Top Catholic Colleges and Universities 03/15/2010 About.com Text View Clip
Newsom casts himself as reformer in bid for lieutenant governor 03/13/2010 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
LATE ENTRIES SHAKE UP RACES 03/13/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text
TESTING THE HYPE: IPAD FOR SALE 03/13/2010 San Jose Mercury News Text
Brizzi's lease deals benefited friend, donor 03/13/2010 Indianapolis Business Journal Text View Clip
Advertising for the new age: Shopping links in web photos 03/12/2010 WJRT-TV - Online Text View Clip
Newsom casts himself as reformer in bid for lieutenant governor 03/12/2010 Whittier Daily News Text View Clip
Newsom casts himself as reformer in bid for lieutenant governor 03/12/2010 Santa Cruz Sentinel - Online Text View Clip
Newsom casts himself as reformer in bid for lieutenant governor 03/12/2010 San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online Text View Clip
Newsom casts himself as reformer in bid for lieutenant governor 03/12/2010 Press-Telegram - Online Text View Clip
Newsom casts himself as reformer in bid for lieutenant governor 03/12/2010 Pasadena Star-News - Online Text View Clip
Pro-life group urges Congress to pass Senate health care bill 03/12/2010 National Catholic Reporter Online Text View Clip
3 At Santa Clara University in California, Maybe the Joy of Garbage class is for you. 03/12/2010 Morning Show - WJXT-TV, The Text
Newsom casts himself as reformer in bid for lieutenant governor 03/12/2010 Lexington Herald-Leader - Online Text View Clip
Newsom casts himself as reformer in bid for lieutenant governor 03/12/2010 InsideBayArea.com Text View Clip
ROTC Enrollment on the Rise Across U.S, Army Reports 03/12/2010 FOXNews.com Text View Clip
Newsom casts himself as reformer in bid for lieutenant governor 03/12/2010 Contra Costa Times - Online Text View Clip
San Francisco's Newsom launches lieutenant governor bid 03/12/2010 Christian Science Monitor - Online Text View Clip
Top Business Stories of The Week 03/12/2010 Chief Executive Magazine - Online Text View Clip
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY OFFERS CLASS TO EXPLORE TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF DECOMPOSITION. 03/11/2010 WGN Morning News - WGN-TV Text
Is ChatRoulette breaking child porn laws? 03/11/2010 True/Slant Text View Clip
THE MOST RIDICULOUS UNIVERSITY COURSES YOU CAN TAKE 03/11/2010 Capitalfm.co.ke Text View Clip


California's Latino students graduate college at higher rates than Latino national average | View Clip
03/26/2010
San Jose Mercury News

California's Latino college students graduate from college at a higher rate than the national average; 58 percent earn a bachelor's degree, compared to 51 percent nationally.

Although the state's Latino students trail white students in graduation rates, the four-point gap is narrower than the national gap of eight points, according to a new study by the American Enterprise Institute.

A closer look, by gender, shows that Latina women graduate at a higher rate (61 percent) than white men (58 percent) in California.

The study, funded by The Gates Foundation, examined graduation rates for students who entered college in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

It found that Latinos do best at several private California campuses — such as Santa Clara University, Whittier College, Pitzer College, Loyola Marymount University and the University of San Francisco — where their graduation rates match or surpass whites'.

At Stanford University, Latinos' 93 percent graduation rates are only slightly lower than the 95 percent rate for white students.

But at public universities, graduation rate disparities widen. At San Jose State, 35 percent of Latinos graduate, compared to 43 percent of white students. At Cal State East Bay, 40 percent graduate, compared to 44 percent of white students. At UC Santa Cruz, 66 percent graduate, compared to 70 percent of white students.

The study attributed the national gap to barriers of language and
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culture, noting that "familial and social ties to home are particularly strong" in Latino students. And white students tend to arrive better prepared, academically and financially, for college, it concluded. But it noted that some schools better support efforts by Latino students — and urged these schools to teach others about strategies that work.

Contact Lisa M. Krieger at 408-920-5565

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SOT PROFESSOR ANNA HAN SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL
03/25/2010
News Channel 7 Daybreak - KRCR-TV

IT WAS ONLY UNTIL JANUARY OF *THIS* YEAR THAT THEY SAW A THREE PER-CENT HIKE. IF THE CHANGES ARE APPROVED BY THE CALIFORNIA PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION, THEY WILL GO INTO EFFECT IN MAY OF 20-311.3 A COMMUNIST PARTY NEWSPAPER IN CHINA HAS FIRED THE LATEST SALVO IN THE BATTLE BETWEEN GOOGLE - AND THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT. IT WAS A BLISTERING ATTACK ON THE WORLD'S LARGEST ONLINE SEARCH ENGINE. ON MONDAY, GOOGLE MOVED ITS OPERATIONS OFFSHORE TO PROTEST CHINA'S INTERNET CENSORSHIP. AND AS MARK MULLEN REPORTS THIS MORNING, CHINA'S COMMUNIST REGIME IS HINTING THE FIGHT IS JUST PRESS, CHINA PUBLICLY BLASTED ND BEHIND THE SCENES, APPEARED TO BE COAXING GOOGLE'S CHINESE INTERNET TIES. MONDAY, GOOGLE ROUTED ITS SEARCHES THROUGH MORE PERMISSIVE HONG KONG, TO PROTEST THE MAINLAND'S STRICT CENSORSHIP RULES. SOT PROFESSOR ANNA HAN SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL "CHINA IS NOT WILLING TO BE DICTATED TO BY A COMPANY OR ANOTHER GOVERNMENT. " THE GOOGLE-CHINA FACEOFF STARTED TWO MONTHS AGO AFTER THE HIGH-TECH FIRM ACCUSED THE GOVERNMENT OF HACKING INTO ITS SERVERS AND ITS CHINESE USERS'EMAIL ACCOUNTS, IN PROTEST, GOOGLE SAID IT WOULD NO LONGER PLAY BY GOVERNMENT RULES FILTERING OUT INFORMATION BEIJING DEEMED POLITICALLY SENSITIVE, A MOVE APPLAUDED QUIETLY BY MANY CHINESE COMPUTER USERS AND PUBLICLY BY FAMOUS CHINESE ARITIST AND ACTIVIST AI WEI WEI - WHO HAS THE CLOUT, TO SPEAK OUT. SOT AI WEI WEI BEIJING ACTIVIST "IF GOOGLE BETRAYS IT PRINCIPLES TO MAKE MONEY LIKE OTHERS WHO'VE COME TO CHINA, IT WILL LOSE ITS COMPETITIVENESS" TODAY, A HOUSE PANEL PRAISED GOOGLE FOR TAKING A STAND, A POSITION THAT COULD COST GOOGLE MORE THAN 300 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR IN LOST BUSINESS IF CHINA SHUTS THEM DOWN. SOT ALAN DAVIDSON GOOGLE "WE HOPE CHINA WILL RESPECT OUR DECISION BUT REALIZE THAT AT ANY MOMENT, THE GREAT FIREWALL COULD COME DOWN AND STOP OUR USERS AND CUT US OFF" BUT PUBLIC RELATIONS-WISE, CHINA STANDS TO LOSE, TOO. MARK MULLEN ON CAMERA: CHINA BADLY WANTS TO BE CONSIDERED A MODERN, INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MEMBER, BUT CAN'T BRING ITSELF TO GIVE UP THE HEAVY-THAT CHARACTERIZED ITS PAST. MARK MULLEN FOR ABC NEWS, LOS ANGELES. >3 A PILOT WALKS AWAY, AFTER HIS EXPERIMENTAL PLANE CRASHES INTO A NORTH STATE FIELD. PLUS, THE PLANE A SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FREEWAY, IN THE MIDST OF TRAFFIC! 3 3 3 THE FAA IS INVESTIGATING THIS MORNING, AFTER A BUTTE COUNTY MAN CRASHED HIS PLANE IN *GLENN COUNTY.

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Professor Anna Han Santa Clara University Law School
03/24/2010
Washington Business Tonight - NewsChannel 8

TONIGHT FOR WEDNESDAY MARCH 24TH 2010. I'M REBECCA COOPER. EUROPEAN DEBT PROBLEMS AND BAD NEWS FROM THE HOME CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY LED TO A DOWN DAY ON WALL STREET. TODAY THE EURO SANK TO A 10-MONTH LOW AGAINST THE DOLLAR AMID CONCERNS OVER GREECE'S DEBT CRISIS AND HOW IT COULD IMPACT OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES THAT TRY TO BAIL THEM OUT. WE'LL HAVE MORE ON THE HOUSING IN A MOMENT- BUT FIRST LET'S GET TO TODAY'S NUMBERS, AT THE CLOSE TODAY- THE DOW WAS OFF 52-POINTS TO 10-THOUSAND 836. THE NASDAQ WAS DOWN 16-POINTS TO 23-98. AND THE S AND P FIVE HUNDRED ROUNDED OUT THE DAY DOWN 6-POINTS CLOSING AT 11-67. THE BATTLE LINES ARE DRAWN BETWEEN GOOGLE AND THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT. TODAY A COMMUNIST PARTY NEWSPAPER IN CHINA BLASTED THE WORLD'S LARGEST ONLINE SEARCH ENGINE FOR MOVING ITS OPERATIONS OFF-SHORE. ABC'S MARK MULLEN REPORTS THE REGIME IS HINTING TONIGHT THAT THE FIGHT IS JUST GETTING STARTED. Professor Anna Han Santa Clara University Law School Ai Wei Wei FOLLOWING GOOGLE'S LEAD- GO DADDY WILL NO LONGER SELL DOMAIN NAMES REGISTERED IN CHINA. THE COMPANY SAYS IT'S TAKING THE STEP BECAUSE THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT HAS BEGUN DEMANDING PICTURES AND OTHER DOCUMENTS FROM IT'S CUSTOMERS. GO-DADDY HAS BEEN REGISTERING DOMAIN NAMES IN CHINA SINCE 2005. THE US POST OFFICE IS TAKING ITS FIRST STEP TO CUTTING SATURDAY DELIVERY. THE POSTAL GOVERNING BOARD AGREED TODAY TO ASK THE POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION FOR ITS OPINION ON HAVING FIVE DAYS OF DELIVERY ONLY. CONGRESS HAS THE FINAL SAY ON WHETHER SATURDAY DELIVERY SERVICE CAN BE DROPPED. THE CHANGE WOULD SAVE THE POSTAL SERVICE MORE THAN THREE BILLION DOLLARS A Y EAR. THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IS TAKING ON THE COUNTRY'S LARGEST BUSINESS LOBBY ORGANIZATION BECAUSE OF IT'S RESISTANCE TO FINANCIAL OVERHAUL. DEPUTY TREASURY SECRETARY NEAL WOLIN TOLD THE US CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TODAY THAT FINANCIAL OVERHAUL WAS NEEDED AND THE GROUPS OBSTRUCTION WAS SIMPLY UNACCEPTABLE. IN PROTEST OF THE ADMINISTRATION'S PROPOSED OVERHAUL TO THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM- THE CHAMBER HAS LAUNCHED A 3-MILLION DOLLAR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN AGAINST IT. AFTER YESTERDAY'S UNEXPECTEDLY GOOD NEWS ON EXISTING HOME SALES DURING THE WINTER STORMS SALES OF NEW HOMES FELL UNEXPECTEDLY TO THE LOWEST LEVEL ON RECORD LA MONTH. ACCORDING TO THE COMMERCE DEPARTMENT NEW HOME SALES FELL BY MORE THAN 2-PERCENT TO JUST 308-THOUSAND HOMES SOLD. THIS IS THE FOURTH STRAIGHT MONTH OF DECLINES- AND THE WORST NUMBERS SEEN SINCE 1963. ECONOMISTS EXPECTED NEW HOME SALES TO RISE TO AROUND 320-THOUSAND HOMES. THOSE WINTER SNOWSTORMS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE BLAMED IN THE DROP IN SALES. ACCORDING TO ZILLOW MORTGAGE MARKETPLACE- MORTGAGE RATES IN MARYLAND FELL THIS WEEK. THE ONLINE REAL ESTATE SERVICE SAYS 30-YEAR FIXED RATE LOANS FELL BY ONE BASIS POINT TO 4-POINT 8-3 PERCENT. THE NATIONAL AVERAGE IS 4-POINT 8-1 PERCENT. ZILLOW SAYS 30-YEAR MORTGAGES IN BOTH THE COMMONWEALTH AND THE DISTRICT HELD STEADY AT 4-8 AND 5-POINT 1-3 PERCENT RESPECTIVELY. BANK OF AMERICA IS TAKING A MAJOR STEP TO HELP ITS CASH STRAPPED MORTGAGE CUSTOMERS WITH HOUSES UNDERWATER THE AMOUNT THEY OWE MORE THAN THE CURRENT VALUE OF THE HOUSE. TODAY THE BANK ANNOUNCED IT WILL FORGIVE UP TO 30-PERCENT OF SOME CUSTOMERS' LOAN PRINCIPAL. HOMEOWNERS MUST OWE MORE THAN 120-PERCENT OF THEIR HOMES CURRENT VALUE. THE PLAN IS SET TO START THIS MAY. BANK OF AMERICA IS THE FIRST LENDER TO REDUCE MORTGAGE PRINCIPAL FOR ITS UNDERWATER CUSTOMERS. VIRGINIA BUSINESSES AND HOMEOWNERS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR REBATES TO HELP THEM CUT ENERGY COSTS AND INSTALL RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS. 10-MILLION DOLLARS WILL BE HANDED OUT IN STIMULUS FUNDS.

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Google's action angers China, threatens business interests
03/24/2010
Tri-Valley Herald

One day after Google stopped complying with China's censorship rules, state-sponsored media ratcheted up verbal attacks on the search giant, and several of Google's key business relationships in the country appeared to be in serious jeopardy.

Although Google's new unfiltered Hong Kong-based search site had not been fully blocked by the Chinese government by late Tuesday, many experts on both sides of the Pacific expect that to happen. Meanwhile, Google's deal to be the default search engine on partly state-owned China Mobile, the world's largest mobile telecommunications carrier, is widely presumed to be at risk. And Tom.com, a Chinese Internet portal owned by a Hong Kong tycoon, by Tuesday had switched its default search engine from Google to the Chinese Baidu.com, saying it wanted to avoid violating any Chinese laws.

Still, even as Google carried through on its two-month-old threat to stop censoring search, the full scope of the government's response — and the reaction from the Chinese people — was not yet fully clear.

Bill Bishop, whose DigiCha.com blog follows digital media in China, spent Tuesday in Beijing watching state-sponsored TV news blast Google for everything from its lack of respect for Chinese law to its alleged problems serving up Internet porn. "The government has gone into high gear to lambaste Google in the official media," Bishop said.

"There are lots of ways to cause Google problems in China," he said, adding that while he hoped the government would not block Google search from the mainland, "the government can certainly make things difficult for any remaining Google operations or business relationships inside China. I expect them to do so, maybe not this week, but in the not too distant future."

Bishop said many Chinese would accept without much question the state media's portrayal of Google's alleged sins, such as a high government official quoted by the Xinhua News Agency expressing "our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusations and conduct," and its "politicization of commercial issues." But China's tech-savvy bloggers were worried the government would block google.com.hk and possibly force the Internet giant to abandon its research and development and advertising operations in China — though there were no signs of that happening Tuesday.

"There's a rising sense that this is not the right direction for China to go, which is increasing its isolation," said Santa Clara University professor Anna Han, a specialist in Chinese law who has been monitoring the online reaction in China since Google's announcement Monday. "When they mention this, it's not only Google. It's Facebook; it's YouTube. It's 'What else is going to be blocked?' "

A few Chinese passers-by laid flowers or chocolates on the large metal "Google" sign outside the company's office building in northern Beijing. While Google said its Chinese Web search was operating with "no issues" Tuesday, users on the mainland reported that some politically sensitive keyword searches would cause a browser to disconnect from the Web, and in other cases, searchers could not access sites displayed by Google because of government filters. Han said many Chinese bloggers Tuesday were joking about "doing more wall-climbing," an inside joke about the steps tech-savvy Chinese take to evade the "Great Firewall" of Internet censorship.

Wall Street also appeared to be waiting for the full extent of the government's response.

"There continues to be a lot of uncertainty about what's going to happen, and uncertainty is never good from the shareholders' perspective," said Ben Schacter, an analyst who follows Google for Broadpoint AmTech, reacting to the China Mobile situation and other questions about Google's future in China. "That's one reason you see the stock down today. There's still the broad questions about what is going to happen to Google in China."

Google shares dropped by 1.5 percent Tuesday, to $549.00 a share, as Wall Street analysts like Schacter took a wary but measured response to Google's action. The stock gained back most of that loss in after-hours trading.

Google first said in January that it would no longer comply with government requirements that it censor search, after a cyberattack originating in China targeted its intellectual property and the Gmail accounts of human rights activists.

Google runs a distant second in the Chinese search market to Baidu.com, which has about 60 percent of the market compared with Google's 35 percent. Similarly, most estimates are that Google's revenue from China was less than 3 percent of its $23.7 billion in revenue in 2009. But the future growth potential in China, which now has the world's largest Internet market, is huge.

"If they were the leading player in search in China, or they were on a really significant growth curve there, there might have been a more negative reaction from Wall Street," said Greg Sterling, an analyst and principal of Sterling Market Intelligence. "I think people are saying this is not an immediate (financial) impact and the future is uncertain, so we're not going to punish Google for doing this."

The Obama administration appeared to take a more measured response Tuesday from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's strongly worded speech in January on Internet freedom, with a State Department spokesman calling Google's action, "a business decision."

But State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley also told reporters, "were I China, I would seriously consider the implications when one of the world's most recognizable institutions has decided that it's too difficult to do business in China."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Mike Swift at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/swiftstories.

Copyright © 2010 Tri-Valley Herald. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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European ruling makes it tougher on Google advertisers | View Clip
03/24/2010
Thomson Reuters

European ruling makes it tougher on Google advertisers
Mar 24, 2010 15:30 EDT

All eyes are on China this week as Google watchers assess its potential risk in that fast-growing market. But across the globe in Europe, the world's most-used search engine is grappling also with the possible fallout from a spat over its advertising model.

The company scored a victory in Europe's top court on Tuesday over the legitimacy of its Adwords system, with a ruling that found Google does not infringe trademark law by selling to advertisers keywords that trigger paid ads.

The case, in which one plaintiff was luxury brand LVMH, was seen as a major challenge to Google's business model. LVMH — the purveyors of all things Louis Vuitton – argued it sought to protect brand holders' trademarks in the digital age.

Yet despite the victory, as Reuters pointed out last week, the world's largest search engine is still not out of the woods. Some warn that Google could see its ad revenue slide if advertisers pull out of Adwords, concerned they could be found liable in future for trademark violations.

That's because brand owners can now take up claims against advertisers who use their trademarks to confuse consumers, according to the court, which said Google too may be liable if the company actively manipulates keywords or fails to act on legitimate complaints.

“Google's legal victory may prove to be a little hollow,” wrote Eric Goldman, an associate professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law in a blog this week. “It could still see revenue contraction if advertisers are dissuaded by their legal exposure.”

Will advertisers, who depend on the exposure from Google's powerful search engine, balk? Goldman points out that trademark owners still have an arsenal of legal options to throw at advertisers, from legislative changes to going after advertisers one by one.

LVMH, in a statement, acknowledged that the court's ruling did not test Google's business model. But it said the decision would make it easier for brand owners to combat illicit use of registered trademarks.

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Google's action angers China, threatens business interests | View Clip
03/24/2010
SiliconValley.com

One day after Google stopped complying with China's censorship rules, state-sponsored media ratcheted up verbal attacks on the search giant, while several of Google's key business relationships in the country appeared to be in serious jeopardy.

While Google's new unfiltered Hong Kong-based search site had not been fully blocked by the Chinese government by late Tuesday, many experts on both sides of the Pacific expect that to happen. Meanwhile, Google's deal to be the default search engine on partly state-owned China Mobile, the world's largest mobile telecommunications carrier, is widely presumed to be at risk. And Tom.com, a Chinese Internet portal owned by a Hong Kong tycoon, by Tuesday had switched its default search engine from Google to the Chinese Baidu.com, saying it wanted to avoid violating any Chinese laws.

Still, even as Google carried through on its two-month-old threat to stop censoring search, the full scope of the government's response — and the reaction from the Chinese people — was not yet fully clear.

Bill Bishop, whose DigiCha.com blog follows digital media in China, spent Tuesday in Beijing watching state-sponsored TV news blast Google for everything from its lack of respect for Chinese law to its alleged problems serving up Internet porn. "The government has gone into high gear to lambaste Google in the official media,"

Bishop said.

"There are lots of ways to cause Google problems in China," he said, adding that while he hoped the government would not block Google search from the mainland, "the government can certainly make things difficult for any remaining Google operations or business relationships inside China. I expect them to do so, maybe not this week, but in the not-too-distant future."

Bishop said many Chinese would accept without much question the state media's portrayal of Google's alleged sins, such as a high government official quoted by the Xinhua News Agency expressing "our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusations and conduct," and its "politicization of commercial issues." But China's tech-savvy bloggers were worried the government would block google.com.hk and possibly force the Internet giant to abandon its research and development and advertising operations in China — though there were no signs of that happening Tuesday.

"There's a rising sense that this is not the right direction for China to go, which is increasing its isolation," said Santa Clara University professor Anna Han, a specialist in Chinese law who has been monitoring the online reaction in China since Google's announcement Monday. "When they mention this, it's not only Google. It's Facebook; it's YouTube. It's 'What else is going to be blocked?' "

A few Chinese passers-by laid flowers or chocolates on the large metal "Google" sign outside the company's office building in northern Beijing. While Google said its Chinese Web search was operating with "no issues" Tuesday, users on the mainland reported that some politically sensitive keyword searches would cause a browser to disconnect from the Web, and in other cases, searchers could not access sites displayed by Google because of government filters. Han said many Chinese bloggers Tuesday were joking about "doing more wall-climbing," an inside joke about the steps tech-savvy Chinese take to evade the "Great Firewall" of Internet censorship.

Wall Street also appeared to be waiting for the full extent of the government's response.

"There continues to be a lot of uncertainty about what's going to happen, and uncertainty is never good from the shareholders' perspective," said Ben Schacter, an analyst who follows Google for Broadpoint AmTech, reacting to the China Mobile situation and other questions about Google's future in China. "That's one reason you see the stock down today. There's still the broad questions about what is going to happen to Google in China."

Google shares dropped by 1.5 percent Tuesday, to $549.00 a share, as Wall Street analysts like Schacter took a wary but measured response to Google's action. The stock gained back most of that loss in after-hours trading.

Google first said in January that it would no longer comply with government requirements that it censor search, after a cyberattack originating in China targeted its intellectual property and the Gmail accounts of human rights activists.

Google runs a distant second in the Chinese search market to Baidu.com, which has about 60 percent of the market compared with Google's 35 percent. Similarly, most estimates are that Google's revenue from China was less than 3 percent of its $23.7 billion in revenue in 2009. But the future growth potential in China, which now has the world's largest Internet market, is huge.

"If they were the leading player in search in China, or they were on a really significant growth curve there, there might have been a more negative reaction from Wall Street," said Greg Sterling, an analyst and principal of Sterling Market Intelligence. "I think people are saying this is not an immediate (financial) impact, and the future is uncertain, so we're not going to punish Google for doing this."

The Obama administration appeared to take a more measured response Tuesday from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's strongly worded speech in January on Internet freedom, with a State Department spokesman calling Google's action, "a business decision."

But State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, "were I China, I would seriously consider the implications when one of the world's most recognizable institutions has decided that it's too difficult to do business in China."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Mike Swift at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/swiftstories.

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Google's action angers China, threatens business interests | View Clip
03/24/2010
SiliconValley.com

Security officers try to stop people lighting candles outside the Google China headquarters in Beijing Tuesday, March 23, 2010.

More coverage

One day after Google stopped complying with China's censorship rules, state-sponsored media ratcheted up verbal attacks on the search giant, and several of Google's key business relationships in the country appeared to be in serious jeopardy.

Although Google's new unfiltered Hong Kong-based search site had not been fully blocked by the Chinese government by late Tuesday, many experts on both sides of the Pacific expect that to happen. Meanwhile, Google's deal to be the default search engine on partly state-owned China Mobile, the world's largest mobile telecommunications carrier, is widely presumed to be at risk. And Tom.com, a Chinese Internet portal owned by a Hong Kong tycoon, by

Good Morning Silicon Valley

Tuesday had switched its default search engine from Google to the Chinese Baidu.com, saying it wanted to avoid violating any Chinese laws.

Still, even as Google carried through on its two-month-old threat to stop censoring search, the full scope of the government's response — and the reaction from the Chinese people — was not yet fully clear.

Bill Bishop, whose DigiCha.com blog follows digital media in China, spent Tuesday in Beijing watching state-sponsored TV news blast Google for everything from its lack of respect for Chinese law to its alleged problems serving up Internet porn. "The government has gone into high gear to lambaste Google in the official

media," Bishop said.

"There are lots of ways to cause Google problems in China," he said, adding that while he hoped the government would not block Google search from the mainland, "the government can certainly make things difficult for any remaining Google operations or business relationships inside China. I expect them to do so, maybe not this week, but in the not too distant future."

Bishop said many Chinese would accept without much question the state media's portrayal of Google's alleged sins, such as a high government official quoted by the Xinhua News Agency expressing "our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusations and conduct," and its "politicization of commercial issues." But China's tech-savvy bloggers were worried the government would block google.com.hk and possibly force the Internet giant to abandon its research and development and advertising operations in China — though there were no signs of that happening Tuesday.

"There's a rising sense that this is not the right direction for China to go, which is increasing its isolation," said Santa Clara University professor Anna Han, a specialist in Chinese law who has been monitoring the

online reaction in China since Google's announcement Monday. "When they mention this, it's not only Google. It's Facebook; it's YouTube. It's 'What else is going to be blocked?' "

A few Chinese passers-by laid flowers or chocolates on the large metal "Google" sign outside the company's office building in northern Beijing. While Google said its Chinese Web search was operating with "no issues" Tuesday, users on the mainland reported that some politically sensitive keyword searches would cause a browser to disconnect from the Web, and in other cases, searchers could not access sites displayed by Google because of government filters. Han said many Chinese bloggers Tuesday were joking about "doing more wall-climbing," an inside joke about the steps tech-savvy Chinese take to evade the "Great Firewall" of Internet censorship.

Wall Street also appeared to be waiting for the full extent of the government's response.

"There continues to be a lot of uncertainty about what's going to happen, and uncertainty is never good from the shareholders' perspective," said Ben Schacter, an analyst who follows Google for Broadpoint AmTech, reacting to the China Mobile situation and other questions about Google's future in China. "That's one reason you see the stock down today. There's still the broad questions about what is going to happen to Google in China."

Google shares dropped by 1.5 percent Tuesday, to $549.00 a share, as Wall Street analysts like Schacter took a wary

but measured response to Google's action. The stock gained back most of that loss in after-hours trading.

Google first said in January that it would no longer comply with government requirements that it censor search, after a cyberattack originating in China targeted its intellectual property and the Gmail accounts of human rights activists.

Google runs a distant second in the Chinese search market to Baidu.com, which has about 60 percent of the market compared with Google's 35 percent. Similarly, most estimates are that Google's revenue from China was less than 3 percent of its $23.7 billion in revenue in 2009.

But the future growth potential in China, which now has the world's largest Internet market, is huge.

"If they were the leading player in search in China, or they were on a really significant growth curve there, there might have been a more negative reaction from Wall Street," said Greg Sterling, an analyst and principal of Sterling Market Intelligence. "I think people are saying this is not an immediate (financial) impact and the future is uncertain, so we're not going to punish Google for doing this."

The Obama administration appeared to take a more measured response Tuesday from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's strongly worded speech in January on Internet freedom, with a State Department spokesman calling Google's action, "a business decision."

But State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley also told reporters, "were I China, I would seriously consider the implications when one of the world's most recognizable institutions has decided that it's too difficult to do business in China."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Mike Swift at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/swiftstories.

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Google's action angers China, threatens business interests
03/24/2010
San Mateo County Times

One day after Google stopped complying with China's censorship rules, state-sponsored media ratcheted up verbal attacks on the search giant, and several of Google's key business relationships in the country appeared to be in serious jeopardy.

Although Google's new unfiltered Hong Kong-based search site had not been fully blocked by the Chinese government by late Tuesday, many experts on both sides of the Pacific expect that to happen. Meanwhile, Google's deal to be the default search engine on partly state-owned China Mobile, the world's largest mobile telecommunications carrier, is widely presumed to be at risk. And Tom.com, a Chinese Internet portal owned by a Hong Kong tycoon, by Tuesday had switched its default search engine from Google to the Chinese Baidu.com, saying it wanted to avoid violating any Chinese laws.

Still, even as Google carried through on its two-month-old threat to stop censoring search, the full scope of the government's response — and the reaction from the Chinese people — was not yet fully clear.

Bill Bishop, whose DigiCha.com blog follows digital media in China, spent Tuesday in Beijing watching state-sponsored TV news blast Google for everything from its lack of respect for Chinese law to its alleged problems serving up Internet porn. "The government has gone into high gear to lambaste Google in the official media," Bishop said.

"There are lots of ways to cause Google problems in China," he said, adding that while he hoped the government would not block Google search from the mainland, "the government can certainly make things difficult for any remaining Google operations or business relationships inside China. I expect them to do so, maybe not this week, but in the not too distant future."

Bishop said many Chinese would accept without much question the state media's portrayal of Google's alleged sins, such as a high government official quoted by the Xinhua News Agency expressing "our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusations and conduct," and its "politicization of commercial issues." But China's tech-savvy bloggers were worried the government would block google.com.hk and possibly force the Internet giant to abandon its research and development and advertising operations in China — though there were no signs of that happening Tuesday.

"There's a rising sense that this is not the right direction for China to go, which is increasing its isolation," said Santa Clara University professor Anna Han, a specialist in Chinese law who has been monitoring the online reaction in China since Google's announcement Monday. "When they mention this, it's not only Google. It's Facebook; it's YouTube. It's 'What else is going to be blocked?' "

A few Chinese passers-by laid flowers or chocolates on the large metal "Google" sign outside the company's office building in northern Beijing. While Google said its Chinese Web search was operating with "no issues" Tuesday, users on the mainland reported that some politically sensitive keyword searches would cause a browser to disconnect from the Web, and in other cases, searchers could not access sites displayed by Google because of government filters. Han said many Chinese bloggers Tuesday were joking about "doing more wall-climbing," an inside joke about the steps tech-savvy Chinese take to evade the "Great Firewall" of Internet censorship.

Wall Street also appeared to be waiting for the full extent of the government's response.

"There continues to be a lot of uncertainty about what's going to happen, and uncertainty is never good from the shareholders' perspective," said Ben Schacter, an analyst who follows Google for Broadpoint AmTech, reacting to the China Mobile situation and other questions about Google's future in China. "That's one reason you see the stock down today. There's still the broad questions about what is going to happen to Google in China."

Google shares dropped by 1.5 percent Tuesday, to $549.00 a share, as Wall Street analysts like Schacter took a wary but measured response to Google's action. The stock gained back most of that loss in after-hours trading.

Google first said in January that it would no longer comply with government requirements that it censor search, after a cyberattack originating in China targeted its intellectual property and the Gmail accounts of human rights activists.

Google runs a distant second in the Chinese search market to Baidu.com, which has about 60 percent of the market compared with Google's 35 percent. Similarly, most estimates are that Google's revenue from China was less than 3 percent of its $23.7 billion in revenue in 2009. But the future growth potential in China, which now has the world's largest Internet market, is huge.

"If they were the leading player in search in China, or they were on a really significant growth curve there, there might have been a more negative reaction from Wall Street," said Greg Sterling, an analyst and principal of Sterling Market Intelligence. "I think people are saying this is not an immediate (financial) impact and the future is uncertain, so we're not going to punish Google for doing this."

The Obama administration appeared to take a more measured response Tuesday from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's strongly worded speech in January on Internet freedom, with a State Department spokesman calling Google's action, "a business decision."

But State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley also told reporters, "were I China, I would seriously consider the implications when one of the world's most recognizable institutions has decided that it's too difficult to do business in China."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Mike Swift at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/swiftstories.

Copyright © 2010 San Mateo County Times. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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GOOGLE FEELS FIRST BACKLASH BY CHINA
03/24/2010
San Jose Mercury News

One day after Google stopped complying with China's censorship rules, state-sponsored media ratcheted up verbal attacks on the search giant, and several of Google's key business relationships in the country appeared to be in serious jeopardy.

Although Google's new unfiltered Hong Kong-based search site had not been fully blocked by the Chinese government by late Tuesday, many experts on both sides of the Pacific expect that to happen. Meanwhile, Google's deal to be the default search engine on partly state-owned China Mobile, the world's largest mobile telecommunications carrier, is widely presumed to be at risk. And Tom.com, a Chinese Internet portal owned by a Hong Kong tycoon, by Tuesday had switched its default search engine from Google to the Chinese Baidu.com, saying it wanted to avoid violating any Chinese laws.

Still, even as Google carried through on its two-month-old threat to stop censoring search, the full scope of the government's response -- and the reaction from the Chinese people -- was not yet fully clear.

Bill Bishop, whose DigiCha.com blog follows digital media in China, spent Tuesday in Beijing watching state-sponsored TV news blast Google for everything from its lack of respect for Chinese law to its alleged problems serving up Internet porn. "The government has gone into high gear to lambaste Google in the official media," Bishop said.

"There are lots of ways to cause Google problems in China," he said, adding that while he hoped the government would not block Google search from the mainland, "the government can certainly make things difficult for any remaining Google operations or business relationships inside China. I expect them to do so, maybe not this week, but in the not too distant future."

Bishop said many Chinese would accept without much question the state media's portrayal of Google's alleged sins, such as a high government official quoted by the Xinhua News Agency expressing "our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusations and conduct," and its "politicization of commercial issues." But China's tech-savvy bloggers were worried the government would block google.com.hk and possibly force the Internet giant to abandon its research and development and advertising operations in China -- though there were no signs of that happening Tuesday.

"There's a rising sense that this is not the right direction for China to go, which is increasing its isolation," said Santa Clara University professor Anna Han, a specialist in Chinese law who has been monitoring the online reaction in China since Google's announcement Monday. "When they mention this, it's not only Google. It's Facebook; it's YouTube. It's 'What else is going to be blocked?'"

A few Chinese passers-by laid flowers or chocolates on the large metal "Google" sign outside the company's office building in northern Beijing. While Google said its Chinese Web search was operating with "no issues" Tuesday, users on the mainland reported that some politically sensitive keyword searches would cause a browser to disconnect from the Web, and in other cases, searchers could not access sites displayed by Google because of government filters. Han said many Chinese bloggers Tuesday were joking about "doing more wall-climbing," an inside joke about the steps tech-savvy Chinese take to evade the "Great Firewall" of Internet censorship.

Wall Street also appeared to be waiting for the full extent of the government's response.

"There continues to be a lot of uncertainty about what's going to happen, and uncertainty is never good from the shareholders' perspective," said Ben Schacter, an analyst who follows Google for Broadpoint AmTech, reacting to the China Mobile situation and other questions about Google's future in China. "That's one reason you see the stock down today. There's still the broad questions about what is going to happen to Google in China."

Google shares dropped by 1.5 percent Tuesday, to $549.00 a share, as Wall Street analysts like Schacter took a wary but measured response to Google's action. The stock gained back most of that loss in after-hours trading.

Google first said in January that it would no longer comply with government requirements that it censor search, after a cyberattack originating in China targeted its intellectual property and the Gmail accounts of human rights activists.

Google runs a distant second in the Chinese search market to Baidu.com, which has about 60 percent of the market compared with Google's 35 percent. Similarly, most estimates are that Google's revenue from China was less than 3 percent of its $23.7 billion in revenue in 2009.

But the future growth potential in China, which now has the world's largest Internet market, is huge.

"If they were the leading player in search in China, or they were on a really significant growth curve there, there might have been a more negative reaction from Wall Street," said Greg Sterling, an analyst and principal of Sterling Market Intelligence. "I think people are saying this is not an immediate (financial) impact and the future is uncertain, so we're not going to punish Google for doing this."

The Obama administration appeared to take a more measured response Tuesday from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's strongly worded speech in January on Internet freedom, with a State Department spokesman calling Google's action, "a business decision."

But State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley also told reporters, "were I China, I would seriously consider the implications when one of the world's most recognizable institutions has decided that it's too difficult to do business in China."

Contact Mike Swift at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/swiftstories.

Copyright © 2010 San Jose Mercury News

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Google's action angers China, threatens business interests | View Clip
03/24/2010
Oroville Mercury-Register

Security officers try to stop people lighting candles outside the Google China headquarters in Beijing Tuesday, March 23, 2010.

More coverage

One day after Google stopped complying with China's censorship rules, state-sponsored media ratcheted up verbal attacks on the search giant, and several of Google's key business relationships in the country appeared to be in serious jeopardy.

Although Google's new unfiltered Hong Kong-based search site had not been fully blocked by the Chinese government by late Tuesday, many experts on both sides of the Pacific expect that to happen. Meanwhile, Google's deal to be the default search engine on partly state-owned China Mobile, the world's largest mobile telecommunications carrier, is widely presumed to be at risk. And Tom.com, a Chinese Internet portal owned by a Hong Kong tycoon, by

Good Morning Silicon Valley

Tuesday had switched its default search engine from Google to the Chinese Baidu.com, saying it wanted to avoid violating any Chinese laws.

Still, even as Google carried through on its two-month-old threat to stop censoring search, the full scope of the government's response — and the reaction from the Chinese people — was not yet fully clear.

Bill Bishop, whose DigiCha.com blog follows digital media in China, spent Tuesday in Beijing watching state-sponsored TV news blast Google for everything from its lack of respect for Chinese law to its alleged problems serving up Internet porn. "The government has gone into high gear to lambaste Google in the official

media," Bishop said.

"There are lots of ways to cause Google problems in China," he said, adding that while he hoped the government would not block Google search from the mainland, "the government can certainly make things difficult for any remaining Google operations or business relationships inside China. I expect them to do so, maybe not this week, but in the not too distant future."

Bishop said many Chinese would accept without much question the state media's portrayal of Google's alleged sins, such as a high government official quoted by the Xinhua News Agency expressing "our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusations and conduct," and its "politicization of commercial issues." But China's tech-savvy bloggers were worried the government would block google.com.hk and possibly force the Internet giant to abandon its research and development and advertising operations in China — though there were no signs of that happening Tuesday.

"There's a rising sense that this is not the right direction for China to go, which is increasing its isolation," said Santa Clara University professor Anna Han, a specialist in Chinese law who has been monitoring the

online reaction in China since Google's announcement Monday. "When they mention this, it's not only Google. It's Facebook; it's YouTube. It's 'What else is going to be blocked?' "

A few Chinese passers-by laid flowers or chocolates on the large metal "Google" sign outside the company's office building in northern Beijing. While Google said its Chinese Web search was operating with "no issues" Tuesday, users on the mainland reported that some politically sensitive keyword searches would cause a browser to disconnect from the Web, and in other cases, searchers could not access sites displayed by Google because of government filters. Han said many Chinese bloggers Tuesday were joking about "doing more wall-climbing," an inside joke about the steps tech-savvy Chinese take to evade the "Great Firewall" of Internet censorship.

Wall Street also appeared to be waiting for the full extent of the government's response.

"There continues to be a lot of uncertainty about what's going to happen, and uncertainty is never good from the shareholders' perspective," said Ben Schacter, an analyst who follows Google for Broadpoint AmTech, reacting to the China Mobile situation and other questions about Google's future in China. "That's one reason you see the stock down today. There's still the broad questions about what is going to happen to Google in China."

Google shares dropped by 1.5 percent Tuesday, to $549.00 a share, as Wall Street analysts like Schacter took a wary but measured response to Google's action. The stock gained back most of that loss in after-hours trading.

Google first said in January that it would no longer comply with government requirements that it censor search, after a cyberattack originating in China targeted its intellectual property and the Gmail accounts of human rights activists.

Google runs a distant second in the Chinese search market to Baidu.com, which has about 60 percent of the market compared with Google's 35 percent. Similarly, most estimates are that Google's revenue from China was less than 3 percent of its $23.7 billion in revenue in 2009.

But the future growth potential in China, which now has the world's largest Internet market, is huge.

"If they were the leading player in search in China, or they were on a really significant growth curve there, there might have been a more negative reaction from Wall Street," said Greg Sterling, an analyst and principal of Sterling Market Intelligence. "I think people are saying this is not an immediate (financial) impact and the future is uncertain, so we're not going to punish Google for doing this."

The Obama administration appeared to take a more measured response Tuesday from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's strongly worded speech in January on Internet freedom, with a State Department spokesman calling Google's action, "a business decision."

But State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley also told reporters, "were I China, I would seriously consider the implications when one of the world's most recognizable institutions has decided that it's too difficult to do business in China."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Mike Swift at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/swiftstories.

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Google's action angers China, threatens business interests
03/24/2010
Oakland Tribune

One day after Google stopped complying with China's censorship rules, state-sponsored media ratcheted up verbal attacks on the search giant, and several of Google's key business relationships in the country appeared to be in serious jeopardy.

Although Google's new unfiltered Hong Kong-based search site had not been fully blocked by the Chinese government by late Tuesday, many experts on both sides of the Pacific expect that to happen. Meanwhile, Google's deal to be the default search engine on partly state-owned China Mobile, the world's largest mobile telecommunications carrier, is widely presumed to be at risk. And Tom.com, a Chinese Internet portal owned by a Hong Kong tycoon, by Tuesday had switched its default search engine from Google to the Chinese Baidu.com, saying it wanted to avoid violating any Chinese laws.

Still, even as Google carried through on its two-month-old threat to stop censoring search, the full scope of the government's response — and the reaction from the Chinese people — was not yet fully clear.

Bill Bishop, whose DigiCha.com blog follows digital media in China, spent Tuesday in Beijing watching state-sponsored TV news blast Google for everything from its lack of respect for Chinese law to its alleged problems serving up Internet porn. "The government has gone into high gear to lambaste Google in the official media," Bishop said.

"There are lots of ways to cause Google problems in China," he said, adding that while he hoped the government would not block Google search from the mainland, "the government can certainly make things difficult for any remaining Google operations or business relationships inside China. I expect them to do so, maybe not this week, but in the not too distant future."

Bishop said many Chinese would accept without much question the state media's portrayal of Google's alleged sins, such as a high government official quoted by the Xinhua News Agency expressing "our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusations and conduct," and its "politicization of commercial issues." But China's tech-savvy bloggers were worried the government would block google.com.hk and possibly force the Internet giant to abandon its research and development and advertising operations in China — though there were no signs of that happening Tuesday.

"There's a rising sense that this is not the right direction for China to go, which is increasing its isolation," said Santa Clara University professor Anna Han, a specialist in Chinese law who has been monitoring the online reaction in China since Google's announcement Monday. "When they mention this, it's not only Google. It's Facebook; it's YouTube. It's 'What else is going to be blocked?' "

A few Chinese passers-by laid flowers or chocolates on the large metal "Google" sign outside the company's office building in northern Beijing. While Google said its Chinese Web search was operating with "no issues" Tuesday, users on the mainland reported that some politically sensitive keyword searches would cause a browser to disconnect from the Web, and in other cases, searchers could not access sites displayed by Google because of government filters. Han said many Chinese bloggers Tuesday were joking about "doing more wall-climbing," an inside joke about the steps tech-savvy Chinese take to evade the "Great Firewall" of Internet censorship.

Wall Street also appeared to be waiting for the full extent of the government's response.

"There continues to be a lot of uncertainty about what's going to happen, and uncertainty is never good from the shareholders' perspective," said Ben Schacter, an analyst who follows Google for Broadpoint AmTech, reacting to the China Mobile situation and other questions about Google's future in China. "That's one reason you see the stock down today. There's still the broad questions about what is going to happen to Google in China."

Google shares dropped by 1.5 percent Tuesday, to $549.00 a share, as Wall Street analysts like Schacter took a wary but measured response to Google's action. The stock gained back most of that loss in after-hours trading.

Google first said in January that it would no longer comply with government requirements that it censor search, after a cyberattack originating in China targeted its intellectual property and the Gmail accounts of human rights activists.

Google runs a distant second in the Chinese search market to Baidu.com, which has about 60 percent of the market compared with Google's 35 percent. Similarly, most estimates are that Google's revenue from China was less than 3 percent of its $23.7 billion in revenue in 2009. But the future growth potential in China, which now has the world's largest Internet market, is huge.

"If they were the leading player in search in China, or they were on a really significant growth curve there, there might have been a more negative reaction from Wall Street," said Greg Sterling, an analyst and principal of Sterling Market Intelligence. "I think people are saying this is not an immediate (financial) impact and the future is uncertain, so we're not going to punish Google for doing this."

The Obama administration appeared to take a more measured response Tuesday from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's strongly worded speech in January on Internet freedom, with a State Department spokesman calling Google's action, "a business decision."

But State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley also told reporters, "were I China, I would seriously consider the implications when one of the world's most recognizable institutions has decided that it's too difficult to do business in China."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Mike Swift at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/swiftstories.

Copyright © 2010 The Oakland Tribune. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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SOT PROFESSOR XXXXXXXX HAN SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL
03/24/2010
Newschannel 5 at 5 PM - KRGV-TV

TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER SCHOOL OF MEDICINE WILL OFFER A FIRST OF ITS KIND PROGRAM THAT STUDENTS CAN COMPLETE IN ONLY THREE YEARS RATHER THAN THE STANDARD FOUR YEARS. SCHOOL OFFICIALS SAY THIS WILL HELP ADDRESS THE SHORTAGE OF PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS WHILE REDUCING THE AMOUNT OF DEBT MANY MEDICAL STUDENTS INCUR. TODAY MARKS THE 21ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE EXXON VALDEZ OIL SPILL. ON MARCH 24, 1989, THE TANKER RAN AGROUND IN ALASKA'S PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND, THE HULL OF THE HUGE TANKER RUPTURED, SPILLING NEARLY 11 MILLION GALLONS OF CRUDE OIL. IT REMAINS THE LARGEST SINGLE OIL SPILL IN US COASTAL WATERS. THE OIL SPREAD OVER A WIDE AREA OF THE PRISTINE WATER AND COASTLINE OF PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND RESULTING IN AN UNPRECEDENTED RESPONSE AND CLEANUP. A COMMUNIST PARTY NEWSPAPER IN CHINA TODAY PUBLISHED A BLISTERING ATTACK ON THE WORLD'S LARGEST ONLINE SEARCH ENGINE FOR MOVING ITS OPERATIONS OFF-SHORE. GOOGLE ACTED, TO PROTEST CHINA'S INTERNET CENSORSHIP. MARK MULLEN REPORTS, TODAY, IN THE STATE RUN PRESS, CHINA PUBLICLY BLASTED INTERNET SEARCH ENGINE GOOGLE, AND BEHIND THE SCENES, APPEARED TO BE COAXING GOOGLE'S CHINESE INTERNET PARTNERS TO SEVER TIES. MONDAY, GOOGLE ROUTED ITS SEARCHES THROUGH MORE PERMISSIVE HONG KONG, TO PROTEST THE MAINLAND'S STRICT CENSORSHIP RULES. SOT PROFESSOR XXXXXXXX HAN SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL "CHINA IS NOT WILLING TO BE DICTATED TO BY A COMPANY OR ANOTHER GOVERNMENT. " THE GOOGLE-CHINA FACEOFF STARTED TWO MONTHS AGO AFTER THE HIGH-TECH FIRM ACCUSED THE GOVERNMENT OF HACKING INTO ITS SERVERS AND ITS CHINESE USERS' EMAIL ACCOUNTS, IN PROTEST, GOOGLE SAID IT WOULD NO LONGER PLAY BY GOVERNMENT RULES FILTERING OUT INFORMATION BEIJING DEEMED POLITICALLY SENSITIVE, A MOVE APPLAUDED QUIETLY BY MANY CHINESE COMPUTER USERS AND PUBLICLY BY FAMOUS CHINESE ARITIST AND ACTIVIST AI WEI WEI -WHO HAS THE CLOUT, TO SPEAK OUT. SOT AI WEI WEI BEIJING ACTIVIST "IF GOOGLE BETRAYS IT PRINCIPLES TO MAKE MONEY LIKE OTHERS WHO'VE COME TO CHINA, IT WILL LOSE ITS COMPETITIVENESS" TODAY, A HOUSE PANEL PRAISED GOOGLE FOR TAKING A STAND, A POSITION THAT COULD COST GOOGLE MORE THAN 300 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR IN LOST BUSINESS IF CHINA SHUTS THEM DOWN. SOT TBD GOOGLE "WE HOPE CHINA WILL RESPECT OUR DECISION BUT REALIZE THAT AT ANY MOMENT, THE GREAT FIREWALL COULD COME DOWN AND STOP OUR USERS AND CUT US OFF" BUT PUBLIC RELATIONS-WISE, CHINA STANDS TO LOSE, TOO. MARK MULLEN ON CAMERA: CHINA BADLY WANTS TO BE CONSIDERED A MODERN, INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MEMBER, BUT CAN'T BRING ITSELF TO GIVE UP THE HEAVY-HANDED CONTROLS, THAT CHARACTERIZED ITS PAST. MARK MULLEN FOR ABC NEWS, LOS ANGELES. A GALLON OF REGULAR UNLEADED IS SELLING FOR, $2.62, AT THE, MURPHY USA IN, ALAMO, LOCATED ON CESAR CHAVEZ AND THE EASTBOUND 83 FRONTAGE, IF YOU SEE A BETTER BARGAIN GIVE US A CALL HERE AT CHANNEL FIVE NEWS AT ANY OF THE NUMBERS YOU SEE ON YOUR SCREEN OR DROP US AN E-MAIL WHEN YOU VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT WWW DOT KRGV DOT COM, A FINAL LOOK AT YOUR FIRST WARN FIVE SEVEN DAY FORECAST IS JUST AHEAD, TODAY: PARTLY CLOUDY AND PLEASANT LOW 63 TOMORROW: CLOUDS AND PERHAPS A SHOWER TO START THEN TURNING OUT MOSTLY SUNNY IN THE AFTERNOON.

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Google's action angers China, threatens business interests | View Clip
03/24/2010
Los Angeles Daily News - Online

One day after Google stopped complying with China's censorship rules, state-sponsored media ratcheted up verbal attacks on the search giant, while several of Google's key business relationships in the country appeared to be in serious jeopardy.

While Google's new unfiltered Hong Kong-based search site had not been fully blocked by the Chinese government by late Tuesday, many experts on both sides of the Pacific expect that to happen. Meanwhile, Google's deal to be the default search engine on partly state-owned China Mobile, the world's largest mobile telecommunications carrier, is widely presumed to be at risk. And Tom.com, a Chinese Internet portal owned by a Hong Kong tycoon, by Tuesday had switched its default search engine from Google to the Chinese Baidu.com, saying it wanted to avoid violating any Chinese laws.

Still, even as Google carried through on its two-month-old threat to stop censoring search, the full scope of the government's response — and the reaction from the Chinese people — was not yet fully clear.

Bill Bishop, whose DigiCha.com blog follows digital media in China, spent Tuesday in Beijing watching state-sponsored TV news blast Google for everything from its lack of respect for Chinese law to its alleged problems serving up Internet porn. "The government has gone into high gear to lambaste Google in the official media,"

Bishop said.

"There are lots of ways to cause Google problems in China," he said, adding that while he hoped the government would not block Google search from the mainland, "the government can certainly make things difficult for any remaining Google operations or business relationships inside China. I expect them to do so, maybe not this week, but in the not-too-distant future."

Bishop said many Chinese would accept without much question the state media's portrayal of Google's alleged sins, such as a high government official quoted by the Xinhua News Agency expressing "our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusations and conduct," and its "politicization of commercial issues." But China's tech-savvy bloggers were worried the government would block google.com.hk and possibly force the Internet giant to abandon its research and development and advertising operations in China — though there were no signs of that happening Tuesday.

"There's a rising sense that this is not the right direction for China to go, which is increasing its isolation," said Santa Clara University professor Anna Han, a specialist in Chinese law who has been monitoring the online reaction in China since Google's announcement Monday. "When they mention this, it's not only Google. It's Facebook; it's YouTube. It's 'What else is going to be blocked?' "

A few Chinese passers-by laid flowers or chocolates on the large metal "Google" sign outside the company's office building in northern Beijing. While Google said its Chinese Web search was operating with "no issues" Tuesday, users on the mainland reported that some politically sensitive keyword searches would cause a browser to disconnect from the Web, and in other cases, searchers could not access sites displayed by Google because of government filters. Han said many Chinese bloggers Tuesday were joking about "doing more wall-climbing," an inside joke about the steps tech-savvy Chinese take to evade the "Great Firewall" of Internet censorship.

Wall Street also appeared to be waiting for the full extent of the government's response.

"There continues to be a lot of uncertainty about what's going to happen, and uncertainty is never good from the shareholders' perspective," said Ben Schacter, an analyst who follows Google for Broadpoint AmTech, reacting to the China Mobile situation and other questions about Google's future in China. "That's one reason you see the stock down today. There's still the broad questions about what is going to happen to Google in China."

Google shares dropped by 1.5 percent Tuesday, to $549.00 a share, as Wall Street analysts like Schacter took a wary but measured response to Google's action. The stock gained back most of that loss in after-hours trading.

Google first said in January that it would no longer comply with government requirements that it censor search, after a cyberattack originating in China targeted its intellectual property and the Gmail accounts of human rights activists.

Google runs a distant second in the Chinese search market to Baidu.com, which has about 60 percent of the market compared with Google's 35 percent. Similarly, most estimates are that Google's revenue from China was less than 3 percent of its $23.7 billion in revenue in 2009. But the future growth potential in China, which now has the world's largest Internet market, is huge.

"If they were the leading player in search in China, or they were on a really significant growth curve there, there might have been a more negative reaction from Wall Street," said Greg Sterling, an analyst and principal of Sterling Market Intelligence. "I think people are saying this is not an immediate (financial) impact, and the future is uncertain, so we're not going to punish Google for doing this."

The Obama administration appeared to take a more measured response Tuesday from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's strongly worded speech in January on Internet freedom, with a State Department spokesman calling Google's action, "a business decision."

But State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, "were I China, I would seriously consider the implications when one of the world's most recognizable institutions has decided that it's too difficult to do business in China."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Mike Swift at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/swiftstories.

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SOT Professor xxxxxxxx Han Santa Clara University Law School
03/24/2010
KAKE News at 4 PM - KAKE-TV

A COMMUNIST PARTY NEWSPAPER IN CHINA TODAY ATTACKED THE WORLD'S LARGEST ONLINE SEARCH ENGINE FOR MOVING ITS OPERATIONS OFF-SHORE. GOOGLE SAYS THE MOVE WAS NECESSARY TO SEND A MESSAGE TO THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT. MARK MULLEN REPORTS THE FIGHT IS JUST BEGINNING. SCRIPT: (NATSOT) TODAY, IN THE STATE RUN PRESS, CHINA PUBLICLY BLASTED INTERNET SEARCH ENGINE GOOGLE, AND BEHIND THE SCENES, APPEARED TO BE COAXING GOOGLE'S CHINESE INTERNET PARTNERS TO SEVER TIES. MONDAY, GOOGLE ROUTED ITS SEARCHES THROUGH MORE PERMISSIVE HONG KONG, TO PROTEST THE MAINLAND'S STRICT CENSORSHIP RULES. SOT Professor xxxxxxxx Han Santa Clara University Law School "China is not willing to be dictated to by a company or another government. " THE GOOGLE-CHINA FACEOFF STARTED TWO MONTHS AGO AFTER THE HIGH-TECH FIRM ACCUSED THE GOVERNMENT OF HACKING INTO ITS SERVERS AND ITS CHINESE USERS' EMAIL ACCOUNTS, IN PROTEST, GOOGLE SAID IT WOULD NO LONGER PLAY BY GOVERNMENT RULES FILTERING OUT INFORMATION BEIJING DEEMED POLITICALLY SENSITIVE, A MOVE APPLAUDED QUIETLY BY MANY CHINESE COMPUTER USERS AND PUBLICLY BY FAMOUS CHINESE ARITIST AND ACTIVIST AI WEI WEI - WHO HAS THE CLOUT, TO SPEAK OUT. SOT Ai Wei Wei Beijing Activist "If Google betrays it principles to make money like others who've come to china, it will lose its competitiveness" TODAY, A HOUSE PANEL PRAISED GOOGLE FOR TAKING A STAND, A POSITION THAT COULD COST GOOGLE MORE THAN 300 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR IN LOST BUSINESS IF CHINA SHUTS THEM DOWN. SOT TBD Google "We hope China will respect our decision but realize that at any moment, the great firewall could come down and stop our users and cut us off" BUT PUBLIC RELATIONS-WISE, CHINA STANDS TO LOSE, TOO. Mark Mullen on camera: China badly wants to be considered a modern, international community member, but can't bring itself to give up the heavy- handed controls, that characterized its past. Mark Mullen for ABC NEWS, Los Angeles. BIG CHANGES COULD SOON BE COMING TO THE SCHOOL LUNCH LINE WHY NEW LEGISLATION AIMS AT CRACKING DOWN ON KIDS FAVORITE TREATS. PLUS A POPULAR BABY PRODUCT COULD SOON BE MISSING FROM STORE SHELVES BECAUSE OF SAFETY CONCERNS. BUT FIRST BUSINESSES STEPPING IN TO KEEP A 'GET UP AND GO DRINK' AWAY FROM TEENAGERS. THEY'RE SUPP YOU? YES, I HEAR PROGRESSIVE HAS LOTS OF DISCOUNTS ON CAR INSURANCE. CAN I GET IN ON THAT? ARE YOU A SAFE DRIVER? YES. DISCOUNT! DO YOU OWN A HOME? YES. DISCOUNT! ARE YOU GOING TO BUY ONLINE? YES! DISCOUNT! ISN'T GETTING DISCOUNTS GREAT? YES! THERE'S NO DISCOUNT FOR AGREEING WITH ME. YEAH, I GOT CARRIED AWAY. HAPPENS TO ME ALL THE TIME. HELPING YOU SAVE MONEY NOW, THAT'S PROGRESSIVE. CALL OR CLICK TODAY.

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Good people do shocking things | View Clip
03/24/2010
Gazette (Montreal) - Online, The

When placed in uncertain circumstances humans can act in uncharacteristic and sadistic ways

Last week a documentary aired on French television in which citizens, encouraged by a boisterous audience, administered what they thought were increasingly severe and perhaps dangerous electric shocks to another individual.

The participants in this experiment believed they were part of a game show, and administering shocks was a way to punish another contestant for wrong answers. Despite that contestant's screams of pain and demands to be set free, 80 per cent of the participants continued to press the shock levers all the way to the highest level, 460 volts. Only one in five refused to inflict the potentially lethal punishment.

To most people, the findings were surprising and more than a little unsettling. If typical citizens are capable of such cruelty, what does this tell us about ourselves?

Like everyone, I found the participants' behaviour disturbing. However, unlike most people, I was not the least bit surprised by the results. The French documentary simply demonstrates in dramatic fashion what social psychologists have known for nearly half a century.

In fact, the documentary was based on experiments conducted at Yale University in the early 1960s by social psychologist Stanley Milgram. Milgram's participants thought they were part of a study on the effects of punishment. Two-thirds continued to administer electric shocks all the way to 450 volts despite agonizing screams and protests from the man supposedly receiving the punishment. Instead of an audience, participants were encouraged to continue by an experimenter in a grey lab coat.

What the faux game show and the Milgram studies illustrate is what might be called the unofficial mantra of social psychology - that our actions are influenced in to a much greater degree than most of us recognize by the situation we find ourselves in. We all have a tendency to attribute behaviour to something about the person performing the act rather than to the situation the person is in.

If people administer excruciating electric shocks, our first inclination is to label them brutal or sadistic individuals. But the game show contestants and Milgram's participants were average citizens. Does that mean the vast majority of the people we interact with each day are cruel sociopaths? Probably not. Rather, a large amount of psychological research tells us that, when placed in certain circumstances, otherwise good people often act in uncharacteristic and sometimes alarming ways.

What are those circumstances? Milgram built several situational factors we know to have a powerful influence on behaviour into his procedures. Participants punished the first wrong answer with a mild 15-volt shock and increased the voltage by small increments for each subsequent mistake. Research indicates that this kind of incremental approach is an effective way to change attitudes and behaviours. Milgram's participants also found themselves in a novel situation for which they were unprepared and uncertain about how they were supposed to act. Under such circumstances, it is reasonable to turn to others for guidance. In Milgram's studies, there was an expert in the room - the experimenter - acting as if nothing was wrong. The French documentary added encouragement from the audience.

Milgram's participants also had to respond quickly. They had no time to ponder the arguments for and against continuing, which led them to rely on immediate situational cues rather than their personal standards and values. Perhaps most important, the laboratory situation also made it easy for participants to deflect responsibility away from themselves. If the man giving wrong answers suffered, participants could reasonably assign blame to the experimenter, the university, or even the victim. They were, as some participants put it, just doing their jobs. Just following orders.

Social psychologists often point to their research to explain incidents like Abu Ghraib, the Jonestown suicides, the My Lai massacres, and, most noteworthy, the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. Indeed, many of the situational factors found in Milgram's lab were present in these settings.

Although we should be cautious when making the leap from laboratory studies to complex events such as the Holocaust, thinking about these incidents in terms of people reacting to situations might be more useful than blaming flaws in the actor's character. If we attribute the events at Abu Ghraib to, as the U.S. military put it, a few bad apples, then we avoid dealing with a more likely cause of the unacceptable behaviour, i.e., the situation we put these people in.

But we don't need to look at headlines to see examples of seemingly good people engaging in unacceptable behaviour. Despite extensive campaigns, drinking and driving remains a serious problem. Business executives and financial advisers sometimes push the limits of what they can legally get away with. Government agencies in the United States spend more than $33 billion a year cleaning up litter strewn on streets, parks and beaches by citizens and visitors. Students cheat on tests. Adults cheat on their taxes. After more than a quarter of a century of education, millions continue to engage in unprotected sex.

In these everyday transgressions, we often find many of the same situational variables that were built into the French game show and Milgram's experiments. The bottom line is that it's not "those kind of people" who do bad things. Under the right circumstances, it's most of us. Nearly everyone who learns about Milgram's work has the same reaction - "I wouldn't press those levers." But we've conducted the studies, and we know that for most of us that just isn't true.

Although the implication that we all are susceptible to acting in alarming ways is a little discomforting, the message is also optimistic. For example, in my own research using a variation of Milgram's procedures, I found a common reaction among the participants who refused to continue the shocks. In almost all cases, these individuals resisted the pressure to blame others for the harm they might have caused. If that man was hurt, they told me, they would have felt responsible. Arranging situations and training individuals so that people - business leaders, military personnel, students - feel responsible for the consequences of their actions could go a long way toward getting otherwise good people to do the right thing.

Jerry M. Burger is a professor in the department of psychology at Santa Clara University.

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SOT Professor xxxxxxxx Han Santa Clara University Law School
03/24/2010
First News at 5 PM - WLOS-TV

nats, closing bell IT WAS A DOWN DAY ON WALLSTREET AS BOTH THE DOW AND NASDAQ LOST POINTS. THE DOW WAS DOWN 52 POINTS TO FINISH OUT AT 10-THOUSAND, 836. THE NASDAQ LOST 16 POINTS, CLOSING AT 2-THOUSAND, 398. TODAY, THE COMMUNIST PARTY NEWSPAPER IN CHINA PUBLISHED A BLISTERING ATTACK ON THE WORLD'S LARGEST SEARCH ENGINE FOR MOVING ITS OPERATIONS OFF SHORE. IT'S JUST THE LATEST IN THE BATTLE BETWEEN GOOGLE AND THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT. NEVER BEFORE HAS A FOREIGN COMPANY SO OPENLY CHALLENGED THE BEIJING DICTATORSHIP. TOPPING THE BUSINESS REPORT, MARK MULLEN HAS MORE ON HOW THE FIGHT IS SHAPING UP. SCRIPT: (NATSOT) TODAY, IN THE STATE RUN PRESS, CHINA PUBLICLY BLASTED INTERNET SEARCH ENGINE GOOGLE, AND BEHIND THE SCENES, APPEARED TO BE COAXING GOOGLE'S CHINESE INTERNET PARTNERS TO SEVER TIES. MONDAY, GOOGLE ROUTED ITS SEARCHES THROUGH MORE PERMISSIVE HONG KONG, TO PROTEST THE MAINLAND'S STRICT CENSORSHIP RULES. SOT Professor xxxxxxxx Han Santa Clara University Law School "China is not willing to be dictated to by a company or another government. " THE GOOGLE- CHINA FACEOFF STARTED TWO MONTHS AGO AFTER THE HIGH-TECH FIRM ACCUSED THE GOVERNMENT OF HACKING INTO ITS SERVERS AND ITS CHINESE USERS' EMAIL ACCOUNTS, IN PROTEST, GOOGLE SAID IT WOULD NO LONGER PLAY BY GOVERNMENT RULES FILTERING OUT INFORMATION BEIJING DEEMED POLITICALLY SENSITIVE, A MOVE APPLAUDED QUIETLY BY MANY CHINESE COMPUTER USERS AND PUBLICLY BY FAMOUS CHINESE ARITIST AND ACTIVIST AI WEI WEI - WHO HAS THE CLOUT, TO SPEAK OUT. SOT Ai Wei Wei Beijing Activist "If Google betrays it principles to make money like others who've come to china, it will lose its competitiveness" TODAY, A HOUSE PANEL PRAISED GOOGLE FOR TAKING A STAND, A POSITION THAT COULD COST GOOGLE MORE THAN 300 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR IN LOST BUSINESS IF CHINA SHUTS THEM DOWN. SOT TBD Google "We hope China will respect our decision but realize that at any moment, the great firewall could come down and stop our users and cut us off" BUT PUBLIC RELATIONS-WISE, CHINA STANDS TO LOSE, TOO. Mark Mullen on camera: China badly wants to be considered a modern, international community member, but can't bring itself to give up the heavy- handed controls, that characterized its past. Mark Mullen for ABC NEWS, Los Angeles. MORE THAN ONE MILLION BABY SLINGS ARE BEING RECALLED, AFTER THREE INFANTS DIED. THE CPSC SAYS BABIES CAN SUFFOCATE IN THE SOFT FABRIC, AND URGED PARENTS TO IMMEDIATELY STOP USING THEM FOR BABIES UNDER FOUR MONTHS OLD. THE SLINGS ARE MADE BY THE COMPANY "INFANTINO" AND INCLUDE IT'S AND "WENDY BELLISSIMO" SLINGS. EARLIER THIS MONTH, THE CP SC ISSUED A WARNING ABOUT SLING-STYLE BABY CARRIES, SAYING THEY POSE A SUFFOCATION RISK. ITALIAN CAR- MAKER FIAT SAYS, NOT SO FAST. THERE ARE REPORTS FIAT WAS CUTTING FIVE- THOUSAND JOBS WHILE INCREASING CAR PRODUCTION BY 50-PERCENT. BUT THE AUTOMAKER SAYS THE REPORTS ARE PREMATURE. SPECULATION THAT THEY'LL ALSO SPINOFF INTO ANOTHER CAR BUSINESS WILL BE ADDRESSED NEXT MONTH. UP NEXT IN THE BUZZ, A MAJOR TALK SHOW HOST AT THE CENTER OF A LAWSUIT. WHY OPRAH WILL NOT HAVE TO GO TO COURT. THE FACE-TO-FACE MEETING OF BOTH SIDES. YOU CAN GET ALL THE LATEST NEWS AND WEATHER WITH NEWS 13 WIRELESS ON YOUR SMART- PHONE. JUST GO TO WLOS. COM. THE TALK-SHOW QUEEN WILL NOT NAVIGATING TODAY'S REAL ESTATE MARKET IS COMPLICATED. YOU'VE SEEN THE SIGNS. THAT'S WHY HAVING THE RIGHT REAL ESTATE AGENT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER.

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Google's action angers China, threatens business interests
03/24/2010
Daily Review, The

One day after Google stopped complying with China's censorship rules, state-sponsored media ratcheted up verbal attacks on the search giant, and several of Google's key business relationships in the country appeared to be in serious jeopardy.

Although Google's new unfiltered Hong Kong-based search site had not been fully blocked by the Chinese government by late Tuesday, many experts on both sides of the Pacific expect that to happen. Meanwhile, Google's deal to be the default search engine on partly state-owned China Mobile, the world's largest mobile telecommunications carrier, is widely presumed to be at risk. And Tom.com, a Chinese Internet portal owned by a Hong Kong tycoon, by Tuesday had switched its default search engine from Google to the Chinese Baidu.com, saying it wanted to avoid violating any Chinese laws.

Still, even as Google carried through on its two-month-old threat to stop censoring search, the full scope of the government's response — and the reaction from the Chinese people — was not yet fully clear.

Bill Bishop, whose DigiCha.com blog follows digital media in China, spent Tuesday in Beijing watching state-sponsored TV news blast Google for everything from its lack of respect for Chinese law to its alleged problems serving up Internet porn. "The government has gone into high gear to lambaste Google in the official media," Bishop said.

"There are lots of ways to cause Google problems in China," he said, adding that while he hoped the government would not block Google search from the mainland, "the government can certainly make things difficult for any remaining Google operations or business relationships inside China. I expect them to do so, maybe not this week, but in the not too distant future."

Bishop said many Chinese would accept without much question the state media's portrayal of Google's alleged sins, such as a high government official quoted by the Xinhua News Agency expressing "our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusations and conduct," and its "politicization of commercial issues." But China's tech-savvy bloggers were worried the government would block google.com.hk and possibly force the Internet giant to abandon its research and development and advertising operations in China — though there were no signs of that happening Tuesday.

"There's a rising sense that this is not the right direction for China to go, which is increasing its isolation," said Santa Clara University professor Anna Han, a specialist in Chinese law who has been monitoring the online reaction in China since Google's announcement Monday. "When they mention this, it's not only Google. It's Facebook; it's YouTube. It's 'What else is going to be blocked?' "

A few Chinese passers-by laid flowers or chocolates on the large metal "Google" sign outside the company's office building in northern Beijing. While Google said its Chinese Web search was operating with "no issues" Tuesday, users on the mainland reported that some politically sensitive keyword searches would cause a browser to disconnect from the Web, and in other cases, searchers could not access sites displayed by Google because of government filters. Han said many Chinese bloggers Tuesday were joking about "doing more wall-climbing," an inside joke about the steps tech-savvy Chinese take to evade the "Great Firewall" of Internet censorship.

Wall Street also appeared to be waiting for the full extent of the government's response.

"There continues to be a lot of uncertainty about what's going to happen, and uncertainty is never good from the shareholders' perspective," said Ben Schacter, an analyst who follows Google for Broadpoint AmTech, reacting to the China Mobile situation and other questions about Google's future in China. "That's one reason you see the stock down today. There's still the broad questions about what is going to happen to Google in China."

Google shares dropped by 1.5 percent Tuesday, to $549.00 a share, as Wall Street analysts like Schacter took a wary but measured response to Google's action. The stock gained back most of that loss in after-hours trading.

Google first said in January that it would no longer comply with government requirements that it censor search, after a cyberattack originating in China targeted its intellectual property and the Gmail accounts of human rights activists.

Google runs a distant second in the Chinese search market to Baidu.com, which has about 60 percent of the market compared with Google's 35 percent. Similarly, most estimates are that Google's revenue from China was less than 3 percent of its $23.7 billion in revenue in 2009. But the future growth potential in China, which now has the world's largest Internet market, is huge.

"If they were the leading player in search in China, or they were on a really significant growth curve there, there might have been a more negative reaction from Wall Street," said Greg Sterling, an analyst and principal of Sterling Market Intelligence. "I think people are saying this is not an immediate (financial) impact and the future is uncertain, so we're not going to punish Google for doing this."

The Obama administration appeared to take a more measured response Tuesday from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's strongly worded speech in January on Internet freedom, with a State Department spokesman calling Google's action, "a business decision."

But State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley also told reporters, "were I China, I would seriously consider the implications when one of the world's most recognizable institutions has decided that it's too difficult to do business in China."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Mike Swift at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/swiftstories.

Copyright © 2010 The Daily Review. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Google's action angers China, threatens business interests
03/24/2010
Argus, The

One day after Google stopped complying with China's censorship rules, state-sponsored media ratcheted up verbal attacks on the search giant, and several of Google's key business relationships in the country appeared to be in serious jeopardy.

Although Google's new unfiltered Hong Kong-based search site had not been fully blocked by the Chinese government by late Tuesday, many experts on both sides of the Pacific expect that to happen. Meanwhile, Google's deal to be the default search engine on partly state-owned China Mobile, the world's largest mobile telecommunications carrier, is widely presumed to be at risk. And Tom.com, a Chinese Internet portal owned by a Hong Kong tycoon, by Tuesday had switched its default search engine from Google to the Chinese Baidu.com, saying it wanted to avoid violating any Chinese laws.

Still, even as Google carried through on its two-month-old threat to stop censoring search, the full scope of the government's response — and the reaction from the Chinese people — was not yet fully clear.

Bill Bishop, whose DigiCha.com blog follows digital media in China, spent Tuesday in Beijing watching state-sponsored TV news blast Google for everything from its lack of respect for Chinese law to its alleged problems serving up Internet porn. "The government has gone into high gear to lambaste Google in the official media," Bishop said.

"There are lots of ways to cause Google problems in China," he said, adding that while he hoped the government would not block Google search from the mainland, "the government can certainly make things difficult for any remaining Google operations or business relationships inside China. I expect them to do so, maybe not this week, but in the not too distant future."

Bishop said many Chinese would accept without much question the state media's portrayal of Google's alleged sins, such as a high government official quoted by the Xinhua News Agency expressing "our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusations and conduct," and its "politicization of commercial issues." But China's tech-savvy bloggers were worried the government would block google.com.hk and possibly force the Internet giant to abandon its research and development and advertising operations in China — though there were no signs of that happening Tuesday.

"There's a rising sense that this is not the right direction for China to go, which is increasing its isolation," said Santa Clara University professor Anna Han, a specialist in Chinese law who has been monitoring the online reaction in China since Google's announcement Monday. "When they mention this, it's not only Google. It's Facebook; it's YouTube. It's 'What else is going to be blocked?' "

A few Chinese passers-by laid flowers or chocolates on the large metal "Google" sign outside the company's office building in northern Beijing. While Google said its Chinese Web search was operating with "no issues" Tuesday, users on the mainland reported that some politically sensitive keyword searches would cause a browser to disconnect from the Web, and in other cases, searchers could not access sites displayed by Google because of government filters. Han said many Chinese bloggers Tuesday were joking about "doing more wall-climbing," an inside joke about the steps tech-savvy Chinese take to evade the "Great Firewall" of Internet censorship.

Wall Street also appeared to be waiting for the full extent of the government's response.

"There continues to be a lot of uncertainty about what's going to happen, and uncertainty is never good from the shareholders' perspective," said Ben Schacter, an analyst who follows Google for Broadpoint AmTech, reacting to the China Mobile situation and other questions about Google's future in China. "That's one reason you see the stock down today. There's still the broad questions about what is going to happen to Google in China."

Google shares dropped by 1.5 percent Tuesday, to $549.00 a share, as Wall Street analysts like Schacter took a wary but measured response to Google's action. The stock gained back most of that loss in after-hours trading.

Google first said in January that it would no longer comply with government requirements that it censor search, after a cyberattack originating in China targeted its intellectual property and the Gmail accounts of human rights activists.

Google runs a distant second in the Chinese search market to Baidu.com, which has about 60 percent of the market compared with Google's 35 percent. Similarly, most estimates are that Google's revenue from China was less than 3 percent of its $23.7 billion in revenue in 2009. But the future growth potential in China, which now has the world's largest Internet market, is huge.

"If they were the leading player in search in China, or they were on a really significant growth curve there, there might have been a more negative reaction from Wall Street," said Greg Sterling, an analyst and principal of Sterling Market Intelligence. "I think people are saying this is not an immediate (financial) impact and the future is uncertain, so we're not going to punish Google for doing this."

The Obama administration appeared to take a more measured response Tuesday from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's strongly worded speech in January on Internet freedom, with a State Department spokesman calling Google's action, "a business decision."

But State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley also told reporters, "were I China, I would seriously consider the implications when one of the world's most recognizable institutions has decided that it's too difficult to do business in China."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Mike Swift at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/swiftstories.

Copyright © 2010 The Argus. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Google's action angers China, threatens business interests
03/24/2010
Alameda Times-Star

One day after Google stopped complying with China's censorship rules, state-sponsored media ratcheted up verbal attacks on the search giant, and several of Google's key business relationships in the country appeared to be in serious jeopardy.

Although Google's new unfiltered Hong Kong-based search site had not been fully blocked by the Chinese government by late Tuesday, many experts on both sides of the Pacific expect that to happen. Meanwhile, Google's deal to be the default search engine on partly state-owned China Mobile, the world's largest mobile telecommunications carrier, is widely presumed to be at risk. And Tom.com, a Chinese Internet portal owned by a Hong Kong tycoon, by Tuesday had switched its default search engine from Google to the Chinese Baidu.com, saying it wanted to avoid violating any Chinese laws.

Still, even as Google carried through on its two-month-old threat to stop censoring search, the full scope of the government's response — and the reaction from the Chinese people — was not yet fully clear.

Bill Bishop, whose DigiCha.com blog follows digital media in China, spent Tuesday in Beijing watching state-sponsored TV news blast Google for everything from its lack of respect for Chinese law to its alleged problems serving up Internet porn. "The government has gone into high gear to lambaste Google in the official media," Bishop said.

"There are lots of ways to cause Google problems in China," he said, adding that while he hoped the government would not block Google search from the mainland, "the government can certainly make things difficult for any remaining Google operations or business relationships inside China. I expect them to do so, maybe not this week, but in the not too distant future."

Bishop said many Chinese would accept without much question the state media's portrayal of Google's alleged sins, such as a high government official quoted by the Xinhua News Agency expressing "our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusations and conduct," and its "politicization of commercial issues." But China's tech-savvy bloggers were worried the government would block google.com.hk and possibly force the Internet giant to abandon its research and development and advertising operations in China — though there were no signs of that happening Tuesday.

"There's a rising sense that this is not the right direction for China to go, which is increasing its isolation," said Santa Clara University professor Anna Han, a specialist in Chinese law who has been monitoring the online reaction in China since Google's announcement Monday. "When they mention this, it's not only Google. It's Facebook; it's YouTube. It's 'What else is going to be blocked?' "

A few Chinese passers-by laid flowers or chocolates on the large metal "Google" sign outside the company's office building in northern Beijing. While Google said its Chinese Web search was operating with "no issues" Tuesday, users on the mainland reported that some politically sensitive keyword searches would cause a browser to disconnect from the Web, and in other cases, searchers could not access sites displayed by Google because of government filters. Han said many Chinese bloggers Tuesday were joking about "doing more wall-climbing," an inside joke about the steps tech-savvy Chinese take to evade the "Great Firewall" of Internet censorship.

Wall Street also appeared to be waiting for the full extent of the government's response.

"There continues to be a lot of uncertainty about what's going to happen, and uncertainty is never good from the shareholders' perspective," said Ben Schacter, an analyst who follows Google for Broadpoint AmTech, reacting to the China Mobile situation and other questions about Google's future in China. "That's one reason you see the stock down today. There's still the broad questions about what is going to happen to Google in China."

Google shares dropped by 1.5 percent Tuesday, to $549.00 a share, as Wall Street analysts like Schacter took a wary but measured response to Google's action. The stock gained back most of that loss in after-hours trading.

Google first said in January that it would no longer comply with government requirements that it censor search, after a cyberattack originating in China targeted its intellectual property and the Gmail accounts of human rights activists.

Google runs a distant second in the Chinese search market to Baidu.com, which has about 60 percent of the market compared with Google's 35 percent. Similarly, most estimates are that Google's revenue from China was less than 3 percent of its $23.7 billion in revenue in 2009. But the future growth potential in China, which now has the world's largest Internet market, is huge.

"If they were the leading player in search in China, or they were on a really significant growth curve there, there might have been a more negative reaction from Wall Street," said Greg Sterling, an analyst and principal of Sterling Market Intelligence. "I think people are saying this is not an immediate (financial) impact and the future is uncertain, so we're not going to punish Google for doing this."

The Obama administration appeared to take a more measured response Tuesday from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's strongly worded speech in January on Internet freedom, with a State Department spokesman calling Google's action, "a business decision."

But State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley also told reporters, "were I China, I would seriously consider the implications when one of the world's most recognizable institutions has decided that it's too difficult to do business in China."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Mike Swift at 408-271-3648. Follow him at Twitter.com/swiftstories.

Copyright © 2010 Alameda Times-Star. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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SOT PROFESSOR XXXXXXXX HAN SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL
03/24/2010
ABC 12 News at 5 PM - WJRT-TV

ANGIE BLOOD MAY BE THICKER THAN WATER - BUT APPARENTLY IT'S NO MATCH FOR MONEY. AT LEAST THAT'S CASE FOR TWO SISTERS LOCKED IN LEGAL BATTLE OVER A LOTTERY TICKET. ABC'S LINSEY DAVIS REPORTS. (PKG)THEY SHARE HALF OF EACH OTHER'S DNA AND USED TO SHARE HALF OF THEIR LOTTERY WINNINGS, BUT NOW SOME BAD BLOOD BETWEEN THESE CONNECTICUT SISTERS HAS THEIR FAMILY FEUDING. NATS: CAN YOU TELL US WHAT YOU THINKING AT THIS POINT? TERESA: I CAN'T I CAN'T 84-YEAR-OLD THERESA SOKAITIS IS SUING HER 87 YEAR OLD SISTER ROSE BAKAYSA OVER WHAT SHE CLAIMS IS HER SHARE OF A 500 THOUSAND DOLLAR WINNING POWERBALL TICKET. THEIR BROTHER BOUGHT THE TICKET BACK IN 2005 AND FIVE YEARS LATER, THEY ARE FIGHTING IT OUT IN COURT. (NATS BROTHER ON STAND) "I THINK WE WON SOME SERIOUS MONEY SHE SAID WHAT YOU WIN A THOUSAND DOLLARS? I SAID TRY HALF A MILLION. " THE SISTERS USED TO GAMBLE TOGETHER 3 TIMES A WEEK AND THEY ALSO PLAYED THE LOTTERY TOGETHER. THEY CALLED THEMSELVES PARTNERS, PLAYING THE SAME NUMBERS AND SHARING THEIR WINNINGS. AFTER HITTING A 165 THOUSAND DOLLAR JACKPOT 10 YEARS AGO THEY EVEN DREW UP A LEGAL CONTRACT TO SPLIT FUTURE WINNINGS. SOT SAM M. POLLACK SOKATITIS ATTORNEY "BOTH PARTIES AGREE, THAT THERE WAS A VALID CONTRACT AND IT WAS ENFORCEABLE. " BUT THEY HAD A FALLING OUT IN 2004 OVER A COUPLE HUNDRED DOLLARS. ROSE SAYS AFTER THAT THEY AGREED TO END THE PARTNERSHIP. SOT WILLIAM J. SWEENEY BAKAYSA ATTORNEY "THE TESTIMONY THAT WAS OFFERED THAT SAID THAT I AM NOT GOING TO BE YOUR PARTNER ANYMORE AND SOMEBODY AGREEING TO THAT BY THEIR ACTIONS THE PARTIES RESCINDED THE CONTRACT. " ROSE SUBSEQUENTLY TEAMED UP WITH THEIR OLDER BROTHER JOSEPH. WHEN HE WON THE POWERBALL, HE SPLIT THE MONEY WITH ROSE. WHEN THERESA FOUND OUT, SHE TOOK HER SISTER TO COURT. SOT POLLACK "ONE THING THERESA SOKAITIS HAS MAINTAINED THROUGHOUT IS THE THING THAT SHE'S MOST UPSET ABOUT IS THAT SHE'S LOST A RELATIONSHIP WITH HER SISTER, NOT THE UNFORTUNATE BYPRODUCT OF THIS. " THE SISTERS HAVEN'T SPOKEN TO EACH OTHER FOR YEARS. LINSEY DAVIS, ABC NEWS ANGIE STILL AHEAD - HOW OPRAH WINFREY AVOIDED A LONG TRIAL OVER A DEFAMATION LAWSUIT. AND NEVER BEFORE HAS A FOREIGN COMPANY SO OPENLY CHALLENGED THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT. HOW INTERNET SEARCH ENGINE GOOGLE - ISN'T BACKING DOWN -NEXT. BREAK 2 [C1]GOOGLE CHINA WED MULLEN 5PM-PKG ANGIE A COMMUNIST PARTY NEWSPAPER IN LAUNCHED THE LATEST BLOW - IN THE BATTLE BETWEEN GOOGLE AND THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT. THE PAPER PUBLISHED A BLISTERING ATTACK ON THE WORLD'S LARGEST ONLINE SEARCH ENGINE -FOR MOVING ITS OPERATIONS OFF-SHORE. GOOGLE ACTED TO PROTEST CHINA'S INTERNET CENSORSHIP. MARK MULLEN REPORTS THE BEIJING DICTATORSHIP IS HINTING - THE FIGHT IS JUST BEGINNING TODAY, IN THE STATE RUN PRESS, CHINA PUBLICLY BLASTED INTERNET SEARCH ENGINE GOOGLE, AND BEHIND THE SCENES, APPEARED TO BE COAXING GOOGLE'S CHINESE INTERNET PARTNERS TO SEVER TIES. MONDAY, GOOGLE ROUTED ITS SEARCHES THROUGH MORE PERMISSIVE HONG KONG, TO PROTEST THE MAINLAND'S STRICT CENSORSHIP RULES. SOT PROFESSOR XXXXXXXX HAN SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL "CHINA IS NOT WILLING TO BE DICTATED TO BY A COMPANY OR ANOTHER GOVERNMENT.

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SOT PROFESSOR XXXXXXXX HAN SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL
03/24/2010
ABC 12 News at 11 PM - WJRT-TV

ANGIE BLOOD MAY BE THICKER THAN WATER - BUT APPARENTLY IT'S NO MATCH FOR MONEY. AT LEAST THAT'S CASE FOR TWO SISTERS LOCKED IN LEGAL BATTLE OVER A LOTTERY TICKET. ABC'S LINSEY DAVIS REPORTS. (PKG)THEY SHARE HALF OF EACH OTHER'S DNA AND USED TO SHARE HALF OF THEIR LOTTERY WINNINGS, BUT NOW SOME BAD BLOOD BETWEEN THESE CONNECTICUT SISTERS HAS THEIR FAMILY FEUDING. NATS: CAN YOU TELL US WHAT YOU THINKING AT THIS POINT? TERESA: I CAN'T I CAN'T 84-YEAR-OLD THERESA SOKAITIS IS SUING HER 87 YEAR OLD SISTER ROSE BAKAYSA OVER WHAT SHE CLAIMS IS HER SHARE OF A 500 THOUSAND DOLLAR WINNING POWERBALL TICKET. THEIR BROTHER BOUGHT THE TICKET BACK IN 2005 AND FIVE YEARS LATER, THEY ARE FIGHTING IT OUT IN COURT. (NATS BROTHER ON STAND) "I THINK WE WON SOME SERIOUS MONEY SHE SAID WHAT YOU WIN A THOUSAND DOLLARS? I SAID TRY HALF A MILLION. " THE SISTERS USED TO GAMBLE TOGETHER 3 TIMES A WEEK AND THEY ALSO PLAYED THE LOTTERY TOGETHER. THEY CALLED THEMSELVES PARTNERS, PLAYING THE SAME NUMBERS AND SHARING THEIR WINNINGS. AFTER HITTING A 165 THOUSAND DOLLAR JACKPOT 10 YEARS AGO THEY EVEN DREW UP A LEGAL CONTRACT TO SPLIT FUTURE WINNINGS. SOT SAM M. POLLACK SOKATITIS ATTORNEY "BOTH PARTIES AGREE, THAT THERE WAS A VALID CONTRACT AND IT WAS ENFORCEABLE. " BUT THEY HAD A FALLING OUT IN 2004 OVER A COUPLE HUNDRED DOLLARS. ROSE SAYS AFTER THAT THEY AGREED TO END THE PARTNERSHIP. SOT WILLIAM J. SWEENEY BAKAYSA ATTORNEY "THE TESTIMONY THAT WAS OFFERED THAT SAID THAT I AM NOT GOING TO BE YOUR PARTNER ANYMORE AND SOMEBODY AGREEING TO THAT BY THEIR ACTIONS THE PARTIES RESCINDED THE CONTRACT. " ROSE SUBSEQUENTLY TEAMED UP WITH THEIR OLDER BROTHER JOSEPH. WHEN HE WON THE POWERBALL, HE SPLIT THE MONEY WITH ROSE. WHEN THERESA FOUND OUT, SHE TOOK HER SISTER TO COURT. SOT POLLACK "ONE THING THERESA SOKAITIS HAS MAINTAINED THROUGHOUT IS THE THING THAT SHE'S MOST UPSET ABOUT IS THAT SHE'S LOST A RELATIONSHIP WITH HER SISTER, NOT THE UNFORTUNATE BYPRODUCT OF THIS. " THE SISTERS HAVEN'T SPOKEN TO EACH OTHER FOR YEARS. LINSEY DAVIS, ABC NEWS ANGIE STILL AHEAD - HOW OPRAH WINFREY AVOIDED A LONG TRIAL OVER A DEFAMATION LAWSUIT. AND NEVER BEFORE HAS A FOREIGN COMPANY SO OPENLY CHALLENGED THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT. HOW INTERNET SEARCH ENGINE GOOGLE - ISN'T BACKING DOWN -NEXT. BREAK 2 [C1]GOOGLE CHINA WED MULLEN 5PM-PKG ANGIE A COMMUNIST PARTY NEWSPAPER IN LAUNCHED THE LATEST BLOW - IN THE BATTLE BETWEEN GOOGLE AND THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT. THE PAPER PUBLISHED A BLISTERING ATTACK ON THE WORLD'S LARGEST ONLINE SEARCH ENGINE -FOR MOVING ITS OPERATIONS OFF-SHORE. GOOGLE ACTED TO PROTEST CHINA'S INTERNET CENSORSHIP. MARK MULLEN REPORTS THE BEIJING DICTATORSHIP IS HINTING - THE FIGHT IS JUST BEGINNING TODAY, IN THE STATE RUN PRESS, CHINA PUBLICLY BLASTED INTERNET SEARCH ENGINE GOOGLE, AND BEHIND THE SCENES, APPEARED TO BE COAXING GOOGLE'S CHINESE INTERNET PARTNERS TO SEVER TIES. MONDAY, GOOGLE ROUTED ITS SEARCHES THROUGH MORE PERMISSIVE HONG KONG, TO PROTEST THE MAINLAND'S STRICT CENSORSHIP RULES. SOT PROFESSOR XXXXXXXX HAN SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL "CHINA IS NOT WILLING TO BE DICTATED TO BY A COMPANY OR ANOTHER GOVERNMENT.

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Good people doing bad things | View Clip
03/23/2010
Windsor Star - Online, The

Circumstances have a much greater influence on how we act than most people care to admit

The french documentary Jeu de la Mort featured game-show participants who continued to shock an actor 'contestant' they thought was experiencing severe pain and even risk of death.

Photograph by: Image courtesy, Youtube

Last week a documentary aired on French television in which citizens, encouraged by a boisterous audience, administered what they thought were increasingly severe and perhaps dangerous electric shocks to another individual.

The participants in this experiment believed they were part of a game show, and administering shocks was a way to punish another contestant for wrong answers. Despite that contestant's screams of pain and demands to be set free, 80 per cent of the participants continued to press the shock levers all the way to the highest level, 460 volts. Only one in five refused to inflict the potentially lethal punishment.

To most people, the findings were surprising and more than a little unsettling. If typical citizens are capable of such cruelty, what does this tell us about ourselves?

Like everyone, I found the participants' behaviour disturbing. However, unlike most people, I was not the least bit surprised by the results. The French documentary simply demonstrates in dramatic fashion what social psychologists have known for nearly half a century.

In fact, the documentary was based on experiments conducted at Yale University in the early 1960s by social psychologist Stanley Milgram. Milgram's participants thought they were part of a study on the effects of punishment. Two-thirds continued to administer electric shocks all the way to 450 volts despite agonizing screams and protests from the man supposedly receiving the punishment. Instead of an audience, participants were encouraged to continue by an experimenter in a grey lab coat.

What the faux game show and the Milgram studies illustrate is what might be called the unofficial mantra of social psychology, i.e., that our actions are influenced by the situation we find ourselves in to a much greater degree than most of us recognize. We all have a tendency to attribute behaviour to something about the person performing the act rather than to the situation the person is in.

If people administer excruciating electric shocks, our first inclination is to label them brutal or sadistic individuals. But the game show contestants and Milgram's participants were average citizens. Does that mean the vast majority of the people we interact with each day are cruel sociopaths? Probably not. Rather, a large amount of psychological research tells us that, when placed in certain circumstances, otherwise good people often act in uncharacteristic and sometimes alarming ways.

What are those circumstances? Milgram built several situational factors we know to have a powerful influence on behaviour into his procedures. Participants punished the first wrong answer with a mild 15-volt shock and increased the voltage by small increments for each subsequent mistake. Research indicates that this kind of incremental approach is an effective way to change attitudes and behaviours. Milgram's participants also found themselves in a novel situation for which they were unprepared and uncertain about how they were supposed to act. Under such circumstances, it is reasonable to turn to others for guidance. In Milgram's studies, there was an expert in the room -- the experimenter -- acting as if nothing was wrong. The French game show (called Game of Death) added encouragement from the audience.

Milgram's participants also had to respond quickly. They had no time to ponder the arguments for and against continuing, which led them to rely on immediate situational cues rather than their personal standards and values. Perhaps most important, the laboratory situation also made it easy for participants to deflect responsibility away from themselves. If the man giving wrong answers suffered, participants could reasonably assign blame to the experimenter, the university or even the victim. They were, as some participants put it, just doing their jobs. Just following orders.

Social psychologists often point to their research to explain incidents like Abu Ghraib, the Jonestown suicides, the My Lai massacres, and, most noteworthy, the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. Indeed, many of the situational factors found in Milgram's lab were present in these settings.

Although we should be cautious when making the leap from laboratory studies to complex events such as the Holocaust, thinking about these incidents in terms of people reacting to situations may be more useful than blaming flaws in the actor's character. If we attribute the events at Abu Ghraib to, as the American military put it, a few bad apples, then we avoid dealing with a more likely cause of the unacceptable behaviour, i.e., the situation we put these people in.

But we don't need to look at headlines to see examples of seemingly good people engaging in unacceptable behaviour. Despite extensive campaigns, drinking and driving remains a serious problem. Business executives and financial advisers sometimes push the limits of what they can legally get away with. Government agencies in the United States spend more than $33 billion a year cleaning up litter strewn on streets, parks and beaches by citizens and visitors. Students cheat on tests. Adults cheat on their taxes. After more than a quarter of a century of education, millions continue to engage in unprotected sex.

In these everyday transgressions, we often find many of the same situational variables that were built into the French game show and Milgram's experiments. The bottom line is that it's not "those kind of people" who do bad things. Under the right circumstances, it's most of us. Nearly everyone who learns about Milgram's work has the same reaction -- "I wouldn't press those levers." But we've conducted the studies, and we know that for most of us that just isn't true.

Although the implication that we all are susceptible to acting in alarming ways is a little discomforting, the message is also optimistic.

For example, in my own research using a variation of Milgram's procedures, I found a common reaction among the participants who refused to continue the shocks. In almost all cases, these individuals resisted the pressure to blame others for the harm they might have caused. If that man was hurt, they told me, they would have felt responsible. Arranging situations and training individuals so that people -- business leaders, military personnel, students -- feel responsible for the consequences of their actions could go a long way toward getting otherwise good people to do the right thing.

Jerry M. Burger is a professor in the department of psychology at Santa Clara University.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa Citizen, Canada

Daily Telegraph, UK

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Huffington Post

The french documentary Jeu de la Mort featured game-show participants who continued to shock an actor 'contestant' they thought was experiencing severe pain and even risk of death.

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Law schools adjust curricula to changing profession | View Clip
03/23/2010
Washington Business Journal - Online

San Francisco Business Times - by Eric Young

“Students deserve an education that responds” to a changing marketplace, says USF law school dean Jeff Brand.

In the recession's wake, the once-predictable and lucrative legal career desired by many law school graduates has gone topsy-turvy.

Law firms, trying to cut costs, are hiring fewer young lawyers. Once they do hire law school graduates, many firms are paying them less and are getting rid of annual pay boosts in favor of more subjective performance reviews.

In response, Bay Area law schools are adjusting their offerings to prepare the next generation of attorneys for this changing landscape.

An emerging effort at law schools is to provide increased hands-on training for students as law firms devote fewer resources to on-the-job training to their younger hires.

“Law firms are training less,” said Jeff Brand, law school dean at the University of San Francisco. “Students deserve an education that responds to that kind of market(place).”

At USF, law school teachers are preparing a new series of courses that impart basic lawyering skills like writing and trial experience to give graduates a leg up when they are searching for employment.

At Santa Clara University, law school officials said they are trying to broaden students' thoughts about where they can apply their law degree.

The law school offers many externships and other opportunities to volunter at public or nonprofit agenices, said Sandee Magliozzi, the director of professional development and externships.

“As we saw the economic crisis coming,” Magliozzi said, “we wanted to be ahead of that curve.”

Santa Clara's law school also beefed up classes dealing with the business side of practicing law. These courses — focusing on law firm economics, developing a book of business and client communications — can help students if they join a big firm or if they ultimately decide to hang their own shingle, Magliozzi said.

“The on-ramp has gotten shorter and steeper,” Magliozzi said. “There are fewer opportunities, so students have to be able to hit the ground running. Our students have to be able to come in and add value.”

Some law schools said they are leaning more on alumni to help current students. At the University of San Francisco, career services workers are redoubling efforts to tap into its alumni network to find legal jobs, said Brand.

“Trying to help students get some kind of job, even if it's not a full-time job” is helpful, Brand said.

Law firms remain conservative with hiring plans. Last year, law firms collectively laid off about 4,000 lawyers nationally, most of them younger associates.

Stanford Law School began retooling its curriculum in 2005. Many of those efforts are starting to bear fruit, said Dean Larry Kramer.

For example, law school students are able to take advantage of more joint degrees and classes outside of the law school, giving future lawyers a more rounded education.

The law school is expanding its clinics, which give second- and third-year students a chance to start offering legal advice to real clients under the supervision of a practicing attorney. There are pro bono opportunities for Stanford law students in areas such as corporate transactions, environmental, immigration, education and appellate litigation.

As law firms pull back on training opportunities for young associates, “We as law schools need to help students think more about what kind of lawyers they want to be,” Kramer said.

Eric Young covers law and government for the San Francisco Business Times.

Contact him at eyoung@bizjournals.com or (415) 288-4969.

Read his blog postings at Bay Area BizTalk.

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Leavey School of Business names dean | View Clip
03/23/2010
Washington Business Journal - Online

Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal

S. Andrew Starbird, a 23-year faculty member and expert in food safety at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business, has been named the school's new dean.

As interim dean for the past year, Starbird has led the business school faculty in developing a new approach to entrepreneurial education, formalizing new goals for international business education, and creating two new academic programs.

As dean, Starbird plans to revise the curriculum of both the undergraduate and graduate business programs, including providing additional support services to undergraduates.

One new program already underway is the Santa Clara Initiative for Financial Innovation and Risk Management, focused on corporate social responsibility, socially responsible investing and responsible risk-management products. Another is the California Program for Entrepreneurship, a six-month mentoring and training program for select startups, which aims to create 20 new California businesses within 20 months.

“I'm excited about this opportunity to lead the Leavey School of Business faculty and staff as we approach our 90th year in business education,” said Starbird. “We plan to revitalize our connection to the business and broader communities of Silicon Valley, and re-establish the Leavey School as a leader in innovation, entrepreneurship, significant scholarship, and education for a new era in business.”

In addition to serving as interim dean, Starbird has held a variety of leadership positions at the Leavey School of Business, including a stint as director of the Food and Agribusiness Institute, a multi-disciplinary research program; chair of the undergraduate leadership team of faculty and professional staff and faculty director of the school's undergraduate business programs.

“Drew represents a fantastic combination of operational skills, interpersonal skills, values, and experience,” said SCU Finance Professor Hersh Shefrin, who headed up the University's search committee. “Over the years he has greatly earned the respect and admiration of faculty, students, and staff. His appointment, after an international search, comes at a time when the University is leveraging its Silicon Valley location and Jesuit identity to intensify its focus on technology, globalization, and sustainability.”

Starbird teaches operations management, statistics, and business analytics at the undergraduate, MBA, and executive MBA levels.

He holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Cornell University, a B.S. from the University of California, Davis and an MBA from Santa Clara University.

He is also one of the creators of the Hunger Index, a widely cited measure of the gap between meals available to lower-income residents of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and their daily needs. That work arose out of his long-time membership on the board of directors of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

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Leavey School of Business names dean | View Clip
03/23/2010
Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal - Online

S. Andrew Starbird, a 23-year faculty member and expert in food safety at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business, has been named the school's new dean.

As interim dean for the past year, Starbird has led the business school faculty in developing a new approach to entrepreneurial education, formalizing new goals for international business education, and creating two new academic programs.

As dean, Starbird plans to revise the curriculum of both the undergraduate and graduate business programs, including providing additional support services to undergraduates.

One new program already underway is the Santa Clara Initiative for Financial Innovation and Risk Management, focused on corporate social responsibility, socially responsible investing and responsible risk-management products. Another is the California Program for Entrepreneurship, a six-month mentoring and training program for select startups, which aims to create 20 new California businesses within 20 months.

“I'm excited about this opportunity to lead the Leavey School of Business faculty and staff as we approach our 90th year in business education,” said Starbird. “We plan to revitalize our connection to the business and broader communities of Silicon Valley, and re-establish the Leavey School as a leader in innovation, entrepreneurship, significant scholarship, and education for a new era in business.”

In addition to serving as interim dean, Starbird has held a variety of leadership positions at the Leavey School of Business, including a stint as director of the Food and Agribusiness Institute, a multi-disciplinary research program; chair of the undergraduate leadership team of faculty and professional staff and faculty director of the school's undergraduate business programs.

“Drew represents a fantastic combination of operational skills, interpersonal skills, values, and experience,” said SCU Finance Professor Hersh Shefrin, who headed up the University's search committee. “Over the years he has greatly earned the respect and admiration of faculty, students, and staff. His appointment, after an international search, comes at a time when the University is leveraging its Silicon Valley location and Jesuit identity to intensify its focus on technology, globalization, and sustainability.”

Starbird teaches operations management, statistics, and business analytics at the undergraduate, MBA, and executive MBA levels.

He holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Cornell University, a B.S. from the University of California, Davis and an MBA from Santa Clara University.

He is also one of the creators of the Hunger Index, a widely cited measure of the gap between meals available to lower-income residents of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and their daily needs. That work arose out of his long-time membership on the board of directors of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

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Opinion: John Edwards, Tiger Woods and entitlement | View Clip
03/23/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

Two recent books, Game Change (Heileman and Halperin) and The Politician (Young) describe the personal and political meltdown of John Edwards, Democratic nominee for vice president in 2004 and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.

To a nationwide audience last month, golf pro Tiger Woods confessed his "irresponsible and selfish behavior." He acknowledged "repeated irresponsible behavior. I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated."

Publicity around the sexual exploits of Edwards and Woods has created misguided questions and reactions — that they are "bad men." People ask, "How could they possibly do this?" Such responses fail to assess the situation correctly. This is not a matter of good and evil. It's about personality disorders.

The books about Edwards describe him as "reflecting an astonishing degree of delusional thinking," along with a "dangerously inflated sense of his own importance." As wife Elizabeth battled incurable cancer, Edwards fathered a child with campaign worker, Reille Hunter. The authors claim that Edwards exhibited a "huge gap" between his public convictions and private behavior. "He revealed an astonishing degree of entitlement."

Often labeled "malignant self-love," entitlement is a symptom of a narcissistic personality disorder. It shows up as an unrealistic, exaggerated and rigidly held sense of ownership. Flawed reasoning leads to self-permission to engage in immoral and often

criminal behavior that an inflated ego sanctions. A tragic example is evidenced in many adults who sexually abuse children.

Woods sought residential therapy at Gentle Path Clinic in Massachusetts. Its founder, Patrick Carnes, author of Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction, explains that entitlement condones an addict's involvement in a pathological relationship.

In his 1986 landmark study Sex in the Forbidden Zone, psychiatrist Peter Rutter uncovered an "epidemic" of intimate contact in the "forbidden zone" — that is, sexual contact that occurs within professional relationships of trust. When trust is broken, sex becomes exploitation and abuse.

Rutter reported on psychotherapists, physicians, and professors who were unable to keep sex out of their professional relationships. He warns that regardless of education, training, and professional experience, when the "sexual magic" exerts its alluring call, one's ability to resist arises only from a capacity to acknowledge the harm caused to oneself and one's victims.

Sex addiction parallels alcohol or drug addiction. The addiction becomes more important than family and work. Sex becomes the addict's most important need.

Sex addiction progresses through a four-step intensifying cycle: preoccupation (engrossed with thoughts of sex and an obsessive search for sexual stimulation); ritualization (special routines that lead up to sexual behavior); compulsive behavior (the addict is unable to stop the behavior); and despair (a feeling of hopelessness and powerlessness). Sex addicts are hostages to their own preoccupation.

There are clear signs of compulsive sex: a secret — anything that cannot pass public scrutiny creates the shame of a double life; an abusive relationship — the degrading of oneself and the exploitation of others; painful feelings — e.g., I am a bad person, I cannot control myself; and emptiness — there is no healthy dimension in the sexual relationship.

S-A-F-E is the acronym used for the signs — secret, abuse, feelings and emptiness. Facing up to them requires a ruthless honesty, and the addict's sanity is at stake.

Sex addicts are not bad persons, but they have forfeited self-control. Addiction is bad, not people.

GERALD D. COLEMAN, S.S., is vice president for corporate ethics of the Daughters of Charity Health System and lecturer in moral theology at Santa Clara University. He wrote this article for this newspaper.

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Google's action angers China, threatens business interests | View Clip
03/23/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

Security officers try to stop people lighting candles outside the Google China headquarters in Beijing Tuesday, March 23, 2010.

One day after Google stopped complying with China's censorship rules, state sponsored media ratcheted up verbal attacks on the search giant, while several of Google's key business relationships in the country appeared to be in serious jeopardy.

While Google's new unfiltered Hong Kong-based search site had not been fully blocked by the Chinese government by late Tuesday, many experts on both sides of the Pacific expect that to happen. Meanwhile, Google's deal to be the default search engine on partly state-owned China Mobile, the world's largest mobile telecommunications carrier, is widely presumed to be at risk. And TOM.com, a Chinese Internet portal

Good Morning Silicon Valley

owned by a Hong Kong tycoon, by Tuesday had switched its default search engine from Google to the Chinese Baidu.com, saying it wanted to avoid violating any Chinese laws.

Still, even as Google carried through on its two-month-old threat to stop censoring search, the full scope of the government's response — and the reaction from the Chinese people — was not yet fully clear.

Bill Bishop, whose DigiCha.com blog follows digital media in China, spent Tuesday in Beijing watching state-sponsored TV news blast Google for everything from its lack of respect for Chinese law to its alleged problems serving up Internet porn. "The government has gone into high

gear to lambast Google in the official media," said Bishop.

"There are lots of ways to cause Google problems in China," he said, adding that while he hoped the government would not block Google search from the mainland, "the government can certainly make things difficult for any remaining Google operations or business relationships inside China. I expect them to do so, maybe not this week, but in the not too distant future."

Bishop said many Chinese would accept without much question the state media's portrayal of Google's alleged sins, such as a high government official quoted by the Xinhua News Agency expressing "our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusations and conducts," and its "politicization of commercial issues." But China's tech-savvy bloggers were worried the government would block google.com.hk and possibly force the Internet giant to abandon its research and development and advertising operations in China — though there were no signs of that happening Tuesday.

"There's a arising sense that this is not the right direction for China to go, which is increasing its isolation," said Santa Clara University professor Anna Han, a specialist in

Chinese law who has been monitoring the online reaction in China since Google's announcement Monday. "When they mention this, it's not only Google. It's Facebook; it's YouTube. It's 'What else is going to be blocked?' "

A few Chinese passers-by laid flowers or chocolates on the large metal "Google" sign outside the company's office building in northern Beijing. While Google said its Chinese web search was operating with "no issues" Tuesday, users on the mainland reported that some politically sensitive keyword searches would cause a browser to disconnect from the Web, and in other cases, searchers could not access sites displayed by Google because of government filters. Han said many Chinese bloggers on Tuesday were joking about "doing more wall-climbing," an inside joke about the steps tech-savvy Chinese take to evade the "Great Firewall" of Internet censorship.

Wall Street also appeared to be waiting for the full extent of the government's response.

"There continues to be a lot of uncertainty about what's going to happen, and uncertainty is never good from the shareholders' perspective," said Ben Schacter, an analyst who follows Google for Broadpoint AmTech, reacting to the China Mobile situation and other questions about Google's future in China. "That's one reason you see the stock down today. There's still the broad questions about what is going to happen to Google in China."

Google stock dropped by 1.52 percent Tuesday, to $549 a share, as Wall Street analysts like Schacter took a wary but measured response to Google's action. Google first said in January that it would no longer comply with government requirements that it censor search, after a cyber attack originating in China targeted its intellectual property and the Gmail accounts of human rights activists.

Google runs a distant second in the Chinese search market to Baidu.com, which has about 60 percent of the market compared to Google's 35 percent. Similarly, most estimates are that Google's revenue from China was less than 3 percent of its $23.7 billion in revenue in 2009. But the future growth potential in China, which now has the world's largest Internet market, is huge.

"If they were the leading player in search in China, or they were on a really significant growth curve there, there might have been a more negative reaction from Wall Street," said Greg Sterling, an analyst and principal of Sterling Market Intelligence. "I think people are saying this is not an immediate (financial) impact and the future is uncertain, so we're not going to punish Google for doing this."

The Obama Administration appeared to take a more measured response Tuesday from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's strongly worded speech in January on Internet freedom, with a State Department spokesman calling Google's action, "a business decision."

But State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley also told reporters, "were I China, I would seriously consider the implications when one of the world's most recognizable institutions has decided that it's too difficult to do business in China."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Mike Swift at 408-271-3648. Follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/swiftstories.

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Leavey School of Business names dean | View Clip
03/23/2010
San Francisco Business Times - Online

S. Andrew Starbird, a 23-year faculty member and expert in food safety at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business, has been named the school's new dean.

As interim dean for the past year, Starbird has led the business school faculty in developing a new approach to entrepreneurial education, formalizing new goals for international business education, and creating two new academic programs.

As dean, Starbird plans to revise the curriculum of both the undergraduate and graduate business programs, including providing additional support services to undergraduates.

One new program already underway is the Santa Clara Initiative for Financial Innovation and Risk Management, focused on corporate social responsibility, socially responsible investing and responsible risk-management products. Another is the California Program for Entrepreneurship, a six-month mentoring and training program for select startups, which aims to create 20 new California businesses within 20 months.

“I'm excited about this opportunity to lead the Leavey School of Business faculty and staff as we approach our 90th year in business education,” said Starbird. “We plan to revitalize our connection to the business and broader communities of Silicon Valley, and re-establish the Leavey School as a leader in innovation, entrepreneurship, significant scholarship, and education for a new era in business.”

In addition to serving as interim dean, Starbird has held a variety of leadership positions at the Leavey School of Business, including a stint as director of the Food and Agribusiness Institute, a multi-disciplinary research program; chair of the undergraduate leadership team of faculty and professional staff and faculty director of the school's undergraduate business programs.

“Drew represents a fantastic combination of operational skills, interpersonal skills, values, and experience,” said SCU Finance Professor Hersh Shefrin, who headed up the University's search committee. “Over the years he has greatly earned the respect and admiration of faculty, students, and staff. His appointment, after an international search, comes at a time when the University is leveraging its Silicon Valley location and Jesuit identity to intensify its focus on technology, globalization, and sustainability.”

Starbird teaches operations management, statistics, and business analytics at the undergraduate, MBA, and executive MBA levels.

He holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Cornell University, a B.S. from the University of California, Davis and an MBA from Santa Clara University.

He is also one of the creators of the Hunger Index, a widely cited measure of the gap between meals available to lower-income residents of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and their daily needs. That work arose out of his long-time membership on the board of directors of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

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Good people doing bad things | View Clip
03/23/2010
Regina Leader-Post - Online

Circumstances have a much greater influence on how we act than most people care to admit

The french documentary Jeu de la Mort featured game-show participants who continued to shock an actor 'contestant' they thought was experiencing severe pain and even risk of death.

Photograph by: Image courtesy, Youtube

Last week a documentary aired on French television in which citizens, encouraged by a boisterous audience, administered what they thought were increasingly severe and perhaps dangerous electric shocks to another individual.

The participants in this experiment believed they were part of a game show, and administering shocks was a way to punish another contestant for wrong answers. Despite that contestant's screams of pain and demands to be set free, 80 per cent of the participants continued to press the shock levers all the way to the highest level, 460 volts. Only one in five refused to inflict the potentially lethal punishment.

To most people, the findings were surprising and more than a little unsettling. If typical citizens are capable of such cruelty, what does this tell us about ourselves?

Like everyone, I found the participants' behaviour disturbing. However, unlike most people, I was not the least bit surprised by the results. The French documentary simply demonstrates in dramatic fashion what social psychologists have known for nearly half a century.

In fact, the documentary was based on experiments conducted at Yale University in the early 1960s by social psychologist Stanley Milgram. Milgram's participants thought they were part of a study on the effects of punishment. Two-thirds continued to administer electric shocks all the way to 450 volts despite agonizing screams and protests from the man supposedly receiving the punishment. Instead of an audience, participants were encouraged to continue by an experimenter in a grey lab coat.

What the faux game show and the Milgram studies illustrate is what might be called the unofficial mantra of social psychology, i.e., that our actions are influenced by the situation we find ourselves in to a much greater degree than most of us recognize. We all have a tendency to attribute behaviour to something about the person performing the act rather than to the situation the person is in.

If people administer excruciating electric shocks, our first inclination is to label them brutal or sadistic individuals. But the game show contestants and Milgram's participants were average citizens. Does that mean the vast majority of the people we interact with each day are cruel sociopaths? Probably not. Rather, a large amount of psychological research tells us that, when placed in certain circumstances, otherwise good people often act in uncharacteristic and sometimes alarming ways.

What are those circumstances? Milgram built several situational factors we know to have a powerful influence on behaviour into his procedures. Participants punished the first wrong answer with a mild 15-volt shock and increased the voltage by small increments for each subsequent mistake. Research indicates that this kind of incremental approach is an effective way to change attitudes and behaviours. Milgram's participants also found themselves in a novel situation for which they were unprepared and uncertain about how they were supposed to act. Under such circumstances, it is reasonable to turn to others for guidance. In Milgram's studies, there was an expert in the room -- the experimenter -- acting as if nothing was wrong. The French game show (called Game of Death) added encouragement from the audience.

Milgram's participants also had to respond quickly. They had no time to ponder the arguments for and against continuing, which led them to rely on immediate situational cues rather than their personal standards and values. Perhaps most important, the laboratory situation also made it easy for participants to deflect responsibility away from themselves. If the man giving wrong answers suffered, participants could reasonably assign blame to the experimenter, the university or even the victim. They were, as some participants put it, just doing their jobs. Just following orders.

Social psychologists often point to their research to explain incidents like Abu Ghraib, the Jonestown suicides, the My Lai massacres, and, most noteworthy, the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. Indeed, many of the situational factors found in Milgram's lab were present in these settings.

Although we should be cautious when making the leap from laboratory studies to complex events such as the Holocaust, thinking about these incidents in terms of people reacting to situations may be more useful than blaming flaws in the actor's character. If we attribute the events at Abu Ghraib to, as the American military put it, a few bad apples, then we avoid dealing with a more likely cause of the unacceptable behaviour, i.e., the situation we put these people in.

But we don't need to look at headlines to see examples of seemingly good people engaging in unacceptable behaviour. Despite extensive campaigns, drinking and driving remains a serious problem. Business executives and financial advisers sometimes push the limits of what they can legally get away with. Government agencies in the United States spend more than $33 billion a year cleaning up litter strewn on streets, parks and beaches by citizens and visitors. Students cheat on tests. Adults cheat on their taxes. After more than a quarter of a century of education, millions continue to engage in unprotected sex.

In these everyday transgressions, we often find many of the same situational variables that were built into the French game show and Milgram's experiments. The bottom line is that it's not "those kind of people" who do bad things. Under the right circumstances, it's most of us. Nearly everyone who learns about Milgram's work has the same reaction -- "I wouldn't press those levers." But we've conducted the studies, and we know that for most of us that just isn't true.

Although the implication that we all are susceptible to acting in alarming ways is a little discomforting, the message is also optimistic.

For example, in my own research using a variation of Milgram's procedures, I found a common reaction among the participants who refused to continue the shocks. In almost all cases, these individuals resisted the pressure to blame others for the harm they might have caused. If that man was hurt, they told me, they would have felt responsible. Arranging situations and training individuals so that people -- business leaders, military personnel, students -- feel responsible for the consequences of their actions could go a long way toward getting otherwise good people to do the right thing.

Jerry M. Burger is a professor in the department of psychology at Santa Clara University.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Daily Telegraph, UK

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Huffington Post

Inform Technologies

The french documentary Jeu de la Mort featured game-show participants who continued to shock an actor 'contestant' they thought was experiencing severe pain and even risk of death.

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Good people doing bad things; Circumstances have a much greater influence on how we act than most pe
03/23/2010
Ottawa Citizen, The

Last week a documentary aired on French television in which citizens, encouraged by a boisterous audience, administered what they thought were increasingly severe and perhaps dangerous electric shocks to another individual.

The participants in this experiment believed they were part of a game show, and administering shocks was a way to punish another contestant for wrong answers. Despite that contestant's screams of pain and demands to be set free, 80 per cent of the participants continued to press the shock levers all the way to the highest level, 460 volts. Only one in five refused to inflict the potentially lethal punishment.

To most people, the findings were surprising and more than a little unsettling. If typical citizens are capable of such cruelty, what does this tell us about ourselves?

Like everyone, I found the participants' behaviour disturbing. However, unlike most people, I was not the least bit surprised by the results. The French documentary simply demonstrates in dramatic fashion what social psychologists have known for nearly half a century.

In fact, the documentary was based on experiments conducted at Yale University in the early 1960s by social psychologist Stanley Milgram. Milgram's participants thought they were part of a study on the effects of punishment. Two-thirds continued to administer electric shocks all the way to 450 volts despite agonizing screams and protests from the man supposedly receiving the punishment. Instead of an audience, participants were encouraged to continue by an experimenter in a grey lab coat.

What the faux game show and the Milgram studies illustrate is what might be called the unofficial mantra of social psychology, i.e., that our actions are influenced by the situation we find ourselves in to a much greater degree than most of us recognize. We all have a tendency to attribute behaviour to something about the person performing the act rather than to the situation the person is in.

If people administer excruciating electric shocks, our first inclination is to label them brutal or sadistic individuals. But the game show contestants and Milgram's participants were average citizens. Does that mean the vast majority of the people we interact with each day are cruel sociopaths? Probably not. Rather, a large amount of psychological research tells us that, when placed in certain circumstances, otherwise good people often act in uncharacteristic and sometimes alarming ways.

What are those circumstances? Milgram built several situational factors we know to have a powerful influence on behaviour into his procedures. Participants punished the first wrong answer with a mild 15-volt shock and increased the voltage by small increments for each subsequent mistake. Research indicates that this kind of incremental approach is an effective way to change attitudes and behaviours. Milgram's participants also found themselves in a novel situation for which they were unprepared and uncertain about how they were supposed to act. Under such circumstances, it is reasonable to turn to others for guidance. In Milgram's studies, there was an expert in the room -- the experimenter -- acting as if nothing was wrong. The French game show (called Game of Death) added encouragement from the audience.

Milgram's participants also had to respond quickly. They had no time to ponder the arguments for and against continuing, which led them to rely on immediate situational cues rather than their personal standards and values. Perhaps most important, the laboratory situation also made it easy for participants to deflect responsibility away from themselves. If the man giving wrong answers suffered, participants could reasonably assign blame to the experimenter, the university or even the victim. They were, as some participants put it, just doing their jobs. Just following orders.

Social psychologists often point to their research to explain incidents like Abu Ghraib, the Jonestown suicides, the My Lai massacres, and, most noteworthy, the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. Indeed, many of the situational factors found in Milgram's lab were present in these settings.

Although we should be cautious when making the leap from laboratory studies to complex events such as the Holocaust, thinking about these incidents in terms of people reacting to situations may be more useful than blaming flaws in the actor's character. If we attribute the events at Abu Ghraib to, as the American military put it, a few bad apples, then we avoid dealing with a more likely cause of the unacceptable behaviour, i.e., the situation we put these people in.

But we don't need to look at headlines to see examples of seemingly good people engaging in unacceptable behaviour. Despite extensive campaigns, drinking and driving remains a serious problem. Business executives and financial advisers sometimes push the limits of what they can legally get away with. Government agencies in the United States spend more than $33 billion a year cleaning up litter strewn on streets, parks and beaches by citizens and visitors. Students cheat on tests. Adults cheat on their taxes. After more than a quarter of a century of education, millions continue to engage in unprotected sex.

In these everyday transgressions, we often find many of the same situational variables that were built into the French game show and Milgram's experiments. The bottom line is that it's not 'those kind of people' who do bad things. Under the right circumstances, it's most of us. Nearly everyone who learns about Milgram's work has the same reaction -- 'I wouldn't press those levers.' But we've conducted the studies, and we know that for most of us that just isn't true.

Although the implication that we all are susceptible to acting in alarming ways is a little discomforting, the message is also optimistic.

For example, in my own research using a variation of Milgram's procedures, I found a common reaction among the participants who refused to continue the shocks. In almost all cases, these individuals resisted the pressure to blame others for the harm they might have caused. If that man was hurt, they told me, they would have felt responsible. Arranging situations and training individuals so that people -- business leaders, military personnel, students -- feel responsible for the consequences of their actions could go a long way toward getting otherwise good people to do the right thing.

Jerry M. Burger is a professor in the department of psychology at Santa Clara University.

Photo: YouTube / The French documentary Jeu de la Mort, featured game-show participants who continued to shock an actor 'contestant' they thought was experiencing severe pain and even risk of death.

Copyright © 2010 Citizen Special

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Good people doing bad things | View Clip
03/23/2010
Ottawa Citizen - Online, The

Circumstances have a much greater influence on how we act than most people care to admit

Last week a documentary aired on French television in which citizens, encouraged by a boisterous audience, administered what they thought were increasingly severe and perhaps dangerous electric shocks to another individual.

The participants in this experiment believed they were part of a game show, and administering shocks was a way to punish another contestant for wrong answers. Despite that contestant's screams of pain and demands to be set free, 80 per cent of the participants continued to press the shock levers all the way to the highest level, 460 volts. Only one in five refused to inflict the potentially lethal punishment.

To most people, the findings were surprising and more than a little unsettling. If typical citizens are capable of such cruelty, what does this tell us about ourselves?

Like everyone, I found the participants' behaviour disturbing. However, unlike most people, I was not the least bit surprised by the results. The French documentary simply demonstrates in dramatic fashion what social psychologists have known for nearly half a century.

In fact, the documentary was based on experiments conducted at Yale University in the early 1960s by social psychologist Stanley Milgram. Milgram's participants thought they were part of a study on the effects of punishment. Two-thirds continued to administer electric shocks all the way to 450 volts despite agonizing screams and protests from the man supposedly receiving the punishment. Instead of an audience, participants were encouraged to continue by an experimenter in a grey lab coat.

What the faux game show and the Milgram studies illustrate is what might be called the unofficial mantra of social psychology, i.e., that our actions are influenced by the situation we find ourselves in to a much greater degree than most of us recognize. We all have a tendency to attribute behaviour to something about the person performing the act rather than to the situation the person is in.

If people administer excruciating electric shocks, our first inclination is to label them brutal or sadistic individuals. But the game show contestants and Milgram's participants were average citizens. Does that mean the vast majority of the people we interact with each day are cruel sociopaths? Probably not. Rather, a large amount of psychological research tells us that, when placed in certain circumstances, otherwise good people often act in uncharacteristic and sometimes alarming ways.

What are those circumstances? Milgram built several situational factors we know to have a powerful influence on behaviour into his procedures. Participants punished the first wrong answer with a mild 15-volt shock and increased the voltage by small increments for each subsequent mistake. Research indicates that this kind of incremental approach is an effective way to change attitudes and behaviours. Milgram's participants also found themselves in a novel situation for which they were unprepared and uncertain about how they were supposed to act. Under such circumstances, it is reasonable to turn to others for guidance. In Milgram's studies, there was an expert in the room -- the experimenter -- acting as if nothing was wrong. The French game show (called Game of Death) added encouragement from the audience.

Milgram's participants also had to respond quickly. They had no time to ponder the arguments for and against continuing, which led them to rely on immediate situational cues rather than their personal standards and values. Perhaps most important, the laboratory situation also made it easy for participants to deflect responsibility away from themselves. If the man giving wrong answers suffered, participants could reasonably assign blame to the experimenter, the university or even the victim. They were, as some participants put it, just doing their jobs. Just following orders.

Social psychologists often point to their research to explain incidents like Abu Ghraib, the Jonestown suicides, the My Lai massacres, and, most noteworthy, the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. Indeed, many of the situational factors found in Milgram's lab were present in these settings.

Although we should be cautious when making the leap from laboratory studies to complex events such as the Holocaust, thinking about these incidents in terms of people reacting to situations may be more useful than blaming flaws in the actor's character. If we attribute the events at Abu Ghraib to, as the American military put it, a few bad apples, then we avoid dealing with a more likely cause of the unacceptable behaviour, i.e., the situation we put these people in.

But we don't need to look at headlines to see examples of seemingly good people engaging in unacceptable behaviour. Despite extensive campaigns, drinking and driving remains a serious problem. Business executives and financial advisers sometimes push the limits of what they can legally get away with. Government agencies in the United States spend more than $33 billion a year cleaning up litter strewn on streets, parks and beaches by citizens and visitors. Students cheat on tests. Adults cheat on their taxes. After more than a quarter of a century of education, millions continue to engage in unprotected sex.

In these everyday transgressions, we often find many of the same situational variables that were built into the French game show and Milgram's experiments. The bottom line is that it's not "those kind of people" who do bad things. Under the right circumstances, it's most of us. Nearly everyone who learns about Milgram's work has the same reaction -- "I wouldn't press those levers." But we've conducted the studies, and we know that for most of us that just isn't true.

Although the implication that we all are susceptible to acting in alarming ways is a little discomforting, the message is also optimistic.

For example, in my own research using a variation of Milgram's procedures, I found a common reaction among the participants who refused to continue the shocks. In almost all cases, these individuals resisted the pressure to blame others for the harm they might have caused. If that man was hurt, they told me, they would have felt responsible. Arranging situations and training individuals so that people -- business leaders, military personnel, students -- feel responsible for the consequences of their actions could go a long way toward getting otherwise good people to do the right thing.

Jerry M. Burger is a professor in the department of psychology at Santa Clara University.

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BUSINESS IN CHINA AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL.
03/23/2010
News Channel 7 Daybreak - KRCR-TV

SMALL VINTAGE PLANE HAS WALKED AWAY UNHURT FROM A CRASH NEART THE CALIFORNIA COAST. IT HAPPENED YESTERDAY IN HALF MOON BAY. THE PILOT SAYS -ONE OF THE PLANE'S LANDING GEARS FOLDED UP UNDERNEATH THE KI, AND THEN FLIP. A CRANE WAS BROUGHT IN TO TURN THE PLANE BACK UPRIGHT. 3 GOOGLE HAS DECIDED TO BREAK ITS AGREEMENT WITH THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT, AND STOP CENSORING ITS SEARCH RESULTS IN CHINA. AND AS ABC'S DAVID LOUIE REPORTS, THE COMPANY HOPES IT MADE THE CHANGES IN A WAY THAT WILL LET IN CHINA. (NEWS OF GOOGLE'S DECISION REACHED CHINA AT 3 IN THE MORNING. DESPITE THE HOUR, INTERNET BLOGS WERE BUZZING WITH THOUSANDS OF COMMENTS, SOME BACKING GOOGLE, BUT MANY IS AN EXPERT ON CHINESE LAW AND DOING BUSINESS IN CHINA AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL. GOOGLE IS RE-DIRECTING VISITORS FROM ITS CHINA SEARCH SITE TO ONE BASED IN HONG KONG. THE INTERNET IS NOT CENSORED IN HONG KONG, WHICH OPERATES GOOGLE'S APPARENT INABILITY TO WIN AN ACCOMMODATION FROM CHINA COULD IMPACT BAY AREA ENTREPRENEURS WHO WANT TO DO BUSINESS THERE. 188 SUCH START-UP'S OPERATE OUT OF THE PLUGANDPLAYTECH A DOOR MAY OPENED FOR A SMALL SEARCH ENGINE CALLED INFOAXE, STARTED BY TWO STANFORD CLASSMATES. )3 3) INFOAXE'S REAL-TIME SEARCH ENGINE LOCALIZES ITS RESULTS ON QUERIES FROM A PARTICULAR COUNTRY OR REGION. SO THIS START-UP HOPES TO AVOID WHAT GOOGLE FACED. )3)>3 3 A NEW PLAN TO ENTICE GOOGLE TO BRING HIGH-SPEED INTERNET TO THE CITY OF REDDING. AND UNLIKE PLANS LIKE THE MAYOR JUMPING INTO A FREEZING LAKE, NAMING THE CITY, THIS MAKES SENSE. REDDING HAS GONE TO THE *INTERNET TO TRY AND CONVINCE *GOOGLE TO BRING ULTRA-HIGH SPEED WEB SERVICE TO THE CITY FOR *FREE. MORGAN TELECOM DEO, HERE'S A CLIP, ( NO TRANSCRIPTION AVAILABLE>3 3 THE VIDEO WAS SHOT AT THE *NEED FOR SPEED* INDOOR GO-KART TRACK IN DOWNTOWN REDDING. IF YOU'D LIKE TO SEE THE ENTIRE THERE'S A LINK TO IT ON OUR WEBSITE, KRCR-TV DOT COM. AND YOU ONLY TO RNET UP TO 100- TIMES FASTER THAN IS AVAILABLE NOW. THERE'S A LINK TO *THAT AS WELL. 3 AMERICANS MAY HAVE A LITTLE BIT MORE CASH IN THEIR POCKETS WHEN THIS YEAR' S TAX RETURNS GO OUT. THAT'S BECAUSE THE AVERAGE TAX REFUND FOR AMERICANS THIS 10 PERCENT DUE TO BENEFITS FROM LAST YEAR'S RECOVERY ACT. THE STIMULUS HAD TAX CREDITS AND SAVINGS WHICH AIMED AT WORKING FAMILIES, FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS CAR BUYERS AND PEOPLE MAKING ENERGY EFFICIENT HOME IMPROVEMENTS . THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS PAID OUT ABOUT $175 BILLION DOLLARS IN TAX REFUNDS SO FAR THIS TAX SEASON WITH THE AVERAGE REFUND UP 2-HUNDRED 66-DOLLARS FROM A YEAR AGO. SSING THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ENVIRONMENT, IN EVERYDAY LIFE. FROM A CALIFORNIA COMPANY HARNESSING POWER OF THE SUN, TO A SCULPTOR, DEMONSTRATING THE IMPORTANCE it right. 3 3 BIG OIL COMPANY CHEVRON IS TESTING OUT HIGH TECH MATERIAL IT HOPES WILL HARNESS THE POWER OF THE SUN.

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Time Warner Submits Bid for MGM | View Clip
03/23/2010
Morningstar (Canada)

It has been widely reported that Time Warner TWX is one of several firms that has submitted a second-round bid for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), the film studio that put itself up for sale last fall. We view Time Warner's interest as an attempt to buy an asset on the cheap and don't anticipate a material impact to our fair value estimate if Time Warner buys MGM, which was taken private for $5 billion in 2005 by Sony and a consortium of investors. The $5 billion buyout price was viewed as the sign of a Hollywood bubble at the time and the value has declined due to weak DVD sales and the studio's lack of success with new releases. The MGM creditors are seeking $2 billion, but Time Warner's bid is reportedly $1.5 billion or less. MGM's key asset is its film library of over 4,000 titles, highlighted by the James Bond franchise. We believe Time Warner will stay disciplined in this process and is willing to walk away if the final price is too high. MGM is looking for an extension of a forbearance agreement that expires on March 31, so the creditors could elect to reject all of the bids if they are deemed inadequate and file for a prearranged bankruptcy.

Michael Corty is a senior equity analyst covering stocks in the media industry. He joined Morningstar in 2004, after earning his MBA from Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management. His previous work experience includes two years as a commercial lending analyst for Bank of America and three years in public accounting. He holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from Loyola Marymount University, where he graduated magna cum laude.

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Google's action angers China, threatens business interests | View Clip
03/23/2010
InsideBayArea.com

Security officers try to stop people lighting candles outside the Google China headquarters in Beijing Tuesday, March 23, 2010.

More coverage

One day after Google stopped complying with China's censorship rules, state sponsored media ratcheted up verbal attacks on the search giant, while several of Google's key business relationships in the country appeared to be in serious jeopardy.

While Google's new unfiltered Hong Kong-based search site had not been fully blocked by the Chinese government by late Tuesday, many experts on both sides of the Pacific expect that to happen. Meanwhile, Google's deal to be the default search engine on partly state-owned China Mobile, the world's largest mobile telecommunications carrier, is widely presumed to be at risk. And TOM.com, a Chinese Internet portal

Good Morning Silicon Valley

owned by a Hong Kong tycoon, by Tuesday had switched its default search engine from Google to the Chinese Baidu.com, saying it wanted to avoid violating any Chinese laws.

Still, even as Google carried through on its two-month-old threat to stop censoring search, the full scope of the government's response — and the reaction from the Chinese people — was not yet fully clear.

Bill Bishop, whose DigiCha.com blog follows digital media in China, spent Tuesday in Beijing watching state-sponsored TV news blast Google for everything from its lack of respect for Chinese law to its alleged problems serving up Internet porn. "The government has gone into high

gear to lambast Google in the official media," said Bishop.

"There are lots of ways to cause Google problems in China," he said, adding that while he hoped the government would not block Google search from the mainland, "the government can certainly make things difficult for any remaining Google operations or business relationships inside China. I expect them to do so, maybe not this week, but in the not too distant future."

Bishop said many Chinese would accept without much question the state media's portrayal of Google's alleged sins, such as a high government official quoted by the Xinhua News Agency expressing "our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusations and conducts," and its "politicization of commercial issues." But China's tech-savvy bloggers were worried the government would block google.com.hk and possibly force the Internet giant to abandon its research and development and advertising operations in China — though there were no signs of that happening Tuesday.

"There's a arising sense that this is not the right direction for China to go, which is increasing its isolation," said Santa Clara University professor Anna Han, a specialist in

Chinese law who has been monitoring the online reaction in China since Google's announcement Monday. "When they mention this, it's not only Google. It's Facebook; it's YouTube. It's 'What else is going to be blocked?' "

A few Chinese passers-by laid flowers or chocolates on the large metal "Google" sign outside the company's office building in northern Beijing. While Google said its Chinese web search was operating with "no issues" Tuesday, users on the mainland reported that some politically sensitive keyword searches would cause a browser to disconnect from the Web, and in other cases, searchers could not access sites displayed by Google because of government filters. Han said many Chinese bloggers on Tuesday were joking about "doing more wall-climbing," an inside joke about the steps tech-savvy Chinese take to evade the "Great Firewall" of Internet censorship.

Wall Street also appeared to be waiting for the full extent of the government's response.

"There continues to be a lot of uncertainty about what's going to happen, and uncertainty is never good from the shareholders' perspective," said Ben Schacter, an analyst who follows Google for Broadpoint AmTech, reacting to the China Mobile situation and other questions about Google's future in China. "That's one reason you see the stock down today. There's still the broad questions about what is going to happen to Google in China."

Google stock dropped by 1.52 percent Tuesday, to $549 a share, as Wall Street analysts like Schacter took a wary but measured response to Google's action. Google first said in January that it would no longer comply with government requirements that it censor search, after a cyber attack originating in China targeted its intellectual property and the Gmail accounts of human rights activists.

Google runs a distant second in the Chinese search market to Baidu.com, which has about 60 percent of the market compared to Google's 35 percent. Similarly, most estimates are that Google's revenue from China was less than 3 percent of its $23.7 billion in revenue in 2009. But the future growth potential in China, which now has the world's largest Internet market, is huge.

"If they were the leading player in search in China, or they were on a really significant growth curve there, there might have been a more negative reaction from Wall Street," said Greg Sterling, an analyst and principal of Sterling Market Intelligence. "I think people are saying this is not an immediate (financial) impact and the future is uncertain, so we're not going to punish Google for doing this."

The Obama Administration appeared to take a more measured response Tuesday from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's strongly worded speech in January on Internet freedom, with a State Department spokesman calling Google's action, "a business decision."

But State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley also told reporters, "were I China, I would seriously consider the implications when one of the world's most recognizable institutions has decided that it's too difficult to do business in China."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Mike Swift at 408-271-3648. Follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/swiftstories.

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Good people doing bad things | View Clip
03/23/2010
Gazette (Montreal) - Online, The

Circumstances have a much greater influence on how we act than most people care to admit

The french documentary Jeu de la Mort featured game-show participants who continued to shock an actor 'contestant' they thought was experiencing severe pain and even risk of death.

Photograph by: Image courtesy, Youtube

Last week a documentary aired on French television in which citizens, encouraged by a boisterous audience, administered what they thought were increasingly severe and perhaps dangerous electric shocks to another individual.

The participants in this experiment believed they were part of a game show, and administering shocks was a way to punish another contestant for wrong answers. Despite that contestant's screams of pain and demands to be set free, 80 per cent of the participants continued to press the shock levers all the way to the highest level, 460 volts. Only one in five refused to inflict the potentially lethal punishment.

To most people, the findings were surprising and more than a little unsettling. If typical citizens are capable of such cruelty, what does this tell us about ourselves?

Like everyone, I found the participants' behaviour disturbing. However, unlike most people, I was not the least bit surprised by the results. The French documentary simply demonstrates in dramatic fashion what social psychologists have known for nearly half a century.

In fact, the documentary was based on experiments conducted at Yale University in the early 1960s by social psychologist Stanley Milgram. Milgram's participants thought they were part of a study on the effects of punishment. Two-thirds continued to administer electric shocks all the way to 450 volts despite agonizing screams and protests from the man supposedly receiving the punishment. Instead of an audience, participants were encouraged to continue by an experimenter in a grey lab coat.

What the faux game show and the Milgram studies illustrate is what might be called the unofficial mantra of social psychology, i.e., that our actions are influenced by the situation we find ourselves in to a much greater degree than most of us recognize. We all have a tendency to attribute behaviour to something about the person performing the act rather than to the situation the person is in.

If people administer excruciating electric shocks, our first inclination is to label them brutal or sadistic individuals. But the game show contestants and Milgram's participants were average citizens. Does that mean the vast majority of the people we interact with each day are cruel sociopaths? Probably not. Rather, a large amount of psychological research tells us that, when placed in certain circumstances, otherwise good people often act in uncharacteristic and sometimes alarming ways.

What are those circumstances? Milgram built several situational factors we know to have a powerful influence on behaviour into his procedures. Participants punished the first wrong answer with a mild 15-volt shock and increased the voltage by small increments for each subsequent mistake. Research indicates that this kind of incremental approach is an effective way to change attitudes and behaviours. Milgram's participants also found themselves in a novel situation for which they were unprepared and uncertain about how they were supposed to act. Under such circumstances, it is reasonable to turn to others for guidance. In Milgram's studies, there was an expert in the room -- the experimenter -- acting as if nothing was wrong. The French game show (called Game of Death) added encouragement from the audience.

Milgram's participants also had to respond quickly. They had no time to ponder the arguments for and against continuing, which led them to rely on immediate situational cues rather than their personal standards and values. Perhaps most important, the laboratory situation also made it easy for participants to deflect responsibility away from themselves. If the man giving wrong answers suffered, participants could reasonably assign blame to the experimenter, the university or even the victim. They were, as some participants put it, just doing their jobs. Just following orders.

Social psychologists often point to their research to explain incidents like Abu Ghraib, the Jonestown suicides, the My Lai massacres, and, most noteworthy, the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. Indeed, many of the situational factors found in Milgram's lab were present in these settings.

Although we should be cautious when making the leap from laboratory studies to complex events such as the Holocaust, thinking about these incidents in terms of people reacting to situations may be more useful than blaming flaws in the actor's character. If we attribute the events at Abu Ghraib to, as the American military put it, a few bad apples, then we avoid dealing with a more likely cause of the unacceptable behaviour, i.e., the situation we put these people in.

But we don't need to look at headlines to see examples of seemingly good people engaging in unacceptable behaviour. Despite extensive campaigns, drinking and driving remains a serious problem. Business executives and financial advisers sometimes push the limits of what they can legally get away with. Government agencies in the United States spend more than $33 billion a year cleaning up litter strewn on streets, parks and beaches by citizens and visitors. Students cheat on tests. Adults cheat on their taxes. After more than a quarter of a century of education, millions continue to engage in unprotected sex.

In these everyday transgressions, we often find many of the same situational variables that were built into the French game show and Milgram's experiments. The bottom line is that it's not "those kind of people" who do bad things. Under the right circumstances, it's most of us. Nearly everyone who learns about Milgram's work has the same reaction -- "I wouldn't press those levers." But we've conducted the studies, and we know that for most of us that just isn't true.

Although the implication that we all are susceptible to acting in alarming ways is a little discomforting, the message is also optimistic.

For example, in my own research using a variation of Milgram's procedures, I found a common reaction among the participants who refused to continue the shocks. In almost all cases, these individuals resisted the pressure to blame others for the harm they might have caused. If that man was hurt, they told me, they would have felt responsible. Arranging situations and training individuals so that people -- business leaders, military personnel, students -- feel responsible for the consequences of their actions could go a long way toward getting otherwise good people to do the right thing.

Jerry M. Burger is a professor in the department of psychology at Santa Clara University.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Ottawa Citizen, Canada

Daily Telegraph, UK

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Huffington Post

The french documentary Jeu de la Mort featured game-show participants who continued to shock an actor 'contestant' they thought was experiencing severe pain and even risk of death.

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Leavey School of Business names dean | View Clip
03/23/2010
Business Review - Online

Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal

S. Andrew Starbird, a 23-year faculty member and expert in food safety at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business, has been named the school's new dean.

As interim dean for the past year, Starbird has led the business school faculty in developing a new approach to entrepreneurial education, formalizing new goals for international business education, and creating two new academic programs.

As dean, Starbird plans to revise the curriculum of both the undergraduate and graduate business programs, including providing additional support services to undergraduates.

One new program already underway is the Santa Clara Initiative for Financial Innovation and Risk Management, focused on corporate social responsibility, socially responsible investing and responsible risk-management products. Another is the California Program for Entrepreneurship, a six-month mentoring and training program for select startups, which aims to create 20 new California businesses within 20 months.

“I'm excited about this opportunity to lead the Leavey School of Business faculty and staff as we approach our 90th year in business education,” said Starbird. “We plan to revitalize our connection to the business and broader communities of Silicon Valley, and re-establish the Leavey School as a leader in innovation, entrepreneurship, significant scholarship, and education for a new era in business.”

In addition to serving as interim dean, Starbird has held a variety of leadership positions at the Leavey School of Business, including a stint as director of the Food and Agribusiness Institute, a multi-disciplinary research program; chair of the undergraduate leadership team of faculty and professional staff and faculty director of the school's undergraduate business programs.

“Drew represents a fantastic combination of operational skills, interpersonal skills, values, and experience,” said SCU Finance Professor Hersh Shefrin, who headed up the University's search committee. “Over the years he has greatly earned the respect and admiration of faculty, students, and staff. His appointment, after an international search, comes at a time when the University is leveraging its Silicon Valley location and Jesuit identity to intensify its focus on technology, globalization, and sustainability.”

Starbird teaches operations management, statistics, and business analytics at the undergraduate, MBA, and executive MBA levels.

He holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Cornell University, a B.S. from the University of California, Davis and an MBA from Santa Clara University.

He is also one of the creators of the Hunger Index, a widely cited measure of the gap between meals available to lower-income residents of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and their daily needs. That work arose out of his long-time membership on the board of directors of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

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Leavey School of Business names dean | View Clip
03/23/2010
Business Review - Online

Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal

S. Andrew Starbird, a 23-year faculty member and expert in food safety at Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business, has been named the school's new dean.

As interim dean for the past year, Starbird has led the business school faculty in developing a new approach to entrepreneurial education, formalizing new goals for international business education, and creating two new academic programs.

As dean, Starbird plans to revise the curriculum of both the undergraduate and graduate business programs, including providing additional support services to undergraduates.

One new program already underway is the Santa Clara Initiative for Financial Innovation and Risk Management, focused on corporate social responsibility, socially responsible investing and responsible risk-management products. Another is the California Program for Entrepreneurship, a six-month mentoring and training program for select startups, which aims to create 20 new California businesses within 20 months.

“I'm excited about this opportunity to lead the Leavey School of Business faculty and staff as we approach our 90th year in business education,” said Starbird. “We plan to revitalize our connection to the business and broader communities of Silicon Valley, and re-establish the Leavey School as a leader in innovation, entrepreneurship, significant scholarship, and education for a new era in business.”

In addition to serving as interim dean, Starbird has held a variety of leadership positions at the Leavey School of Business, including a stint as director of the Food and Agribusiness Institute, a multi-disciplinary research program; chair of the undergraduate leadership team of faculty and professional staff and faculty director of the school's undergraduate business programs.

“Drew represents a fantastic combination of operational skills, interpersonal skills, values, and experience,” said SCU Finance Professor Hersh Shefrin, who headed up the University's search committee. “Over the years he has greatly earned the respect and admiration of faculty, students, and staff. His appointment, after an international search, comes at a time when the University is leveraging its Silicon Valley location and Jesuit identity to intensify its focus on technology, globalization, and sustainability.”

Starbird teaches operations management, statistics, and business analytics at the undergraduate, MBA, and executive MBA levels.

He holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Cornell University, a B.S. from the University of California, Davis and an MBA from Santa Clara University.

He is also one of the creators of the Hunger Index, a widely cited measure of the gap between meals available to lower-income residents of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and their daily needs. That work arose out of his long-time membership on the board of directors of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

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Google pulls out of China | View Clip
03/23/2010
ABC Radio Australia

Google has announced it's closing its China operations, after refusing to comply with China's strict censorship laws. Google had flagged its intention to withdraw in January, after experiencing cyber-attacks which it said originated from China. Now, Google says it will direct Chinese users to an uncensored search engine, based in Hong Kong. Google will however, retain much of its existing China operations, including its research and development team and its local sales force. Human rights groups have hailed Google's decision as 'courageous', while Beijing described it as 'totally wrong'.Presenter: Sen Lam

Speakers: Cyber law expert, Associate Professor Eric Goldman, Santa Clara University California

GOLDMAN: Google had not been penetrating in the Chinese market the way it's penetrated many other markets. So from a business standpoint it's logical for Google to decide that maybe it wasn't ever going to conquer the Chinese market. Still it was a big market to give up.

LAM: Indeed, I mean I understand it has something like 400-million web users. Do you think Google is willing to risk that because it needs to protect its brand reputation at all costs?

GOLDMAN: You know it's a little bit hard to figure out exactly what caused Google to decide to confront the Chinese government. There was the reference of course to the hacking attacks and maybe that was the trigger. Maybe it was the recognition that it wasn't going to win the Chinese market and dislodge the market leader. Maybe it was simply that it truly believes philosophically that the Chinese requests were wrong. I would also point out that Google has received some criticism here in the United States for not doing more to stand up to governments that are asking it to censor on behalf of the government. And so another possible incentive was for Google to deflect some of the heat it was taking here in the United States for its operations.

LAM: How do you think Google's withdrawal from China might affect its worldwide ambitions?

GOLDMAN: Google has run into problems in a number of countries, you may recall for example that Youtube was blocked in Turkey for a while, and that Google executives have been sentenced in a criminal conviction in Italy. So by nature allowing music generated content and providing and publishing content online, it's going to run into a whole host of issues worldwide. I don't think that the interactions with China are going to affect other aspects of Google's operations. I think each country has its own unique pecularities.

LAM: What about the other American internet companies who might want to break into China, what do you think Google's experience might tell them?

GOLDMAN: I think that it will remind them that the Chinese government's boss is China and I think that American companies looking to get into the Chinese market are going to have to think carefully about how they can accommodate all the different things that the Chinese government might demand. Some companies might say that that burden is simply too high and won't be willing to go there. Other companies will say let us understand what's expected of us, let's punch the numbers and if we can make a profit we'll go there and we'll do whatever is asked of us.

LAM: And just briefly Eric do you think Google's departure might present a unique opportunity for other providers such as China's own Baidu?

GOLDMAN: Well surely Baidu is thrilled to see Google go out of the marketplace. I don't know who else however is going to be a beneficiary, could be that Google's exit simply puts Baidu in the command position.

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Fix Your Own Target-Date Fund | View Clip
03/22/2010
SmartMoney - Online

Few investments have been the subject of more criticism than target-date funds. Designed as a dream, set-it-and-forget-it choice for investors saving for retirement, the funds turned out to be a lot riskier than people thought—and wound up being big losers in the crash. Regulators quickly began to point fingers at the fund designers for lulling the people who least needed to take chances (i.e., older Americans). But now comes new research that suggests the funds have another drawback: you.

The problem, apparently, is that many target-date funds are designed to fit investing and saving habits that many people simply can't—or won't—follow. Anne Lester, who authored the research and manages $1.6 billion in target-date mutual funds for JPMorgan Chase, says many target-date funds assume 35-year-old workers will contribute 10 percent of their salaries to their 401(k) accounts. In reality, she says, contributions don't rise to that level until workers are 55. She says some models also assume workers will get pay raises every year and won't borrow against their 401(k)s. Wrong on both counts: More typically, workers are getting raises every two or three years, on average, and 20 percent of them will take out 401(k) loans. The result is that target-date investors could come up short when it's time to retire.

Of course, it's hard to blame investors for not putting enough money aside, especially in tough economic times like these. “Thirtysomethings are building a family or acquiring a home,” says Hersh Shefrin, a behavioral finance professor at Santa Clara University. But critics say people selling target-date funds, which now have assets of about $245 billion, should have known this. In response, fund companies say it's no surprise to them that investors aren't saving enough, but this doesn't amount to a design flaw. “Contribution rates are one factor, but they aren't the determining factor” for the portfolios' success, says John Ameriks, a principal at Vanguard Group who helped design the firm's target-date funds, which now have assets of $53 billion.

Financial advisers say investors don't need to avoid target-date funds altogether. But they should be aware that these funds might be the automatic choice for workers who take no action on their 401(k) plans. Congress passed pension legislation in 2006 making it easier for employers to have workers automatically opt in to certain funds, and target-date funds are among the most common employer picks. What's more, fund companies often have different views on just how aggressive their target-date portfolios should be. Some experts say it's fine to invest in aggressive target-date funds early in your career, when you can accept more investment risk, but make sure they're not top-heavy in stocks as you near retirement.

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Dueling Summary Judgment Motions In Viacom v. YouTube | View Clip
03/22/2010
Slashdot

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes 'Eric Goldman, an Associate Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, has an excellent analysis of the dueling summary judgment motions in Viacom v. YouTube. Basically, both sides have been trotting out the most damning things they can find and asking the judge to rule against the other party. Viacom is mad that Chad Hurley, one of YouTube's co-founders, lost his email archive and couldn't remember some old emails. Worse, YouTube founder Karim once uploaded infringing content. But then Google points out that only a very small percentage of the users are engaged in infringing activity (some 0.016% of all YouTube accounts have been deleted for infringement), one of the clips Viacom is suing over is only one second long (what about fair use?), and most of YouTube's content is non-infringing, including the campaign videos which all major US presidential candidates posted to YouTube.' (More below.)

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Editorial: 'Silly' courses offer real education | View Clip
03/22/2010
Pitt News - Online, The

Going to college and taking The Joy of Garbage seems kind of counterintuitive to attending in the first place. It's what liberal education affords.

In recent years, some courses offered in colleges across the nation, prestigious and arcane have taken on a different quality. The classes focus on a seemingly silly topic; their names deceive their worth. The Joy of Garbage, offered at Santa Clara University under environmental studies, explores the technical aspects of waste decomposition and waste processes, according to The Huffington Post.

Another course in which students view, discuss and comment on videos, called Learning from YouTube, is offered at Pitzer College. Courses like this and the one at SCU might seem to be “joke” classes, but they are just as educational and ingrained in the curriculum as traditional courses. Part of this might have to do with retention rates.

Students are, in the crudest sense, customers to a college or university. College students are active on campus and network with faculty, but at the end of the term, there is still a tuition bill to pay and courses to sign up for. Universities might be offering these courses to strike a chord with the college crowd, to make it more attractive to prospective students. Moreover, colleges need to keep customers coming back; current students can still transfer to other colleges.

Retention might not be the only, or most important, reason for strange-sounding courses cropping up. Perhaps these courses speak of the liberal education Americans seem to hold close to their heart. College is surely about training for a career, or preparing for graduate level study, all in the hopes of a satisfying living. But it is also a time to explore interests, and really, to just chill out.

There are already enough courses with traditional read, think and write coursework or derive, formulate and solve problems, which plague students on campus. These courses are the backbone of college education that makes the job market easier or makes one eligible for further study. They are often wrought with stress accordingly.

Four years of post-secondary education, compared to direct technical programs in other countries, means some free time to explore. Courses on waste disposal are inherently interesting because they are rare. But they also offer hands-on experience that a lecture hall could not offer. Getting out of the building and doing it first hand makes for a more memorable and enjoyable experience.

Another course, Philosophy and Star Trek offered at Georgetown University, explores the philosophy presented in the episodes and applies traditionally taught principles to more enticing subject matter. These types of courses in fact stay true to the rigor of college education but also offer an angle students might be interested in.

Liberal education implies varied coursework. The diversity comes from different disciplines that are studied. However, there is no reason to not extend that diversity in other qualities, like how the class is taught, where is it taught or what the coursework consists of. The traditional pen and paper must make room for the new.

Scheduling for classes has already started at Pitt, and the variety of interesting courses is no less than other colleges. Students can take Vampire: Blood and Empire and learn about vampirism in text and film, Fantasy and Romance and engage in fantastical alternations in the ordinary or even Organized Crime.

These kind of engaging courses offer varied education. At the same time, one must earn a grade, so it is possible the stress will still be there. But if the material is more involving and is at the same time enjoyable, it makes the learning easier.

Reed College offers Underwater Basket Weaving. But if you think about it, weaving a basket under water is actually a pretty difficult thing to do.

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Letters: ‘Victory at Last'
03/22/2010
Newsweek

Usually revisionists wait for the ink to fade before they start their assault on history. This time the revisionists are the ones writing the first draft.

Cherackal Chacko, Portland, Conn.

We won't know whether we've achieved any meaningful sort of “victory”—let alone a “democratic Iraq”—until after the last occupation troops leave. Until then any apparent progress has to be viewed very cautiously, as it is occurring essentially under the armed wardship of the United States, rather than under the leadership of Iraqis.

Eric Lipps, Staten Island, N.Y.

Your proclamation of “Victory at Last” is as accurate as Bush's proclamation of “Mission Accomplished.”

Bob Fleming, Louisville, Ky.

‘Our Era of Dirty Laundry'

Julia Baird anchors her case against airing dirty laundry with the report that a 2000 study “found that almost 40 percent of people who were grieving a loved one felt worse after going through therapy.” But the study Baird cites was found to be an unpublished 1999 dissertation that has been reviewed by the American Psychological Association and deemed invalid. This erroneous finding continues to inflict harm on scientific integrity, on the bereavement field, and on bereaved persons who will be discouraged from seeking potentially valuable assistance.

Dale Larson, Professor of Counseling Psychology, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, Calif.

‘The Doctor Won't See You Now'

Mary Carmichael was incorrect in her assertion that physician assistants and nurse practitioners have little to contribute since they “don't necessarily make formal diagnoses on their own.” For many decades, PAs and NPs have worked as physician backup, making their own diagnoses and treating patients for illnesses. Yes, most state laws require that PAs and NPs have a physician supervisor, but most often the “physician extender” works relatively independently, consulting with the physician only on unusual cases. Since a large percentage of cases are routine, PAs and NPs can manage many primary-care patients and free up the physician for the complicated cases. So PAs and NPs should be utilized even more to help solve the primary-care-practitioner shortage.

Nancy Freeborne, College of Health and Human Services, George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.

‘We the Problem'

I take exception to Evan Thomas's claim that the public is to blame for Washington's gridlock. I am willing to accept higher taxes if I know my money is making a difference in providing reasonable health coverage for all, a strong educational system, and an effective military, but with this string attached: accountability.

May Van, West Chester, Pa.

Clarification In “Minority Report” (March 1), NEWSWEEK reported on an article written by Harvard Law School professor Lani Guinier that mentioned that elite colleges choose a higher proportion of black students who are children of recent immigrants over the children of multigenerational African-Americans. The article went on to say that, according to Guinier's data, the latter perform less well academically. Guinier's article actually made the argument that standardized tests like the SAT are not good predictors of students' college success generally.

Copyright © 2010 Newsweek Inc.

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Sandra Schneiders on Religious Life -- II | View Clip
03/22/2010
National Catholic Reporter Online

Sandra Schneiders, a Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and professor of New Testament Studies and Christian Spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California, has recently published an extensive study of Religious Life as a prophetic life form in National Catholic Reporter's online edition Jan. 4-8.

This week's and last week's columns highlight the major points of that substantial article.

© 2010 Richard P. McBrien. All rights reserved. Fr. McBrien is the Crowley-O'Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame.

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Judge Orders Financial Site To Delay Publishing Banks' Stock Recommendations | View Clip
03/22/2010
MediaPost.com

Siding with three major banks against a Web publisher, an influential federal judge has ruled that the site Theflyonthewall.com misappropriates "hot news" by summarizing and publishing research reports prepared by financial institutions.

"Fly's core business is its free-riding off the sustained, costly efforts by the firms and other investment institutions to generate equity research that is highly valued by investors," U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote in New York wrote in a decision issued last week. "Fly does no equity research of its own, nor does it undertake any original reporting or analysis that could generate the opinions reflected in the headlines published in the 'Recommendations' section of its newsfeed."

Cote ordered Fly to refrain from publishing much of the banks' research until 10 a.m. on trading days.

The decision marks the second time in recent years that a court has relied on the controversial "hot news" doctrine to rule that an aggregator has acted unlawfully. Last year, a federal judge in New York

ruled that The Associated Press could sue All Headline News for misappropriating hot news by publishing rewritten AP articles.

Cote's ruling stemmed from a lawsuit against Fly brought by Barclays, Bank of America's Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. They alleged that Fly was misappropriating "hot news" -- that is, their time-sensitive research and recommendations -- by rewriting it and publishing before the banks' own clients had received it.

Fly argued that much of the material was already public because it had been published by other sites by the time Fly sent it out. But Cote indicated that all of those publishers might be misappropriating the banks' work. "The fact that others also engage in unlawful behavior does not excuse a party's own illegal conduct."

What's more, Cote specifically rejected Fly's argument that it isn't "free-riding" on the banks' research because it also adds value by gathering and editing the research. "The value reflected in that act of aggregation does not controvert the fact that Fly expends no effort to produce the recommendations and does not contribute to the underlying research and analysis process," Cote wrote.

Media law expert Sam Bayard, assistant director of the Citizen Media Law Project, says the ruling appears problematic because Cote doesn't seem to take into account the First Amendment implications of banning a company from summarizing news that has been publicly reported on other sites.

"It's regulation of speech to say, 'You must delay your publication of this news that's in the public domain, that's been publicly reported by others,'" Bayard says. "That raises a red flag that Judge Cote doesn't look at."

Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University, adds that the decision might bode poorly for other financial aggregators, but not necessarily sites that summarize less time-sensitive news. "I don't think I would recommend that aggregators change their business, except in the financial sector," he says. "This opinion's going to basically clean up all those rumor mills for stock information."

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Law schools adjust curricula to changing profession | View Clip
03/22/2010
Business Review - Online

San Francisco Business Times - by Eric Young

Spencer Brown

“Students deserve an education that responds” to a changing marketplace, says USF law school dean Jeff Brand.

In the recession's wake, the once-predictable and lucrative legal career desired by many law school graduates has gone topsy-turvy.

Law firms, trying to cut costs, are hiring fewer young lawyers. Once they do hire law school graduates, many firms are paying them less and are getting rid of annual pay boosts in favor of more subjective performance reviews.

In response, Bay Area law schools are adjusting their offerings to prepare the next generation of attorneys for this changing landscape.

An emerging effort at law schools is to provide increased hands-on training for students as law firms devote fewer resources to on-the-job training to their younger hires.

“Law firms are training less,” said Jeff Brand, law school dean at the University of San Francisco. “Students deserve an education that responds to that kind of market(place).”

At USF, law school teachers are preparing a new series of courses that impart basic lawyering skills like writing and trial experience to give graduates a leg up when they are searching for employment.

At Santa Clara University, law school officials said they are trying to broaden students' thoughts about where they can apply their law degree.

The law school offers many externships and other opportunities to volunter at public or nonprofit agenices, said Sandee Magliozzi, the director of professional development and externships.

“As we saw the economic crisis coming,” Magliozzi said, “we wanted to be ahead of that curve.”

Santa Clara's law school also beefed up classes dealing with the business side of practicing law. These courses — focusing on law firm economics, developing a book of business and client communications — can help students if they join a big firm or if they ultimately decide to hang their own shingle, Magliozzi said.

“The on-ramp has gotten shorter and steeper,” Magliozzi said. “There are fewer opportunities, so students have to be able to hit the ground running. Our students have to be able to come in and add value.”

Some law schools said they are leaning more on alumni to help current students. At the University of San Francisco, career services workers are redoubling efforts to tap into its alumni network to find legal jobs, said Brand.

“Trying to help students get some kind of job, even if it's not a full-time job” is helpful, Brand said.

Law firms remain conservative with hiring plans. Last year, law firms collectively laid off about 4,000 lawyers nationally, most of them younger associates.

Stanford Law School began retooling its curriculum in 2005. Many of those efforts are starting to bear fruit, said Dean Larry Kramer.

For example, law school students are able to take advantage of more joint degrees and classes outside of the law school, giving future lawyers a more rounded education.

The law school is expanding its clinics, which give second- and third-year students a chance to start offering legal advice to real clients under the supervision of a practicing attorney. There are pro bono opportunities for Stanford law students in areas such as corporate transactions, environmental, immigration, education and appellate litigation.

As law firms pull back on training opportunities for young associates, “We as law schools need to help students think more about what kind of lawyers they want to be,” Kramer said.

Eric Young covers law and government for the San Francisco Business Times.

Contact him at eyoung@bizjournals.com or (415) 288-4969.

Read his blog postings at Bay Area BizTalk.

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THIS EXPERT ON CHINESE LAW AND DOING BUSINESS IN CHINA AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY.
03/22/2010
ABC 7 News at 6 PM- KGO-TV

GOOD EVENING, ONCE AGAIN, GOOGLE STOPPED SENSORING SEARCH RESULTS IN CHINA. AND ABC 7'S DAVID LOUIE IS LIVE IN MOUNTAIN VIEW TO EXPLAIN THE STRATEGY. GOOGLE MADE GOOD ON THE PROMISE FOR USING AN END RUN PLAY TO ACCOMPLISH THAT. HOWEVER, THAT MOVE HAS ANGERED CHINESE OFFICIALS AT THE SAME TIME GOOGLE IS TRYING TO MAINTAIN ITS ENGINEERING AND SALES OFFICES IN CHINA. NEWS OF THE DECISION REACHED CHINA AT 3:00 IN THE MORNING, DESPITE THE HOUR, INTERNET WLOG BLOGS WERE DUZ BUZZING WITH COMMENTS. MANY MORE BACKING CHINA. I NEVER THOUGHT CHINA WOULD BACK DOWN FROM THERE. WHEN THE STORY BROKE, SOME PEOPLE SPECULATED CHINESE MIGHT CHANGE THEIR POLICY. DO NOT THINK THAT. CHINA IS NOT WILLING TO BE DICTATED TO BY A COMPANY. THIS EXPERT ON CHINESE LAW AND DOING BUSINESS IN CHINA AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. GOOGLE IS REDIRECTING VISITORS FROM THE SITE TO ONE BASED IN HONG KONG CHLGT INTERNET SNOT CENSORED IN HONG KONG, OPERATE ENERGY SEPARATE LAWS. GOOGLE'S APPARENT INABILITY TO WIN AN ACCOMMODATION COULD IMPACT ENTREPRENEUR WHO'S WANT OWE DO BUSINESS THERE. 188 START UPS OPERATE UNDER THE TEXT CENTER. THIS IS A HICCUP, I CALL IT. IT'S GOING TO BE A LITTLE BIT QUESTION MARK IN THEIR MIND THAT IF THEY ARE SUCCESSFUL IN CHINA, THEY COULD STUMBLE.

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THIS EXPERT ON CHINESE LAW AND DOING BUSINESS IN CHINA AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY.
03/22/2010
ABC 7 News at 6 PM- KGO-TV

GOOD EVENING, ONCE AGAIN, GOOGLE STOPPED SENSORING SEARCH RESULTS IN CHINA. AND ABC 7'S DAVID LOUIE IS LIVE IN MOUNTAIN VIEW TO EXPLAIN THE STRATEGY. GOOGLE MADE GOOD ON THE PROMISE FOR USING AN END RUN PLAY TO ACCOMPLISH THAT. HOWEVER, THAT MOVE HAS ANGERED CHINESE OFFICIALS AT THE SAME TIME GOOGLE IS TRYING TO MAINTAIN ITS ENGINEERING AND SALES OFFICES IN CHINA. NEWS OF THE DECISION REACHED CHINA AT 3:00 IN THE MORNING, DESPITE THE HOUR, INTERNET WLOG BLOGS WERE DUZ BUZZING WITH COMMENTS. MANY MORE BACKING CHINA. I NEVER THOUGHT CHINA WOULD BACK DOWN FROM THERE. WHEN THE STORY BROKE, SOME PEOPLE SPECULATED CHINESE MIGHT CHANGE THEIR POLICY. DO NOT THINK THAT. CHINA IS NOT WILLING TO BE DICTATED TO BY A COMPANY. THIS EXPERT ON CHINESE LAW AND DOING BUSINESS IN CHINA AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. GOOGLE IS REDIRECTING VISITORS FROM THE SITE TO ONE BASED IN HONG KONG CHLGT INTERNET SNOT CENSORED IN HONG KONG, OPERATE ENERGY SEPARATE LAWS. GOOGLE'S APPARENT INABILITY TO WIN AN ACCOMMODATION COULD IMPACT ENTREPRENEUR WHO'S WANT OWE DO BUSINESS THERE. 188 START UPS OPERATE UNDER THE TEXT CENTER. THIS IS A HICCUP, I CALL IT. IT'S GOING TO BE A LITTLE BIT QUESTION MARK IN THEIR MIND THAT IF THEY ARE SUCCESSFUL IN CHINA, THEY COULD STUMBLE.

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Google gives up fight with 'censoring' China
03/21/2010
Sunday Telegraph (UK)

GOOGLE will tomorrow set out plans to close down its Chinese search engine after refusing to comply with China's strict censorship laws.

The company is expected to announce the closure of google.

cn by as early as April 10 after the Chinese government refused to acquiesce to demands that it stop self-censorship of the site.

It is understood that Google will continue to operate other services in the country and will maintain its research and development operations. The technology giant surprised the multi-billion pound digital industry in January when it told China that it would pull out of the country unless it was allowed to present uncensored search results.

In an official blog post from Google's chief legal officer, David Drummond, it said: "We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all.

"We recognise that this may well mean having to shut down google.cn and potentially our offices in China."

Google also accused the Chinese authorities of a "highly sophisticated and targeted" attack of its email system and its customers' email accounts.

It is understood that Sergey Brin, who founded Google with Larry Page while the pair were students at Stanford University, has been personally involved with the investigation into the attacks and the decision to withdraw from China.

Reports from China said Google will compensate the division's employees following the closure. Google refused to comment this weekend on the timing of the shutdown.

Google will hit the headlines again on Tuesday when legal experts say it should win the latest round of its long legal battle with the handbag and luggage maker, Louis Vuitton.

LVMH, the group behind Louis Vuitton, Moët et Chandon and Dom Perignon champagne, has accused Google of profiteering from its success by selling the rights to its trademark to discount retailers or even counterfeiters. LVMH claims the practice confuses customers and tarnishes its hard-won reputation.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is set to rule that Google can continue to sell the rights to sponsored searches using brands' trademarks to rival companies.

The ECJ, which was passed the case by the French courts which had earlier found in favour of LVHM, has indicated that it will find in Google's favour when it delivers the landmark judgement in Luxembourg on Tuesday.

Poiares Maduro, the court's advocate general, said: "Google has not infringed trademark rights by allowing advertisers to buy keywords corresponding to registered trademarks." Mr Maduro said that typing in a brand name as a keyword was not a breach of trademark law because "no product or service was being sold to the general public".

Lawyers say that although the ECJ is likely to find in Google's favour, the ruling will not completely absolve the company and might lead to a flood of fresh litigation. Eric Goldman, associate professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law, said: "This case has the potential to shape global standards for the legitimacy of keyword advertising."

However, Fabian Ziegenaus, an associate at Linklaters, said he expects the ECJ to rule in favour of trademark owners. "In cases such as this where the brand has a good reputation, the brand owner should be allowed control of the brand."

If the decision went against Google, it would be forced to move to stop the sale of Ad-Words to trademark owners' rivals, he said.

A spokesman for Google said: "We believe that consumer interest is best served by maximising the choice of keywords, ensuring relevant and informative advertising for a wide variety of different contexts."

We're not willing to continue censoring our results and recognise we may have to close

Copyright © 2010 The Telegraph Group Limited, London

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Google likely to win battle over counterfeit goods ads | View Clip
03/21/2010
New Zealand Herald

By Raphael G Satter View as one page

Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Photo / AP

LONDON - Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising - but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google's practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods.

Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the US is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor - or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the US alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favourable outcome for the Mountain View, California-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords.

Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

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Don't be evil, You! | View Clip
03/21/2010
New York Post - Online

When it comes to YouTube, it sure seems like the geniuses at Google got snookered.

A series of jaw-dropping videos and e-mails among YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim show that in the online video Web site's early days, the trio spent considerable time trying to pump up their startup with an eye toward achieving enough critical mass in terms of users and traffic to be an attractive acquisition target.

As part of that effort, the founders appear to have defied their future owner's slogan "do no evil," and knowingly disregarded copyright laws in favor of having the kind of content -- clips from TV shows, movies and news reports as well as commercials -- that would lure people to their site.

The effort paid off, with a number of interested parties, ranging from venture capital firms to media companies, expressing interest in YouTube, all leading up to Google paying $1.65 billion in 2006 to buy the video site.

Evidence supplied by media giant Viacom that was released last week by a federal judge reveals the three founders seemed keenly aware of their Web site's potential, and made decisions that were designed to help drive growth for an eventual sale. Viacom is suing Google for $1 billion, claiming copyright violation.

"At what point would we tell them our dirty little secret, which is that we actually just want to sell out quickly," Karim is quoted as saying in a video clip after a meeting in August 2005 with Sequoia Capital, a venture-capital firm that invested $9 million in YouTube.

Hurley, Chen and Karim made considerable money from the sale of YouTube to Google, as did Sequoia. According to Viacom's legal brief, Hurley pocketed $334 million in Google stock, while Chen received $301 million. Karim, who left shortly before the company was sold, earned $61 million. Sequoia was able to turn its $9 million investment into $516 million worth of Google stock.

Yet after nearly four years of ownership, Google continues to struggle to make YouTube profitable, raising the nagging question of whether YouTube's founders were more interested in getting rich than building a business.

In one 2005 e-mail, Hurley tells his pals, "we need to reject these too," referring to a number of Bud Light commercials that were posted on the site. Chen responds by asking to "leave these in a bit longer? another week or two can't hurt." Later, he explains that the commercials are "going to drive traffic."

In an e-mail response to Hurley having taken down clips of the TV show "Family Guy," Chen asks, "should we just assume that a user uploading content really owns the content and is agreeing to all the terms of use?"

In yet another, Chen responds to a request by Hurley to remove CNN content by saying, "we should just keep that stuff on the site. I really don't see what will happen. what? someone from cnn sees it? he happens to be someone with power? he happens to want to take it down right away. he get [sic] in touch with cnn legal. 2 weeks later, we get a cease & desist letter. we take the video down."

To be sure, it's hard to find anyone who thinks that Google's purchase of YouTube was a dumb move. Indeed, most analysts bet that YouTube will soon generate a profit. Further, Google wasn't alone in its enthusiasm about YouTube's prospects. Reports had Viacom expressing interest in YouTube in 2006.

And legal experts remain divided about whether YouTube in fact violated copyright laws by having someone else's content on the site.

"Unless those e-mails reference specific knowledge of specific activities, I don't see how Viacom can claim infringement," said Michael Elkin, an expert in digital copyright laws with Winston & Strawn in New York.

YouTube could be found liable for "inducement" -- or luring people to download copyrighted materials, said Eric Goldman, professor at Santa Clara University and director of the High Tech Law Institute. Goldman cites the Supreme Court case that took down Grokster, a file-sharing service.

"What we're looking at is mental state: whether these e-mails suggest the founders wanted copyright infringement to take place," Goldman said. kaja.whitehouse@nypost.com

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Latinos graduating from college above national rate | View Clip
03/21/2010
Daily Democrat - Online

Created: 03/21/2010 04:57:12 AM PDT

California's Latino college students graduate from college at a higher rate than the national average; 58 percent earn a bachelor's degree, compared to 51 percent nationally.

Although the state's Latino students trail white students in graduation rates, the four-point gap is narrower than the national gap of eight points, according to a new study by the American Enterprise Institute.

A closer look, by gender, shows that Latina women graduate at a higher rate (61 percent) than white men (58 percent) in California.

The study, funded by The Gates Foundation, examined graduation rates for students who entered college in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

It found that Latinos do best at several private California campuses - such as Santa Clara University, Whittier College, Pitzer College, Loyola Marymount University and the University of San Francisco - where their graduation rates match or surpass whites'.

But at public universities, graduation rate disparities widen. At San Jose State, 35 percent of Latinos graduate, compared to 43 percent of white students. At Cal State East Bay, 40 percent graduate, compared to 44 percent of white students.

The study attributed the national gap to barriers of language and culture, noting that "familial and social ties to home are particularly strong" in Latino students. And white students tend to arrive better prepared, academically and financially, for college, it concluded. But it noted that some schools better support efforts by

Latino students - and urged these schools to teach others about strategies that work.

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Contemporary Clinical Psychology, Second Edition | View Clip
03/21/2010
Australian PC World

"This new edition provides the reader with the latest developments in clinical psychology. An excellent text for introducing and motivating students to become well-informed consumers of clinical psychology information. Every chapter provides valuable information for mental health students entering the profession."

- Gerardo D. Canul, PhD

Clinical Psychologist and Lecturer, University of California, Irvine

Visiting Faculty, Graduate School of Psychology and Education, Pepperdine University

UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION AND INSIGHT ON BECOMING A CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST

Contemporary Clinical Psychology, Second Edition presents a broad-spectrum overview of clinical psychology. Featuring a detailed review of the history, scientific foundations, and theoretical orientation of the field as it highlights the activities, roles, and responsibilities of today's clinical psychologist, this realistic and practical "view from the inside" provides:

* Insights into prevention, ethics, evidence-based treatments, confidentiality laws and regulations including HIPAA, and countless other current issues

* Case studies detailing the theoretical conceptualization, assessment, and treatment of clients, along with discussions of testing, therapy, consultation, and ethics

* Chapter-ending "Big Picture" synopses and lists of key points and terms to ensure understanding of the material covered, as well as a unique "Real Students, Real Questions" section, featuring actual questions asked by clinical psychology students

* Firsthand input from a diverse cross section of professionals about embarking on a career in clinical psychology

* Current and future trends, plus a step-by-step "road map" that covers all aspects of becoming a clinical psychologist

Utilizing an integrative biopsychosocial approach throughout, this thoroughly revised text reflects a contemporary perspective of clinical psychology. Author Thomas Plante, a practicing clinician as well as college professor, draws on his own experience working with clients as well as his work as a mental health director and consultant to illustrate the real world of clinical psychology and provide an accurate picture of how science and practice function together in the day-to-day practice of psychology.

From general knowledge and information to specific topics, including modes of research and areas of specialization, Contemporary Clinical Psychology, Second Edition presents a comprehensive and engaging view of the art and science of clinical psychology. Designed for upper-level undergraduates and first-year graduate students,yet invaluable for virtually anyone pursuing a career in psychology or related fields, it provides a frank and contemporary portrayal of the dynamic field of clinical psychology from many different perspectives and in many different settings.

THOMAS G. PLANTE, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at Santa Clara University and a licensed psychologist with a private practice. In addition, he is an adjunct clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University.

Table of Contents

About the Author.

PART ONE: Foundations and Fundamentals.

Chapter 1: What Is Contemporary Clinical Psychology?

Chapter 2: Foundations and Early History of Clinical Psychology.

Chapter 3: Recent History of Clinical Psychology.

Chapter 4: Research: Design and Outcome.

Chapter 5: The Major Theoretical Models: Paving the Way toward Integration.

Chapter 6: Integrative and Biopsychosocial Approaches in Contemporary Clinical Psychology.

PART TWO: Roles and Responsibilities.

Chapter 7: Contemporary Psychological Assessment I: Interviewing and Observing Behavior.

Chapter 8: Contemporary Psychological Assessment II: Cognitive and Personality Assessment.

Chapter 9: Psychotherapeutic Interventions.

Chapter 10: Ten Essential Questions about Psychotherapy.

Chapter 11: Areas of Specialization.

Chapter 12: Consultative, Teaching, and Administrative Roles.

Chapter 13: Ethical Standards.

PART THREE: Where Is Clinical Psychology Going and Should I Go with It?

Chapter 14: Current and Future Trends and Challenges.

Chapter 15: Becoming a Clinical Psychologist: A Road Map.

Glossary.

Appendix: Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct 2002.

Photo Credits.

Author Index.

Subject Index.

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Google Likely to Win EU Court Battle Over Ads | View Clip
03/21/2010
ABC News - Online

Google likely to win EU ad battle, but experts say the fight with brand-owners will go on

LONDON March 19, 2010 (AP)

Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising — but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor — or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

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Google in China: we're closing tomorrow | View Clip
03/20/2010
Telegraph.co.uk

Google will tomorrow set out plans to close down its Chinese search engine after refusing to comply with China's strict censorship laws.

The company is expected to announce the closure of google.cn by as early as April 10 after the Chinese government refused to acquiesce to demands that it stop self-censorship of the site.

It is understood that Google will continue to operate other services in the country and will maintain its research and development operations.

The technology giant surprised the multi-billion pound digital industry in January when it told China that it would pull out of the country unless it was allowed to present uncensored search results.

In an official blog post from Google's chief legal officer, David Drummond, it said: “We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all.

“We recognise that this may well mean having to shut down google.cn and potentially our offices in China.”

Google also accused the Chinese authorities of a “highly sophisticated and targeted” attack of its email system and its customers' email accounts.

It is understood that Sergey Brin, who founded Google with Larry Page while the pair were students at Stanford University, has been personally involved with the investigation into the attacks and the decision to withdraw from China.

Reports from China said Google will compensate the division's employees following the closure. Google refused to comment this weekend on the timing of the shutdown.

Google will hit the headlines again on Tuesday when legal experts say it should win the latest round of its long legal battle with the handbag and luggage maker, Louis Vuitton.

LVMH, the group behind Louis Vuitton, Moët et Chandon and Dom Perignon champagne, has accused Google of profiteering from its success by selling the rights to its trademark to discount retailers or even counterfeiters. LVMH claims the practice confuses customers and tarnishes its hard-won reputation.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is set to rule that Google can continue to sell the rights to sponsored searches using brands' trademarks to rival companies.

The ECJ, which was passed the case by the French courts which had earlier found in favour of LVHM, has indicated that it will find in Google's favour when it delivers the landmark judgement in Luxembourg on Tuesday.

Poiares Maduro, the court's advocate general, said: “Google has not infringed trademark rights by allowing advertisers to buy keywords corresponding to registered trademarks.”

Mr Maduro said that typing in a brand name as a keyword was not a breach of trademark law because “no product or service was being sold to the general public”.

Lawyers say that although the ECJ is likely to find in Google's favour, the ruling will not completely absolve the company and might lead to a flood of fresh litigation. Eric Goldman, associate professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law, said: “This case has the potential to shape global standards for the legitimacy of keyword advertising.”

However, Fabian Ziegenaus, an associate at Linklaters, said he expects the ECJ to rule in favour of trademark owners. “In cases such as this where the brand has a good reputation, the brand owner should be allowed control of the brand.”

If the decision went against Google, it would be forced to move to stop the sale of Ad-Words to trademark owners' rivals, he said.

A spokesman for Google said: “We believe that consumer interest is best served by maximising the choice of keywords, ensuring relevant and informative advertising for a wide variety of different contexts.”

Return to Top



Google likely to win EU court battle over ads | View Clip
03/20/2010
Seattle Times - Online

Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising - but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

LONDON —

Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising - but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor - or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature - under pressure from Google and others - repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

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GOOGLE LIKELY TO WIN EU CASE
03/20/2010
San Jose Mercury News

Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising -- but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google's practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Copyright © 2010 San Jose Mercury News

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Google likely to win EU ad battle, but experts say the fight with brand-owners will go on | View Clip
03/20/2010
Los Angeles Times - Online

LONDON (AP) — Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising — but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor — or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature — under pressure from Google and others — repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

Return to Top



Google likely to win EU court battle over ads | View Clip
03/20/2010
Belleville News-Democrat - Online

LONDON -- Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising - but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor - or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature - under pressure from Google and others - repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

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Google likely to win EU court battle over ads | View Clip
03/20/2010
Bay News 9 - Online

LONDON (AP) -- Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising _ but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor _ or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature _ under pressure from Google and others _ repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All right reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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Google likely to win EU ad battle, but experts say the fight with brand-owners will go on | View Clip
03/20/2010
Baltimore Sun - Online

LONDON (AP) — Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising — but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor — or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature — under pressure from Google and others — repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Google likely to win EU court battle over ads | View Clip
03/20/2010
Anchorage Daily News - Online

LONDON - Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising - but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor - or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature - under pressure from Google and others - repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

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PREVIEW - Google adword win in Europe wouldn't end battles | View Clip
03/19/2010
Yahoo! India

Enlarge Photo A Google search page is seen through the spectacles of a computer user in Leicester,... Slideshow:World in pics: Mar 18

Google Inc could win a widely expected victory next week in Europe's top court and still face many more battles over keyword advertising, the backbone of its Internet business model.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg will rule on Tuesday whether or not Google infringes the trademark rights of such companies as Louis Vuitton through its Adwords service, in which advertisers pay to use keywords that are the companies' proprietary brand names.

In Google's Adwords service, advertisers pay a fee so that "sponsored links" to their own websites pop up beside a user's keyword search results.

"This case has the potential to shape global standards for the legitimacy of keyword advertising," said Eric Goldman, an associate professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law, who called that a "multibillion-dollar question."

"We're going to get new and highly influential legal guidance on the legitimacy of that practice," he said. "That has the potential to move billions of dollars in our industry."

Brand owners will closely examine next week's judgment on three cases, one of which was brought by Louis Vuitton, as they try to protect their trademarks against a practice they say undermines their cachet.

Buying a sponsored link on a keyword such as "Nike" can be useful for retailers who stock goods of that brand -- yet the retailers do not pay Nike for using the brand name. More controversially, Nike's rivals might buy it as a keyword, hoping to divert trade and traffic to themselves.

At the extreme, brands like Louis Vuitton and others fear that a loss of control of their brands to less-than-desirable outfits -- such as counterfeiters -- would damage painstakingly managed reputations or confuse and drive away consumers.

NO CLEAN WIN

The case is the first at such a high level to test Google's liability, rather than that of the advertisers buying keywords.

Google used to block advertisers from buying others' brand names as keywords, but in 2004 it changed its policy in North America and four years later extended that to Britain and Ireland. Google says it will honor valid complaints from brand owners and prevent their rivals from using a trademarked keyword in their ad text, but some trademark holders say they should not be sold in the first place.

The stakes are high in this murky area of law because paid ads are a mainstay of Google's business and a foundation of commerce in the digital age. Courts in various member states within the European Union have issued disparate rulings, and U.S. decisions are similarly inconsistent.

Although Google does not break out revenue from its paid ads, it derives 97 percent of its annual revenue of nearly $24 billion from advertising.

Cases from five European nations brought by brand owners against advertisers are also pending in the European Court of Justice. The first of those will also be decided next week.

In one of those cases, international flower delivery group Interflora Inc and its UK unit are suing British retailer Marks & Spencer for using the keyword "Interflora" and variants to trigger ads for itself, in the hope of luring flower buyers to its own service.

Interflora says its bidding costs for its own name as a keyword leapt as much as 14-fold when Google changed its policy in Britain in 2008, increasing its costs by a total of $750,000 in the first year after the change.

In the Google case, experts believe the court will rule at least partly in the Web giant's favor, based on the September nonbinding opinion of the court's Advocate General that Google did not infringe brand owners' rights by allowing advertisers to buy keywords corresponding to trademarks.

But the case, which originated in the French courts, is unlikely to completely absolve Google of future responsibility, with further litigation in European countries guaranteed.

"It's my feeling Google is going to win, but it's not going to be an ultimate victory for Google," said Alex Montagu, a New York-based attorney who specializes in intellectual property and international commerce transactions.

Though the hot-button issue of counterfeiting was not in front of the court, brand owners could still find Google liable in their host countries for "secondary infringement" by selling keywords to those who then infringe the trademark, such as counterfeiters.

"Where Google is not out of the woods is if Louis Vuitton can demonstrate that those sponsored links are being sold to people not authorized to use those trademarks, such as counterfeiters or the grey goods market," said Montagu.

He argues for an international convention to deal with the liability of Internet service providers, saying trademark law has not kept pace with the digital age.

EBay Inc, which buys keywords from Google and also operates its own internal search, has similarly been sued by brand owners, including Louis Vuitton, in Europe and the United States over its use of keywords.

A favorable ruling for Google in Europe's top court could allow eBay to reargue cases it has lost in countries such as France considered sympathetic to the claims of brand owners.

Google currently faces eight cases alone in the United States over the sale of trademarked keywords, said Goldman.

A "nice, clean" ruling from the European Court of Justice could potentially influence U.S. law, said Goldman, who added: "It's very possible we'll get a very muddy, murky ruling."

"We take it for granted that Google can do whatever it's doing and that's not a question that anyone here (in the U.S.) has ever answered definitively."

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Google likely to win EU court battle over ads | View Clip
03/19/2010
WSFA-TV - Online

LONDON (AP) - Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising - but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor - or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature - under pressure from Google and others - repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Google likely to win EU court battle over ads | View Clip
03/19/2010
WDAM-TV - Online

LONDON (AP) - Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising - but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor - or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature - under pressure from Google and others - repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Viacom Says YouTube Ignored Copyrights | View Clip
03/19/2010
Times-News - Online

SAN FRANCISCO — Pointing to internal YouTube e-mail messages, Viacom said in a court filing that the video site's founders turned a blind eye when users uploaded copyrighted clips so they could amass a big audience and sell the company quickly.

The charge was one of many made by Viacom in filings unsealed on Thursday in its three-year-old copyright lawsuit against YouTube and Google, which bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion.

Google fired back, saying Viacom was distorting the record by taking passages from e-mail messages out of context. It also said Viacom employees and agents “continuously and secretly” uploaded clips from the company's television shows and movies to YouTube for promotional purposes, even as they were complaining about copyright violations.

“They are both tearing each other up, and both are scoring points,” said Eric Goldman, director of the High-Tech Law Institute at the Santa Clara University School of Law.

The lawsuit accused YouTube of profiting from thousands of clips from Viacom movies and shows that were uploaded to the site without permission.

It was filed at the height of tensions between Google and media companies over copyrights — tensions that have since eased substantially. YouTube, which is by far the Web's largest video site, has set up an automated system to detect infringing videos and signed revenue-sharing agreements with more than a thousand media companies.

But more broadly, media companies remain wary of losing control as more of their products become digital, making them easier to copy.

As part of their motions for summary judgment in the case, both sides released hundreds of pages of documents and exhibits on Thursday, including internal documents obtained through the discovery process.

Among them were scores of e-mail messages from YouTube's founders — Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim — discussing what to do about clips uploaded to YouTube that clearly belonged to major studios or television networks.

In a 2005 e-mail message to Roelof Botha, a partner at Sequoia Capital, YouTube's major outside investor, Mr. Chen described a system that the company had put in place for users to flag copyrighted and pornographic content: “That way, the perception is that we are concerned about this type of material and we're actively monitoring it.”

Mr. Chen goes on to acknowledge that much of the infringing material will remain on the site, but that users won't be able to easily stumble upon it.

Google countered that the message was truncated and taken out of context, and that it merely suggested that YouTube was serious about policing its site for copyrighted content.

One e-mail message revealed that even as YouTube's founders were discussing how to deal with copyrighted clips, one of them was uploading such material.

In July 2005, Mr. Chen wrote: “Jawed, please stop putting stolen videos on the site. We're going to have a tough time defending the fact that we're not liable for the copyrighted material on the site because we didn't put it up when one of the co-founders is blatantly stealing content from other sites and trying to get everyone to see it.” Google said that message referred to “viral videos,” not pirated media content.

In another e-mail message from January 2006, a Google executive refers to a conversation with Mr. Hurley and another YouTube executive about copyrights, and compares YouTube with the much less popular Google Video service.

“YouTube is at an advantage b/c they aren't the target that we are with issues like this. They are aware of this (I spoke with them on Friday) and they plan on exploiting this in order to get more and more traffic.”

In its brief, Google pointed to internal Viacom documents in which executives discussed buying YouTube and described it primarily as a place for user-created videos, not a haven for pirated content as they assert in the suit.

“Consumption of ‘branded' content on YT is relatively low,” an executive wrote in an internal presentation from July 2006.

Google also said Viacom filed the suit only when its negotiations over a partnership agreement with YouTube ended after Google bought the site. It said the suit was part of a push to get better licensing terms for its content.

Google said Viacom used various methods to cover its tracks when uploading videos to YouTube. It hired outside marketing agents, used e-mail addresses that couldn't be traced to Viacom when registering accounts and uploaded videos from places like Kinko's, rather than from company computers, Google said.

In one e-mail exchange, employees of the MTV unit of Viacom discussed how to alter a clip they were uploading so it would appear to be unauthorized, presumably because that might generate more interest in it online. “The goal is to make it look ‘hijacked,' ” one employee wrote.

“Viacom's efforts to hide the source of the content it caused to be posted on YouTube were too good,” Google said in its filing, adding that “Viacom and its lawyers were unable to recognize that dozens of the clips alleged as infringements in this case were uploaded to YouTube with Viacom's express authorization.”

Given Viacom's tactics, Google argued that it would have been impossible for its employees to know which videos were uploaded without permission. One of Google's central defenses is that YouTube always complied with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by promptly taking down videos whenever a copyright owner said they had been uploaded without permission.

The Viacom filing suggests that as Google was trying to compete with YouTube in early 2006, executives at the highest levels of Google debated whether to emulate YouTube's more lax approach to copyright.

“Is changing our policy to increase traffic knowing before that we'll profit from illegal downloads how we want to conduct business? Is this Googley?” asked David Eun, then a vice president for content partnerships.

The filings suggest that Eric E. Schmidt, the chief executive, supported a more liberal copyright policy for Google Video, while Sergey Brin, a co-founder, opposed it.

At one point, a Google Video executive recoiled at the notion that Google would buy YouTube: “I can't believe you're recommending buying YouTube... they're 80% illegal pirated content.” Google bought YouTube six months later.

While most media companies are no longer fighting with YouTube, some of the biggest still view it as a rival. Despite a multitude of content deals, YouTube has struggled to build a large database of full-length television shows and movies. And it faces rising competition for that kind of content from sites like Hulu, a joint venture between NBC Universal, Fox and ABC.

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Google adword win in Europe wouldn't end battles | View Clip
03/19/2010
Thomson Reuters - Online

SAN FRANCISCO/LONDON (Reuters) - Google Inc (GOOG.O) could win a widely expected victory next week in Europe's top court and still face many more battles over keyword advertising, the backbone of its Internet business model.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg will rule on Tuesday whether or not Google infringes the trademark rights of such companies as Louis Vuitton through its Adwords service, in which advertisers pay to use keywords that are the companies' proprietary brand names.

In Google's Adwords service, advertisers pay a fee so that "sponsored links" to their own websites pop up beside a user's keyword search results.

"This case has the potential to shape global standards for the legitimacy of keyword advertising," said Eric Goldman, an associate professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law, who called that a "multibillion-dollar question."

"We're going to get new and highly influential legal guidance on the legitimacy of that practice," he said. "That has the potential to move billions of dollars in our industry."

Brand owners will closely examine next week's judgment on three cases, one of which was brought by Louis Vuitton (LVMH.PA), as they try to protect their trademarks against a practice they say undermines their cachet.

Buying a sponsored link on a keyword such as "Nike" can be useful for retailers who stock goods of that brand -- yet the retailers do not pay Nike (NKE.N) for using the brand name. More controversially, Nike's rivals might buy it as a keyword, hoping to divert trade and traffic to themselves.

At the extreme, brands like Louis Vuitton and others fear that a loss of control of their brands to less-than-desirable outfits -- such as counterfeiters -- would damage painstakingly managed reputations or confuse and drive away consumers.

NO CLEAN WIN

The case is the first at such a high level to test Google's liability, rather than that of the advertisers buying keywords.

Google used to block advertisers from buying others' brand names as keywords, but in 2004 it changed its policy in North America and four years later extended that to Britain and Ireland. Google says it will honor valid complaints from brand owners and prevent their rivals from using a trademarked keyword in their ad text, but some trademark holders say they should not be sold in the first place.

The stakes are high in this murky area of law because paid ads are a mainstay of Google's business and a foundation of commerce in the digital age. Courts in various member states within the European Union have issued disparate rulings, and U.S. decisions are similarly inconsistent.

Although Google does not break out revenue from its paid ads, it derives 97 percent of its annual revenue of nearly $24 billion from advertising.

Cases from five European nations brought by brand owners against advertisers are also pending in the European Court of Justice. The first of those will also be decided next week.

In one of those cases, international flower delivery group Interflora Inc and its UK unit are suing British retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) for using the keyword "Interflora" and variants to trigger ads for itself, in the hope of luring flower buyers to its own service.

Interflora says its bidding costs for its own name as a keyword leapt as much as 14-fold when Google changed its policy in Britain in 2008, increasing its costs by a total of $750,000 in the first year after the change.

In the Google case, experts believe the court will rule at least partly in the Web giant's favor, based on the September nonbinding opinion of the court's Advocate General that Google did not infringe brand owners' rights by allowing advertisers to buy keywords corresponding to trademarks.

But the case, which originated in the French courts, is unlikely to completely absolve Google of future responsibility, with further litigation in European countries guaranteed.

"It's my feeling Google is going to win, but it's not going to be an ultimate victory for Google," said Alex Montagu, a New York-based attorney who specializes in intellectual property and international commerce transactions.

Though the hot-button issue of counterfeiting was not in front of the court, brand owners could still find Google liable in their host countries for "secondary infringement" by selling keywords to those who then infringe the trademark, such as counterfeiters.

"Where Google is not out of the woods is if Louis Vuitton can demonstrate that those sponsored links are being sold to people not authorized to use those trademarks, such as counterfeiters or the grey goods market," said Montagu.

He argues for an international convention to deal with the liability of Internet service providers, saying trademark law has not kept pace with the digital age.

EBay Inc (EBAY.O), which buys keywords from Google and also operates its own internal search, has similarly been sued by brand owners, including Louis Vuitton, in Europe and the United States over its use of keywords.

A favorable ruling for Google in Europe's top court could allow eBay to reargue cases it has lost in countries such as France considered sympathetic to the claims of brand owners.

Google currently faces eight cases alone in the United States over the sale of trademarked keywords, said Goldman.

A "nice, clean" ruling from the European Court of Justice could potentially influence U.S. law, said Goldman, who added: "It's very possible we'll get a very muddy, murky ruling."

"We take it for granted that Google can do whatever it's doing and that's not a question that anyone here (in the U.S.) has ever answered definitively."

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PREVIEW-Google adword win in Europe wouldn't end battles | View Clip
03/19/2010
Thomson Reuters - Online

* Ruling from European Court of Justice expected Tuesday

* Experts see a Google win, but warn ruling likely murky

* A clear ruling could influence chaotic US law on adwords

SAN FRANCISCO/LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - Google Inc (GOOG.O) could win a widely expected victory next week in Europe's top court and still face many more battles over keyword advertising, the backbone of its Internet business model.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg will rule on Tuesday whether or not Google infringes the trademark rights of such companies as Louis Vuitton through its Adwords service, in which advertisers pay to use keywords that are the companies' proprietary brand names.

In Google's Adwords service, advertisers pay a fee so that "sponsored links" to their own websites pop up beside a user's keyword search results.

"This case has the potential to shape global standards for the legitimacy of keyword advertising," said Eric Goldman, an associate professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law, who called that a "multibillion-dollar question."

"We're going to get new and highly influential legal guidance on the legitimacy of that practice," he said. "That has the potential to move billions of dollars in our industry."

Brand owners will closely examine next week's judgment on three cases, one of which was brought by Louis Vuitton (LVMH.PA), as they try to protect their trademarks against a practice they say undermines their cachet.

Buying a sponsored link on a keyword such as "Nike" can be useful for retailers who stock goods of that brand -- yet the retailers do not pay Nike (NKE.N) for using the brand name. More controversially, Nike's rivals might buy it as a keyword, hoping to divert trade and traffic to themselves.

At the extreme, brands like Louis Vuitton and others fear that a loss of control of their brands to less-than-desirable outfits -- such as counterfeiters -- would damage painstakingly managed reputations or confuse and drive away consumers.

NO CLEAN WIN

The case is the first at such a high level to test Google's liability, rather than that of the advertisers buying keywords.

Google used to block advertisers from buying others' brand names as keywords, but in 2004 it changed its policy in North America and four years later extended that to Britain and Ireland. Google says it will honor valid complaints from brand owners and prevent their rivals from using a trademarked keyword in their ad text, but some trademark holders say they should not be sold in the first place.

The stakes are high in this murky area of law because paid ads are a mainstay of Google's business and a foundation of commerce in the digital age. Courts in various member states within the European Union have issued disparate rulings, and U.S. decisions are similarly inconsistent.

Although Google does not break out revenue from its paid ads, it derives 97 percent of its annual revenue of nearly $24 billion from advertising.

Cases from five European nations brought by brand owners against advertisers are also pending in the European Court of Justice. The first of those will also be decided next week.

In one of those cases, international flower delivery group Interflora Inc and its UK unit are suing British retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) for using the keyword "Interflora" and variants to trigger ads for itself, in the hope of luring flower buyers to its own service.

Interflora says its bidding costs for its own name as a keyword leapt as much as 14-fold when Google changed its policy in Britain in 2008, increasing its costs by a total of $750,000 in the first year after the change.

In the Google case, experts believe the court will rule at least partly in the Web giant's favor, based on the September nonbinding opinion of the court's Advocate General that Google did not infringe brand owners' rights by allowing advertisers to buy keywords corresponding to trademarks.

But the case, which originated in the French courts, is unlikely to completely absolve Google of future responsibility, with further litigation in European countries guaranteed.

"It's my feeling Google is going to win, but it's not going to be an ultimate victory for Google," said Alex Montagu, a New York-based attorney who specializes in intellectual property and international commerce transactions.

Though the hot-button issue of counterfeiting was not in front of the court, brand owners could still find Google liable in their host countries for "secondary infringement" by selling keywords to those who then infringe the trademark, such as counterfeiters.

"Where Google is not out of the woods is if Louis Vuitton can demonstrate that those sponsored links are being sold to people not authorized to use those trademarks, such as counterfeiters or the grey goods market," said Montagu.

He argues for an international convention to deal with the liability of Internet service providers, saying trademark law has not kept pace with the digital age.

EBay Inc (EBAY.O), which buys keywords from Google and also operates its own internal search, has similarly been sued by brand owners, including Louis Vuitton, in Europe and the United States over its use of keywords.

A favorable ruling for Google in Europe's top court could allow eBay to reargue cases it has lost in countries such as France considered sympathetic to the claims of brand owners.

Google currently faces eight cases alone in the United States over the sale of trademarked keywords, said Goldman.

A "nice, clean" ruling from the European Court of Justice could potentially influence U.S. law, said Goldman, who added: "It's very possible we'll get a very muddy, murky ruling."

"We take it for granted that Google can do whatever it's doing and that's not a question that anyone here (in the U.S.) has ever answered definitively." (Additional reporting by Foo Yun Chee in Brussels; Editing by Gary Hill)

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YouTube Motions Highlight How Entertainment Industry Lawsuits May Have Slowed Useful Platforms | View Clip
03/19/2010
Techdirt

from the letting-business-models-develop dept

We've already written up an analysis of the motions for summary judgment in the Viacom/Google YouTube lawsuit, suggesting that Google's arguments seem stronger. It still seems unlikely that either motion will persuade the judge to skip a trial altogether, but the motions are certainly a bit of a preview of what to expect at any trial. Most of the analysis out there sort of reiterates the talking points in the two motions, but Eric Goldman highlighted an important point that got me thinking in that time is working against Viacom here, as YouTube becomes more and more entrenched as a useful platform by the day:

Perhaps more importantly, the intervening time has been good to YouTube as a business and as a brand. In this sense, compare Grokster to YouTube. At the time of the Grokster cases, it was still very much an open question whether Grokster would ever evolve into a tool where legitimate activity dominated. While we might still have had that same question about YouTube in 2006, by 2010 YouTube has answered that question resoundingly. YouTube's business practices have matured, everyone has had positive legitimate experiences with YouTube (even behind-the-curve judges), and it's clear that major legitimate players have adopted YouTube as a platform for their legitimate activities. For example, YouTube's brief makes the point that all of the 2008 presidential candidates published YouTube videos as part of their campaign. I'm guessing no 2004 presidential candidates used Grokster for campaign purposes.

So as time goes on, YouTube solidifies a brand as a legitimate part of our information infrastructure. As we learn that the YouTube story has a happy ending, I suspect judges become less interested in punishing YouTube for past practices. For this reason (and others), I thought a lot of Viacom's inducement arguments ran hollow because they ran counter to my brand impressions of YouTube. I would also note that Viacom appears to be giving up its litigation over activity after May 2008, so even Viacom seems to be happy with YouTube in its current form.

Goldman goes on to point out that this may bring up some challenges heretofore unfaced in determining how the "inducement" standard works -- but, to me, it brings up an even more important issue: similar lawsuits against Napster and Grokster moved faster. Lots of people have commented on the fact that this particular lawsuit has taken three years from filing just to get to the summary judgment motions to be filed -- and during that time, Goldman is correct, YouTube has had a chance to mature, refine its business model, and do many things that we now find to be quite beneficial to society.

The same thing likely would have happened to both Napster and Grokster, if they had been given a chance to live. Executives behind each company repeatedly laid out strategies to mature their business models and to work as partners with the industry. It's just that they never got a chance to put those into practice because these sorts of lawsuits and rulings from judges forced them (effectively) out of business. In YouTube's case, the slow pace of this particular lawsuit has allowed it to firmly establish tons of viable, useful, valuable non-infringing uses -- to the point that it's a platform used by tons of companies, politicians, individuals and more. If Napster and Grokster had been given half a chance, they likely would have been able to evolve similarly.

And this is what is so painful about watching all these attempts by the entertainment industry to kill off any new technology that disrupts an old business model. These lawsuits kill off those technologies before the natural progression and maturation is allowed -- and because of that, we all suffer.

Now, some will scoff and claims that Grokster was never going to turn into what YouTube is today, but you're saying that with the gift of hindsight. A large part of Viacom's motion tries to suggest that the two companies actually were quite similar -- but even Viacom is now admitting that YouTube's business model was able to mature and adapt. Considering that we still don't have music discovery, promotion and distribution tools as convenient as Napster was back in the day, this can be seen as a real shame. These lawsuits killed off a useful path of exploration for legitimate business models, and that's not only shameful but a waste of innovative effort. It's only through the random quirk of a slow court that YouTube may avoid suffering the same fate.

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Google likely to win EU court battle over ads | View Clip
03/19/2010
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

LONDON -- Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising - but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor - or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature - under pressure from Google and others - repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

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Google executives called YouTube a 'pirate' site | View Clip
03/19/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

In spring 2006, Google was roiled in intense debate as the company considered whether to buy the wildly popular video-sharing site YouTube.

Revealing e-mails and other internal communications unsealed Thursday as part of a $1 billion lawsuit brought by Viacom show that many top Googlers — all the way up to co-founder Sergey Brin — were concerned about YouTube's copyright piracy problems and how they could reflect badly on Google's ethics.

"As Sergey pointed out," Google executive David Eun wrote in a June 2006 e-mail circulated among top Google executives, "is changing a policy to increase traffic knowing beforehand that we'll profit from illegal downloads how we want to conduct our business? Is this Googley?"

The outcome of the case is expected to have broad ramifications for how commercial content is posted to the Web. Viacom sued YouTube in 2007, saying it had violated federal law by allowing others to upload more than 60,000 copyrighted videos without authorization, including versions of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "South Park."

Google executives — who previously had referred to YouTube as a "rogue enabler of content theft" whose "business model is completely sustained by pirated content" — nevertheless agreed to pay $1.65 billion to buy YouTube in 2006. In its filings in U.S. District Court in New York, YouTube said that Viacom, which owns Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central and other entertainment

properties, secretly tried to use YouTube's popularity to promote its content, posting "roughed up" videos to make them look stolen or leaked, and even sending employees to Kinko's to upload clips that couldn't be traced back to Viacom.

The collateral damage from the no-holds-barred legal battle could ding the reputations of both companies, observers said Thursday after the court material was released. "It is ridiculous that these parties have not settled," said Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University. "It's like a prize fight — they are both scoring points; they are both beating each other up. But instead of making money from the fight, they are paying to be in it. That's really dumb."

"For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately "roughed up" the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko"s to upload clips from computers that couldn"t be traced to Viacom."

"” YouTube blog

"I think we should beat YouTube "” and all competitors "” but not at all costs. A large part of their traffic is from pirated content. ... One senior media executive told me they are monitoring YouTube very closely and referred to them as a "video Grokster.—‰"

"” E-mail from Google content executive David Eun to CEO Eric Schmidt, May 12, 2006

"I can"t believe your recommending buying YouTube. Besides the ridiculous valuation they think they"re entitled to, they"re 80% illegal pirated content."

"” A May 10, 2006, e-mail from Google Video business product manager Ethan Anderson to Google executive Patrick Walker

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Google likely to win EU court battle over ads | View Clip
03/19/2010
Salon.com

Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising -- but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor -- or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature -- under pressure from Google and others -- repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

Return to Top



Viacom Says YouTube Ignored Copyrights | View Clip
03/19/2010
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Online

By MIGUEL HELFT, The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pointing to internal YouTube e-mail messages, Viacom said in a court filing that the video site's founders turned a blind eye when users uploaded copyrighted clips so they could amass a big audience and sell the company quickly.

The charge was one of many made by Viacom in filings unsealed on Thursday in its three-year-old copyright lawsuit against YouTube and Google, which bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion.

Google fired back, saying Viacom was distorting the record by taking passages from e-mail messages out of context. It also said Viacom employees and agents "continuously and secretly" uploaded clips from the company's television shows and movies to YouTube for promotional purposes, even as they were complaining about copyright violations.

"They are both tearing each other up, and both are scoring points," said Eric Goldman, director of the High-Tech Law Institute at the Santa Clara University School of Law.

The lawsuit accused YouTube of profiting from thousands of clips from Viacom movies and shows that were uploaded to the site without permission.

It was filed at the height of tensions between Google and media companies over copyrights -- tensions that have since eased substantially. YouTube, which is by far the Web's largest video site, has set up an automated system to detect infringing videos and signed revenue-sharing agreements with more than a thousand media companies.

But more broadly, media companies remain wary of losing control as more of their products become digital, making them easier to copy.

As part of their motions for summary judgment in the case, both sides released hundreds of pages of documents and exhibits on Thursday, including internal documents obtained through the discovery process.

Among them were scores of e-mail messages from YouTube's founders -- Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim -- discussing what to do about clips uploaded to YouTube that clearly belonged to major studios or television networks.

In a 2005 e-mail message to Roelof Botha, a partner at Sequoia Capital, YouTube's major outside investor, Mr. Chen described a system that the company had put in place for users to flag copyrighted and pornographic content: "That way, the perception is that we are concerned about this type of material and we're actively monitoring it."

Mr. Chen goes on to acknowledge that much of the infringing material will remain on the site, but that users won't be able to easily stumble upon it.

Google countered that the message was truncated and taken out of context, and that it merely suggested that YouTube was serious about policing its site for copyrighted content.

One e-mail message revealed that even as YouTube's founders were discussing how to deal with copyrighted clips, one of them was uploading such material.

In July 2005, Mr. Chen wrote: "Jawed, please stop putting stolen videos on the site. We're going to have a tough time defending the fact that we're not liable for the copyrighted material on the site because we didn't put it up when one of the co-founders is blatantly stealing content from other sites and trying to get everyone to see it." Google said that message referred to "viral videos," not pirated media content.

In another e-mail message from January 2006, a Google executive refers to a conversation with Mr. Hurley and another YouTube executive about copyrights, and compares YouTube with the much less popular Google Video service.

"YouTube is at an advantage b/c they aren't the target that we are with issues like this. They are aware of this (I spoke with them on Friday) and they plan on exploiting this in order to get more and more traffic."

In its brief, Google pointed to internal Viacom documents in which executives discussed buying YouTube and described it primarily as a place for user-created videos, not a haven for pirated content as they assert in the suit.

"Consumption of 'branded' content on YT is relatively low," an executive wrote in an internal presentation from July 2006.

Google also said Viacom filed the suit only when its negotiations over a partnership agreement with YouTube ended after Google bought the site. It said the suit was part of a push to get better licensing terms for its content.

Google said Viacom used various methods to cover its tracks when uploading videos to YouTube. It hired outside marketing agents, used e-mail addresses that couldn't be traced to Viacom when registering accounts and uploaded videos from places like Kinko's, rather than from company computers, Google said.

In one e-mail exchange, employees of the MTV unit of Viacom discussed how to alter a clip they were uploading so it would appear to be unauthorized, presumably because that might generate more interest in it online. "The goal is to make it look 'hijacked,' " one employee wrote.

"Viacom's efforts to hide the source of the content it caused to be posted on YouTube were too good," Google said in its filing, adding that "Viacom and its lawyers were unable to recognize that dozens of the clips alleged as infringements in this case were uploaded to YouTube with Viacom's express authorization."

Given Viacom's tactics, Google argued that it would have been impossible for its employees to know which videos were uploaded without permission. One of Google's central defenses is that YouTube always complied with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by promptly taking down videos whenever a copyright owner said they had been uploaded without permission.

The Viacom filing suggests that as Google was trying to compete with YouTube in early 2006, executives at the highest levels of Google debated whether to emulate YouTube's more lax approach to copyright.

"Is changing our policy to increase traffic knowing before that we'll profit from illegal downloads how we want to conduct business? Is this Googley?" asked David Eun, then a vice president for content partnerships.

The filings suggest that Eric E. Schmidt, the chief executive, supported a more liberal copyright policy for Google Video, while Sergey Brin, a co-founder, opposed it.

At one point, a Google Video executive recoiled at the notion that Google would buy YouTube: "I can't believe you're recommending buying YouTube... they're 80% illegal pirated content." Google bought YouTube six months later.

While most media companies are no longer fighting with YouTube, some of the biggest still view it as a rival. Despite a multitude of content deals, YouTube has struggled to build a large database of full-length television shows and movies. And it faces rising competition for that kind of content from sites like Hulu, a joint venture between NBC Universal, Fox and ABC.

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Google Nearing AdWords Ruling in Europe | View Clip
03/19/2010
PC Magazine

03.19.10

SAN FRANCISCO/LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - Google Inc could win a widely expected victory next week in Europe's top court and still face many more battles over keyword advertising, the backbone of its Internet business model.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg will rule on Tuesday whether or not Google infringes the trademark rights of such companies as Louis Vuitton through its Adwords service, in which advertisers pay to use keywords that are the companies' proprietary brand names.

In Google's Adwords service, advertisers pay a fee so that "sponsored links" to their own websites pop up beside a user's keyword search results.

"This case has the potential to shape global standards for the legitimacy of keyword advertising," said Eric Goldman, an associate professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law, who called that a "multibillion-dollar question."

"We're going to get new and highly influential legal guidance on the legitimacy of that practice," he said. "That has the potential to move billions of dollars in our industry."

Brand owners will closely examine next week's judgment on three cases, one of which was brought by Louis Vuitton, as they try to protect their trademarks against a practice they say undermines their cachet.

Buying a sponsored link on a keyword such as "Nike" can be useful for retailers who stock goods of that brand—yet the retailers do not pay Nike (NKE.N) for using the brand name. More controversially, Nike's rivals might buy it as a keyword, hoping to divert trade and traffic to themselves.

At the extreme, brands like Louis Vuitton and others fear that a loss of control of their brands to less-than-desirable outfits—such as counterfeiters—would damage painstakingly managed reputations or confuse and drive away consumers.

NO CLEAN WIN

The case is the first at such a high level to test Google's liability, rather than that of the advertisers buying keywords.

Google used to block advertisers from buying others' brand names as keywords, but in 2004 it changed its policy in North America and four years later extended that to Britain and Ireland. Google says it will honor valid complaints from brand owners and prevent their rivals from using a trademarked keyword in their ad text, but some trademark holders say they should not be sold in the first place.

The stakes are high in this murky area of law because paid ads are a mainstay of Google's business and a foundation of commerce in the digital age. Courts in various member states within the European Union have issued disparate rulings, and U.S. decisions are similarly inconsistent.

Although Google does not break out revenue from its paid ads, it derives 97 percent of its annual revenue of nearly $24 billion from advertising.

Cases from five European nations brought by brand owners against advertisers are also pending in the European Court of Justice. The first of those will also be decided next week.

In one of those cases, international flower delivery group Interflora Inc and its UK unit are suing British retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) for using the keyword "Interflora" and variants to trigger ads for itself, in the hope of luring flower buyers to its own service.

Interflora says its bidding costs for its own name as a keyword leapt as much as 14-fold when Google changed its policy in Britain in 2008, increasing its costs by a total of $750,000 in the first year after the change.

In the Google case, experts believe the court will rule at least partly in the Web giant's favor, based on the September nonbinding opinion of the court's Advocate General that Google did not infringe brand owners' rights by allowing advertisers to buy keywords corresponding to trademarks.

But the case, which originated in the French courts, is unlikely to completely absolve Google of future responsibility, with further litigation in European countries guaranteed.

"It's my feeling Google is going to win, but it's not going to be an ultimate victory for Google," said Alex Montagu, a New York-based attorney who specializes in intellectual property and international commerce transactions.

Though the hot-button issue of counterfeiting was not in front of the court, brand owners could still find Google liable in their host countries for "secondary infringement" by selling keywords to those who then infringe the trademark, such as counterfeiters.

"Where Google is not out of the woods is if Louis Vuitton can demonstrate that those sponsored links are being sold to people not authorized to use those trademarks, such as counterfeiters or the grey goods market," said Montagu.

He argues for an international convention to deal with the liability of Internet service providers, saying trademark law has not kept pace with the digital age.

EBay Inc , which buys keywords from Google and also operates its own internal search, has similarly been sued by brand owners, including Louis Vuitton, in Europe and the United States over its use of keywords.

A favorable ruling for Google in Europe's top court could allow eBay to reargue cases it has lost in countries such as France considered sympathetic to the claims of brand owners.

Google currently faces eight cases alone in the United States over the sale of trademarked keywords, said Goldman.

A "nice, clean" ruling from the European Court of Justice could potentially influence U.S. law, said Goldman, who added: "It's very possible we'll get a very muddy, murky ruling."

"We take it for granted that Google can do whatever it's doing and that's not a question that anyone here (in the U.S.) has ever answered definitively." (Additional reporting by Foo Yun Chee in Brussels; Editing by Gary Hill)

© Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved. Users may download and print extracts of content from this website for their own personal and non-commercial use only. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

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Viacom Says YouTube Ignored Copyrights | View Clip
03/19/2010
New York Times - Online

SAN FRANCISCO Pointing to internal YouTube e-mail messages, Viacom said in a court filing that the video sites founders turned a blind eye when users uploaded copyrighted clips so they could amass a big audience and sell the company quickly.

The charge was one of many made by Viacom in in its three-year-old copyright lawsuit against YouTube and Google, which bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion.

Google fired back, saying Viacom was distorting the record by taking passages from e-mail messages out of context. It also said Viacom employees and agents continuously and secretly uploaded clips from the companys television shows and movies to YouTube for promotional purposes, even as they were complaining about copyright violations. They are both tearing each other up, and both are scoring points, said Eric Goldman, director of the High-Tech Law Institute at the Santa Clara University School of Law.

The lawsuit accused YouTube of profiting from thousands of clips from Viacom movies and shows that were uploaded to the site without permission.

It was filed at the height of tensions between Google and media companies over copyrights tensions that have since eased substantially. YouTube, which is by far the Webs largest video site, has set up an automated system to detect infringing videos and signed revenue-sharing agreements with more than a thousand media companies.

But more broadly, media companies remain wary of losing control as more of their products become digital, making them easier to copy.

As part of their motions for summary judgment in the case, both sides released hundreds of pages of documents and exhibits on Thursday, including internal documents obtained through the discovery process.

Among them were scores of e-mail messages from YouTubes founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim discussing what to do about clips uploaded to YouTube that clearly belonged to major studios or television networks.

In a 2005 e-mail message to Roelof Botha, a partner at Sequoia Capital, YouTubes major outside investor, Mr. Chen described a system that the company had put in place for users to flag copyrighted and pornographic content: That way, the perception is that we are concerned about this type of material and were actively monitoring it. Mr. Chen goes on to acknowledge that much of the infringing material will remain on the site, but that users wont be able to easily stumble upon it.

Google countered that the message was truncated and taken out of context, and that it merely suggested that YouTube was serious about policing its site for copyrighted content.

One e-mail message revealed that even as YouTubes founders were discussing how to deal with copyrighted clips, one of them was uploading such material.

In July 2005, Mr. Chen wrote: Jawed, please stop putting stolen videos on the site. Were going to have a tough time defending the fact that were not liable for the copyrighted material on the site because we didnt put it up when one of the co-founders is blatantly stealing content from other sites and trying to get everyone to see it. Google said that message referred to viral videos, not pirated media content.

In another e-mail message from January 2006, a Google executive refers to a conversation with Mr. Hurley and another YouTube executive about copyrights, and compares YouTube with the much less popular Google Video service. YouTube is at an advantage b/c they arent the target that we are with issues like this. They are aware of this (I spoke with them on Friday) and they plan on exploiting this in order to get more and more traffic. In its brief, Google pointed to internal Viacom documents in which executives discussed buying YouTube and described it primarily as a place for user-created videos, not a haven for pirated content as they assert in the suit. Consumption of branded content on YT is relatively low, an executive wrote in an internal presentation from July 2006. Doctors preach the importance of a good nights rest yet are often sleep-deprived themselves.

Local control of schools is often an enemy of high-quality public education, writes Susan Jacoby.

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Barbs Traded By Viacom And YouTube
03/19/2010
New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pointing to internal YouTube e-mail messages, Viacom said in a court filing that the video site's founders turned a blind eye when users uploaded copyrighted clips so they could amass a big audience and sell the company quickly.

The charge was one of many made by Viacom in filings unsealed on Thursday in its three-year-old copyright lawsuit against YouTube and Google, which bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion.

Google fired back, saying Viacom was distorting the record by taking passages from e-mail messages out of context. It also said Viacom employees and agents ''continuously and secretly'' uploaded clips from the company's television shows and movies to YouTube for promotional purposes, even as they were complaining about copyright violations.

''They are both tearing each other up, and both are scoring points,'' said Eric Goldman, director of the High-Tech Law Institute at the Santa Clara University School of Law.

The lawsuit accused YouTube of profiting from thousands of clips from Viacom movies and shows that were uploaded to the site without permission.

It was filed at the height of tensions between Google and media companies over copyrights -- tensions that have since eased substantially. YouTube, which is by far the Web's largest video site, has set up an automated system to detect infringing videos and signed revenue-sharing agreements with more than a thousand media companies.

But more broadly, media companies remain wary of losing control as more of their products become digital, making them easier to copy.

As part of their motions for summary judgment in the case, both sides released hundreds of pages of documents and exhibits on Thursday, including internal documents obtained through the discovery process.

Among them were scores of e-mail messages from YouTube's founders -- Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim -- discussing what to do about clips uploaded to YouTube that clearly belonged to major studios or television networks.

In a 2005 e-mail message to Roelof Botha, a partner at Sequoia Capital, YouTube's major outside investor, Mr. Chen described a system that the company had put in place for users to flag copyrighted and pornographic content: ''That way, the perception is that we are concerned about this type of material and we're actively monitoring it.''

Mr. Chen goes on to acknowledge that much of the infringing material will remain on the site, but that users won't be able to easily stumble upon it.

Google countered that the message was truncated and taken out of context, and that it merely suggested that YouTube was serious about policing its site for copyrighted content.

One e-mail message revealed that even as YouTube's founders were discussing how to deal with copyrighted clips, one of them was uploading such material.

In July 2005, Mr. Chen wrote: ''Jawed, please stop putting stolen videos on the site. We're going to have a tough time defending the fact that we're not liable for the copyrighted material on the site because we didn't put it up when one of the co-founders is blatantly stealing content from other sites and trying to get everyone to see it.'' Google said that message referred to ''viral videos,'' not pirated media content.

In another e-mail message from January 2006, a Google executive refers to a conversation with Mr. Hurley and another YouTube executive about copyrights, and compares YouTube with the much less popular Google Video service.

''YouTube is at an advantage b/c they aren't the target that we are with issues like this. They are aware of this (I spoke with them on Friday) and they plan on exploiting this in order to get more and more traffic.''

In its brief, Google pointed to internal Viacom documents in which executives discussed buying YouTube and described it primarily as a place for user-created videos, not a haven for pirated content as they assert in the suit.

''Consumption of 'branded' content on YT is relatively low,'' an executive wrote in an internal presentation from July 2006.

Google also said Viacom filed the suit only when its negotiations over a partnership agreement with YouTube ended after Google bought the site. It said the suit was part of a push to get better licensing terms for its content.

Google said Viacom used various methods to cover its tracks when uploading videos to YouTube. It hired outside marketing agents, used e-mail addresses that couldn't be traced to Viacom when registering accounts and uploaded videos from places like Kinko's, rather than from company computers, Google said.

In one e-mail exchange, employees of the MTV unit of Viacom discussed how to alter a clip they were uploading so it would appear to be unauthorized, presumably because that might generate more interest in it online. ''The goal is to make it look 'hijacked,' '' one employee wrote.

''Viacom's efforts to hide the source of the content it caused to be posted on YouTube were too good,'' Google said in its filing, adding that ''Viacom and its lawyers were unable to recognize that dozens of the clips alleged as infringements in this case were uploaded to YouTube with Viacom's express authorization.''

Given Viacom's tactics, Google argued that it would have been impossible for its employees to know which videos were uploaded without permission. One of Google's central defenses is that YouTube always complied with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by promptly taking down videos whenever a copyright owner said they had been uploaded without permission.

The Viacom filing suggests that as Google was trying to compete with YouTube in early 2006, executives at the highest levels of Google debated whether to emulate YouTube's more lax approach to copyright.

''Is changing our policy to increase traffic knowing before that we'll profit from illegal downloads how we want to conduct business? Is this Googley?'' asked David Eun, then a vice president for content partnerships.

The filings suggest that Eric E. Schmidt, the chief executive, supported a more liberal copyright policy for Google Video, while Sergey Brin, a co-founder, opposed it.

At one point, a Google Video executive recoiled at the notion that Google would buy YouTube: ''I can't believe you're recommending buying YouTube... they're 80% illegal pirated content.'' Google bought YouTube six months later.

While most media companies are no longer fighting with YouTube, some of the biggest still view it as a rival. Despite a multitude of content deals, YouTube has struggled to build a large database of full-length television shows and movies. And it faces rising competition for that kind of content from sites like Hulu, a joint venture between NBC Universal, Fox and ABC.

Copyright © 2010 The New York Times Company

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Google likely to win EU court battle over ads | View Clip
03/19/2010
Merced Sun-Star - Online

LONDON -- Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising - but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor - or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature - under pressure from Google and others - repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

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Google likely to win EU court battle over ads | View Clip
03/19/2010
Los Angeles Daily News - Online

LONDON — Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising — but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google's practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

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Google likely to win EU court battle over ads | View Clip
03/19/2010
Lexington Herald-Leader - Online

LONDON -- Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising - but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor - or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature - under pressure from Google and others - repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

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Google, Viacom Don't Hold Back in Dueling Motions | View Clip
03/19/2010
Law Blog - Wall Street Journal Blogs

We find pretty amusing this notion that a bunch of Viacom employees secretly uploaded hordes of their own copyrighted videos to YouTube in order to bolster their copyright lawsuit against YouTube's parent company, Google.

We have no idea if it's true, of course, but the allegation is out there, as of Thursday.

In dueling summary-judgment motions unveiled Thursday in the long-running, heated battle between Google and YouTube, some new intriguing allegations were revealed. Among them, that Viacom that Google's YouTube unit had sought to exploit copyrighted works for profit, and, yes, that Viacom itself had secretly uploaded copyrighted clips it later demanded YouTube remove. Click here for the WSJ story; here for the NYT story; here for Google's summary judgment motion; here for Viacom's SJ motion. (We've got a clash of the legal titans here: Google is represented by lawyers from Wilson Sonsini and Mayer Brown; Viacom is repped by Shearman & Sterling and Jenner & Block.) The case is in front of New York federal judge Louis Stanton.

A quick breakdown of the arguments:

Viacom, the owner of Paramount Pictures, MTV and Comedy Central, cites internal YouTube memos and emails to argue that YouTube actively encouraged the distribution of infringing content, thereby disqualifying it from immunity under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

For example, Viacom cites a July 19, 2005, email in which YouTube co-founder Steve Chen reprimanded co-founder Jawed Karim for putting “stolen videos on the site.” “We're going to have a tough time defending the fact that we're not liable for the copyrighted material on the site because we didn't put it up, when one of the co-founders is blatantly stealing content from other sites and trying to get everyone to see it,” he wrote.

Google says the exchange was over viral videos, not “supposed piracy of media content.”

For its part, Google, presents evidence that Viacom executives actively marketed their shows on YouTube, often secretly. It also says that Viacom uploaded some of the clips it demanded removed.

Michael Fricklas, Viacom's general counsel, said Viacom was responsible for uploading only “a couple hundred” out of tens of thousands of clips originally cited in its lawsuit. He described Google's assertions as “red herrings” not relevant to the case.

So who won the battle of the SJ briefs? Eric Goldman, associate professor at Santa Clara University School of Law and director of the High Tech Law Institute, told the WSJ that both sides scored points. He said he was persuaded by Google's argument that Viacom's own lawyers couldn't identify which clips were authorized to go up on YouTube and which weren't. But he said that Viacom's evidence that Google executives were aware that YouTube was filled with infringing content was also powerful.

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Google likely to win EU court battle over ads | View Clip
03/19/2010
KESQ-TV - Online

Associated Press Writer

LONDON (AP) - Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising - but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor - or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature - under pressure from Google and others - repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Google likely to win EU court battle over ads | View Clip
03/19/2010
Kansas City Star - Online

Posted on Fri, Mar. 19, 2010 03:37 PM Buzz Up

Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising - but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor - or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature - under pressure from Google and others - repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

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Google adword win in Europe wouldn't end battles | View Clip
03/19/2010
IT Business Net

SAN FRANCISCO/LONDON (Reuters) - Google Inc could win a widely expected victory next week in Europe's top court and still face many more battles over keyword advertising, the backbone of its Internet business model.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg will rule on Tuesday whether or not Google infringes the trademark rights of such companies as Louis Vuitton through its Adwords service, in which advertisers pay to use keywords that are the companies' proprietary brand names.

In Google's Adwords service, advertisers pay a fee so that "sponsored links" to their own websites pop up beside a user's keyword search results.

"This case has the potential to shape global standards for the legitimacy of keyword advertising," said Eric Goldman, an associate professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law, who called that a "multibillion-dollar question."

"We're going to get new and highly influential legal guidance on the legitimacy of that practice," he said. "That has the potential to move billions of dollars in our industry."

Brand owners will closely examine next week's judgment on three cases, one of which was brought by Louis Vuitton , as they try to protect their trademarks against a practice they say undermines their cachet.

Buying a sponsored link on a keyword such as "Nike" can be useful for retailers who stock goods of that brand -- yet the retailers do not pay Nike for using the brand name. More controversially, Nike's rivals might buy it as a keyword, hoping to divert trade and traffic to themselves.

At the extreme, brands like Louis Vuitton and others fear that a loss of control of their brands to less-than-desirable outfits -- such as counterfeiters -- would damage painstakingly managed reputations or confuse and drive away consumers.

NO CLEAN WIN

The case is the first at such a high level to test Google's liability, rather than that of the advertisers buying keywords.

Google used to block advertisers from buying others' brand names as keywords, but in 2004 it changed its policy in North America and four years later extended that to Britain and Ireland. Google says it will honor valid complaints from brand owners and prevent their rivals from using a trademarked keyword in their ad text, but some trademark holders say they should not be sold in the first place.

The stakes are high in this murky area of law because paid ads are a mainstay of Google's business and a foundation of commerce in the digital age. Courts in various member states within the European Union have issued disparate rulings, and U.S. decisions are similarly inconsistent.

Although Google does not break out revenue from its paid ads, it derives 97 percent of its annual revenue of nearly $24 billion from advertising.

Cases from five European nations brought by brand owners against advertisers are also pending in the European Court of Justice. The first of those will also be decided next week.

In one of those cases, international flower delivery group Interflora Inc and its UK unit are suing British retailer Marks & Spencer for using the keyword "Interflora" and variants to trigger ads for itself, in the hope of luring flower buyers to its own service.

Interflora says its bidding costs for its own name as a keyword leapt as much as 14-fold when Google changed its policy in Britain in 2008, increasing its costs by a total of $750,000 in the first year after the change.

In the Google case, experts believe the court will rule at least partly in the Web giant's favor, based on the September nonbinding opinion of the court's Advocate General that Google did not infringe brand owners' rights by allowing advertisers to buy keywords corresponding to trademarks.

But the case, which originated in the French courts, is unlikely to completely absolve Google of future responsibility, with further litigation in European countries guaranteed.

"It's my feeling Google is going to win, but it's not going to be an ultimate victory for Google," said Alex Montagu, a New York-based attorney who specializes in intellectual property and international commerce transactions.

Though the hot-button issue of counterfeiting was not in front of the court, brand owners could still find Google liable in their host countries for "secondary infringement" by selling keywords to those who then infringe the trademark, such as counterfeiters.

"Where Google is not out of the woods is if Louis Vuitton can demonstrate that those sponsored links are being sold to people not authorized to use those trademarks, such as counterfeiters or the grey goods market," said Montagu.

He argues for an international convention to deal with the liability of Internet service providers, saying trademark law has not kept pace with the digital age.

EBay Inc , which buys keywords from Google and also operates its own internal search, has similarly been sued by brand owners, including Louis Vuitton, in Europe and the United States over its use of keywords.

A favorable ruling for Google in Europe's top court could allow eBay to reargue cases it has lost in countries such as France considered sympathetic to the claims of brand owners.

Google currently faces eight cases alone in the United States over the sale of trademarked keywords, said Goldman.

A "nice, clean" ruling from the European Court of Justice could potentially influence U.S. law, said Goldman, who added: "It's very possible we'll get a very muddy, murky ruling."

"We take it for granted that Google can do whatever it's doing and that's not a question that anyone here (in the U.S.) has ever answered definitively."

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Google adword win in Europe wouldn't end battles | View Clip
03/19/2010
International Business Times

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could win a widely expected victory next week in Europe's top court and still face many more battles over keyword advertising, the backbone of its Internet business model.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg will rule on Tuesday whether or not Google infringes the trademark rights of such companies as Louis Vuitton through its Adwords service, in which advertisers pay to use keywords that are the companies' proprietary brand names.

In Google's Adwords service, advertisers pay a fee so that "sponsored links" to their own websites pop up beside a user's keyword search results.

"This case has the potential to shape global standards for the legitimacy of keyword advertising," said Eric Goldman, an associate professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law, who called that a "multibillion-dollar question."

"We're going to get new and highly influential legal guidance on the legitimacy of that practice," he said. "That has the potential to move billions of dollars in our industry."

Brand owners will closely examine next week's judgment on three cases, one of which was brought by Louis Vuitton

, as they try to protect their trademarks against a practice they say undermines their cachet.

Buying a sponsored link on a keyword such as "Nike" can be useful for retailers who stock goods of that brand -- yet the retailers do not pay Nike

for using the brand name. More controversially, Nike's rivals might buy it as a keyword, hoping to divert trade and traffic to themselves.

At the extreme, brands like Louis Vuitton and others fear that a loss of control of their brands to less-than-desirable outfits -- such as counterfeiters -- would damage painstakingly managed reputations or confuse and drive away consumers.

NO CLEAN WIN

The case is the first at such a high level to test Google's liability, rather than that of the advertisers buying keywords.

Google used to block advertisers from buying others' brand names as keywords, but in 2004 it changed its policy in North America and four years later extended that to Britain and Ireland. Google says it will honor valid complaints from brand owners and prevent their rivals from using a trademarked keyword in their ad text, but some trademark holders say they should not be sold in the first place.

The stakes are high in this murky area of law because paid ads are a mainstay of Google's business and a foundation of commerce in the digital age. Courts in various member states within the European Union have issued disparate rulings, and U.S. decisions are similarly inconsistent.

Although Google does not break out revenue from its paid ads, it derives 97 percent of its annual revenue of nearly $24 billion from advertising.

Cases from five European nations brought by brand owners against advertisers are also pending in the European Court of Justice. The first of those will also be decided next week.

In one of those cases, international flower delivery group Interflora Inc and its UK unit are suing British retailer Marks & Spencer

for using the keyword "Interflora" and variants to trigger ads for itself, in the hope of luring flower buyers to its own service.

Interflora says its bidding costs for its own name as a keyword leapt as much as 14-fold when Google changed its policy in Britain in 2008, increasing its costs by a total of $750,000 in the first year after the change.

In the Google case, experts believe the court will rule at least partly in the Web giant's favor, based on the September nonbinding opinion of the court's Advocate General that Google did not infringe brand owners' rights by allowing advertisers to buy keywords corresponding to trademarks.

But the case, which originated in the French courts, is unlikely to completely absolve Google of future responsibility, with further litigation in European countries guaranteed.

"It's my feeling Google is going to win, but it's not going to be an ultimate victory for Google," said Alex Montagu, a New York-based attorney who specializes in intellectual property and international commerce transactions.

Though the hot-button issue of counterfeiting was not in front of the court, brand owners could still find Google liable in their host countries for "secondary infringement" by selling keywords to those who then infringe the trademark, such as counterfeiters.

"Where Google is not out of the woods is if Louis Vuitton can demonstrate that those sponsored links are being sold to people not authorized to use those trademarks, such as counterfeiters or the grey goods market," said Montagu.

He argues for an international convention to deal with the liability of Internet service providers, saying trademark law has not kept pace with the digital age.

EBay Inc

, which buys keywords from Google and also operates its own internal search, has similarly been sued by brand owners, including Louis Vuitton, in Europe and the United States over its use of keywords.

A favorable ruling for Google in Europe's top court could allow eBay to reargue cases it has lost in countries such as France considered sympathetic to the claims of brand owners.

Google currently faces eight cases alone in the United States over the sale of trademarked keywords, said Goldman.

A "nice, clean" ruling from the European Court of Justice could potentially influence U.S. law, said Goldman, who added: "It's very possible we'll get a very muddy, murky ruling."

"We take it for granted that Google can do whatever it's doing and that's not a question that anyone here (in the U.S.) has ever answered definitively."

Return to Top



Google likely to win EU court battle over ads | View Clip
03/19/2010
Huffington Post, The

LONDON — Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising – but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor – or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature – under pressure from Google and others – repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

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Google likely to win EU court battle over ads | View Clip
03/19/2010
Herald-Journal

APF

Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising - but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor - or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature - under pressure from Google and others - repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

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Google likely to win EU court battle over ads | View Clip
03/19/2010
Greenwich Time - Online

RAPHAEL G. SATTER, Associated Press Writer Published: 01:21 p.m., Friday, March 19, 2010

LONDON (AP) — Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising — but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor — or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature — under pressure from Google and others — repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

Return to Top



Google adword win in Europe wouldn't end battles | View Clip
03/19/2010
DVD Studio Pro

SAN FRANCISCO/LONDON (Reuters) - Google Inc could win a widely expected victory next week in Europe's top court and still face many more battles over keyword advertising, the backbone of its Internet business model.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg will rule on Tuesday whether or not Google infringes the trademark rights of such companies as Louis Vuitton through its Adwords service, in which advertisers pay to use keywords that are the companies' proprietary brand names.

In Google's Adwords service, advertisers pay a fee so that "sponsored links" to their own websites pop up beside a user's keyword search results.

"This case has the potential to shape global standards for the legitimacy of keyword advertising," said Eric Goldman, an associate professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law, who called that a "multibillion-dollar question."

"We're going to get new and highly influential legal guidance on the legitimacy of that practice," he said. "That has the potential to move billions of dollars in our industry."

Brand owners will closely examine next week's judgment on three cases, one of which was brought by Louis Vuitton , as they try to protect their trademarks against a practice they say undermines their cachet.

Buying a sponsored link on a keyword such as "Nike" can be useful for retailers who stock goods of that brand -- yet the retailers do not pay Nike for using the brand name. More controversially, Nike's rivals might buy it as a keyword, hoping to divert trade and traffic to themselves.

At the extreme, brands like Louis Vuitton and others fear that a loss of control of their brands to less-than-desirable outfits -- such as counterfeiters -- would damage painstakingly managed reputations or confuse and drive away consumers.

NO CLEAN WIN

The case is the first at such a high level to test Google's liability, rather than that of the advertisers buying keywords.

Google used to block advertisers from buying others' brand names as keywords, but in 2004 it changed its policy in North America and four years later extended that to Britain and Ireland. Google says it will honor valid complaints from brand owners and prevent their rivals from using a trademarked keyword in their ad text, but some trademark holders say they should not be sold in the first place.

The stakes are high in this murky area of law because paid ads are a mainstay of Google's business and a foundation of commerce in the digital age. Courts in various member states within the European Union have issued disparate rulings, and U.S. decisions are similarly inconsistent.

Although Google does not break out revenue from its paid ads, it derives 97 percent of its annual revenue of nearly $24 billion from advertising.

Cases from five European nations brought by brand owners against advertisers are also pending in the European Court of Justice. The first of those will also be decided next week.

In one of those cases, international flower delivery group Interflora Inc and its UK unit are suing British retailer Marks & Spencer for using the keyword "Interflora" and variants to trigger ads for itself, in the hope of luring flower buyers to its own service.

Interflora says its bidding costs for its own name as a keyword leapt as much as 14-fold when Google changed its policy in Britain in 2008, increasing its costs by a total of $750,000 in the first year after the change.

In the Google case, experts believe the court will rule at least partly in the Web giant's favor, based on the September nonbinding opinion of the court's Advocate General that Google did not infringe brand owners' rights by allowing advertisers to buy keywords corresponding to trademarks.

But the case, which originated in the French courts, is unlikely to completely absolve Google of future responsibility, with further litigation in European countries guaranteed.

"It's my feeling Google is going to win, but it's not going to be an ultimate victory for Google," said Alex Montagu, a New York-based attorney who specializes in intellectual property and international commerce transactions.

Though the hot-button issue of counterfeiting was not in front of the court, brand owners could still find Google liable in their host countries for "secondary infringement" by selling keywords to those who then infringe the trademark, such as counterfeiters.

"Where Google is not out of the woods is if Louis Vuitton can demonstrate that those sponsored links are being sold to people not authorized to use those trademarks, such as counterfeiters or the grey goods market," said Montagu.

He argues for an international convention to deal with the liability of Internet service providers, saying trademark law has not kept pace with the digital age.

EBay Inc , which buys keywords from Google and also operates its own internal search, has similarly been sued by brand owners, including Louis Vuitton, in Europe and the United States over its use of keywords.

A favorable ruling for Google in Europe's top court could allow eBay to reargue cases it has lost in countries such as France considered sympathetic to the claims of brand owners.

Google currently faces eight cases alone in the United States over the sale of trademarked keywords, said Goldman.

A "nice, clean" ruling from the European Court of Justice could potentially influence U.S. law, said Goldman, who added: "It's very possible we'll get a very muddy, murky ruling."

"We take it for granted that Google can do whatever it's doing and that's not a question that anyone here (in the U.S.) has ever answered definitively."

Return to Top



Google likely to win EU court battle over ads | View Clip
03/19/2010
CNBC - Online

By: The Associated Press | 19 Mar 2010 | 04:31 PM ET

LONDON - Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising — but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor — or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature — under pressure from Google and others — repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Google likely to win EU court battle over ads | View Clip
03/19/2010
Buffalo News - Online

Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising - but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor - or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature - under pressure from Google and others - repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

Return to Top



Google Likely To Win EU Court Battle Over Ads | View Clip
03/19/2010
Black Enterprise Magazine

Article written by Associated Press.

LONDON (AP) — Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising — but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor — or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature — under pressure from Google and others — repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

Return to Top



Youtube accuse Viacom of 'secret uploads' | View Clip
03/19/2010
BBC America

More than 24 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute

YouTube has accused media conglomerate Viacom of secretly uploading content to the video-sharing site whilst publicly complaining about its presence.

YouTube said it deliberately "roughed up" any uploaded videos to make them look stolen or leaked.

The accusation was made as a court prepares to rule in a $1bn suit brought by Viacom against Youtube for "massive intentional copyright infringement".

Viacom said it had identified 150,000 such infringements on the site.

"YouTube was intentionally built on infringement and there are countless internal YouTube communications demonstrating that YouTube's founders and its employees intended to profit from that infringement," Viacom said in a statement.

"By their own admission, the site contained 'truckloads' of infringing content."

But Zahavah Levine, YouTube's chief counsel, accused Viacom of covert operations to add copyright infringing content.

"For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there," she wrote in a blog post.

Looking at the quotes, claims and counter-claims, it really reads like the stuff of soaps.

"It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately 'roughed up' the videos to make them look stolen or leaked.

"It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko's to upload clips from computers that couldn't be traced to Viacom."

'Evil'

Viacom's 2007 lawsuit centres around a claim that YouTube consistently allowed unauthorised copies of popular TV shows and movies to be posted to its website and viewed tens of thousands of times.

The company said it had identified more thousands of abuses including clips from shows such as South Park, SpongeBob SquarePants and MTV Unplugged.

YouTube has always argued that it is covered by law through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which states that publishers are not responsible for material posted by users.


YouTube boasts the biggest video sharing audience in the world

Companies are required by law to remove unauthorised clips from sites when they have been notified by the owner.

YouTube has insisted it has followed that rule and a month before the lawsuit, it took down more than 100,000 clips at Viacom's request.

But Viacom claims that YouTube founders flouted copyright and deliberately encouraged it in favour of increasing traffic to the site.

Documents revealed in court quoted a message sent on 19 June 2005 from YouTube co-founder Steve Chen to fellow co-founders Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim.

"Jawed (Karim), please stop putting stolen videos on the site. We're going to have a tough time defending the fact that we're not liable for the copyrighted material on the site because we didn't put it up when one of the co-founders is blatantly stealing content from other sites and trying to get everyone to see it," said the e-mail.

Another e-mail from Mr Chen to staff in the early days of the start-up's life said the company "should concentrate all our efforts in building up our numbers as aggressively as we can through whatever tactics, however evil".

The documents also reveal that Viacom considered buying YouTube just months before it launched the suit. Executives from Viacom thought it would be a "transformative acquisition".

They were eventually beaten by Google, which bought the site for $1.65bn.

'Prize fight'

Journalists and bloggers covering the story have said the whole affair smacks of a something you would see on TV.

"This looks like a reality show but the audience doesn't get a vote," Peter Kafka, senior editor of the news and technology blog AllThingsD.com told BBC News.

"The only person both sides have to win over is the judge. This is court filing of a three year-old case and the industry has moved on and realised this stuff is hard to monetise."

Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Institute of Santa Clara University, told the San Jose Mercury News, that there will be no real winners in this legal battle.

"It's like a prize fight - they are both scoring points; they are both beating each other up. But instead of making money from the fight, they are paying to be in it. That's really dumb"

US District Judge Louis Stanton has given both parties until 30 April to file opposing arguments to each other's motions. All the arguments are expected to be completed by June.

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Google likely to win EU court battle over ads
03/19/2010
Associated Press (AP)

LONDON_Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising _ but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor _ or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature _ under pressure from Google and others _ repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Return to Top



Google likely to win EU court battle over ads
03/19/2010
Associated Press (AP)

LONDON_Google looks likely to win a European high court battle over how it uses keywords in advertising _ but legal experts say the issue is likely to keep rattling the search giant.

Rights owners have long complained about Google Inc.'s practice of allowing advertisers to promote their products to customers searching for a rival's goods. Software, airline, luxury goods companies and even a law firm have taken Google to court in a bid to stop the practice, arguing that it hijacks their brand name and misleads consumers.

The case being decided at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg next week pits Google against a number of French luxury goods firms including LVMH, the firm behind Louis Vuitton handbags.

The companies complain that Google broke the law by accepting ads using brand names without permission, and they fear that counterfeiters and unofficial online stores can buy a keyword such as "Louis Vuitton" and use it to advertise bogus bags.

Even if the LVMH Moet Hennessy lawsuit fails next week, the ruling is unlikely to staunch the flow of legal action against Google in the U.S., according to Eric Goldman, who heads the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University of Law.

"Typically the U.S. is rather blase about foreign legal developments," Goldman said. "So no matter what we hear from the European Court of Justice on Tuesday, it won't directly shape legal standards here."

Google, the world's most popular search engine, makes most of its revenue by selling advertising triggered by words entered into its search bar. When a user searches for "shoes" or visits a partner site that mentions those words, advertising for footwear retailers often appear at the head of the search results or to the side. A word for a company's brand name can trigger a sponsored ad for the company itself, but it might trigger an ad for a competitor _ or even counterfeiters.

At least eight lawsuits related to the practice are still pending against Google in the U.S. alone, according to Goldman.

But signs so far point to a favorable outcome for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company in next week's case in Europe. A European Union court adviser said last September that Google was not violating the companies' trademarks when it sold brand names as search keywords. Although the advice is nonbinding, the European Court has largely tended to follow it.

Goldman said "Google would be ecstatic if they got a ruling like that."

Google itself did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. The company has said that it screens its automated ad-placement system for obvious abuse of trademarks, but can't be held accountable for every instance in which an advertiser tries to buy a brand name.

It's not clear how much money Google makes from brand-name ads placed by third parties, but its ad word business as a whole is worth about $20 billion a year, so even a small percentage translates into a lot of money.

If the Google gets a clear win next week, Goldman said it would be a big plus for the search engine. American Airlines sued Google over the matter in 2007, only to settle the case a year later. That same year Utah's state legislature _ under pressure from Google and others _ repealed a trademark registry intended to prevent rival advertisers from luring customers searching for brand name products online. Other legal actions have been inconclusive or are still pending.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Google executives called YouTube a 'pirate' site | View Clip
03/19/2010
American Chronicle

Mar. 19--In spring 2006, Google was roiled in intense debate as the company considered whether to buy the wildly popular video-sharing site YouTube.

Revealing e-mails and other internal communications unsealed Thursday as part of a $1 billion lawsuit brought by Viacom show that many top Googlers -- all the way up to co-founder Sergey Brin -- were concerned about YouTube's copyright piracy problems and how they could reflect badly on Google's ethics.

"As Sergey pointed out," Google executive David Eun wrote in a June 2006 e-mail circulated among top Google executives, "is changing a policy to increase traffic knowing beforehand that we'll profit from illegal downloads how we want to conduct our business? Is this Googley?"

The outcome of the case is expected to have broad ramifications for how commercial content is posted to the Web. Viacom sued YouTube in 2007, saying it had violated federal law by allowing others to upload more than 60,000 copyrighted videos without authorization, including versions of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "South Park."

Google executives -- who previously had referred to YouTube as a "rogue enabler of content theft" whose "business model is completely sustained by pirated content" -- nevertheless agreed to pay $1.65 billion to buy YouTube in 2006. In its filings in U.S. District Court in New York, YouTube said that Viacom, which owns Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central and other entertainment

properties, secretly tried to use YouTube's popularity to promote its content, posting "roughed up" videos to make them look stolen or leaked, and even sending employees to Kinko's to upload clips that couldn't be traced back to Viacom.

The collateral damage from the no-holds-barred legal battle could ding the reputations of both companies, observers said Thursday after the court material was released. "It is ridiculous that these parties have not settled," said Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University. "It's like a prize fight -- they are both scoring points; they are both beating each other up. But instead of making money from the fight, they are paying to be in it. That's really dumb."

documents REVEALED

"For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately "roughed up" the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko"s to upload clips from computers that couldn"t be traced to Viacom." "" YouTube blog "I think we should beat YouTube "" and all competitors "" but not at all costs. A large part of their traffic is from pirated content. ... One senior media executive told me they are monitoring YouTube very closely and referred to them as a "video Grokster.--‰" "" E-mail from Google content executive David Eun to CEO Eric Schmidt, May 12, 2006 "I can"t believe your recommending buying YouTube. Besides the ridiculous valuation they think they"re entitled to, they"re 80% illegal pirated content." "" A May 10, 2006, e-mail from Google Video business product manager Ethan Anderson to Google executive Patrick Walker

To see more of the San Jose Mercury News, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.mercurynews.com.

Copyright (c) 2010, San Jose Mercury News, Calif.

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Google adword win in Europe wouldn't end battles | View Clip
03/18/2010
Yahoo! News

SAN FRANCISCO/LONDON (Reuters) – Google Inc (GOOG.O) could win a widely expected victory next week in Europe's top court and still face many more battles over keyword advertising, the backbone of its Internet business model.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg will rule on Tuesday whether or not Google infringes the trademark rights of such companies as Louis Vuitton through its Adwords service, in which advertisers pay to use keywords that are the companies' proprietary brand names.

In Google's Adwords service, advertisers pay a fee so that 'sponsored links' to their own websites pop up beside a user's keyword search results.

'This case has the potential to shape global standards for the legitimacy of keyword advertising,' said Eric Goldman, an associate professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law, who called that a 'multibillion-dollar question.'

'We're going to get new and highly influential legal guidance on the legitimacy of that practice,' he said. 'That has the potential to move billions of dollars in our industry.'

Brand owners will closely examine next week's judgment on three cases, one of which was brought by Louis Vuitton (LVMH.PA), as they try to protect their trademarks against a practice they say undermines their cachet.

Buying a sponsored link on a keyword such as 'Nike' can be useful for retailers who stock goods of that brand -- yet the retailers do not pay Nike (NKE.N) for using the brand name. More controversially, Nike's rivals might buy it as a keyword, hoping to divert trade and traffic to themselves.

At the extreme, brands like Louis Vuitton and others fear that a loss of control of their brands to less-than-desirable outfits -- such as counterfeiters -- would damage painstakingly managed reputations or confuse and drive away consumers.

NO CLEAN WIN

The case is the first at such a high level to test Google's liability, rather than that of the advertisers buying keywords.

Google used to block advertisers from buying others' brand names as keywords, but in 2004 it changed its policy in North America and four years later extended that to Britain and Ireland. Google says it will honor valid complaints from brand owners and prevent their rivals from using a trademarked keyword in their ad text, but some trademark holders say they should not be sold in the first place.

The stakes are high in this murky area of law because paid ads are a mainstay of Google's business and a foundation of commerce in the digital age. Courts in various member states within the European Union have issued disparate rulings, and U.S. decisions are similarly inconsistent.

Although Google does not break out revenue from its paid ads, it derives 97 percent of its annual revenue of nearly $24 billion from advertising.

Cases from five European nations brought by brand owners against advertisers are also pending in the European Court of Justice. The first of those will also be decided next week.

In one of those cases, international flower delivery group Interflora Inc and its UK unit are suing British retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) for using the keyword 'Interflora' and variants to trigger ads for itself, in the hope of luring flower buyers to its own service.

Interflora says its bidding costs for its own name as a keyword leapt as much as 14-fold when Google changed its policy in Britain in 2008, increasing its costs by a total of $750,000 in the first year after the change.

In the Google case, experts believe the court will rule at least partly in the Web giant's favor, based on the September nonbinding opinion of the court's Advocate General that Google did not infringe brand owners' rights by allowing advertisers to buy keywords corresponding to trademarks.

But the case, which originated in the French courts, is unlikely to completely absolve Google of future responsibility, with further litigation in European countries guaranteed.

'It's my feeling Google is going to win, but it's not going to be an ultimate victory for Google,' said Alex Montagu, a New York-based attorney who specializes in intellectual property and international commerce transactions.

Though the hot-button issue of counterfeiting was not in front of the court, brand owners could still find Google liable in their host countries for 'secondary infringement' by selling keywords to those who then infringe the trademark, such as counterfeiters.

'Where Google is not out of the woods is if Louis Vuitton can demonstrate that those sponsored links are being sold to people not authorized to use those trademarks, such as counterfeiters or the grey goods market,' said Montagu.

He argues for an international convention to deal with the liability of Internet service providers, saying trademark law has not kept pace with the digital age.

EBay Inc (EBAY.O), which buys keywords from Google and also operates its own internal search, has similarly been sued by brand owners, including Louis Vuitton, in Europe and the United States over its use of keywords.

A favorable ruling for Google in Europe's top court could allow eBay to reargue cases it has lost in countries such as France considered sympathetic to the claims of brand owners.

Google currently faces eight cases alone in the United States over the sale of trademarked keywords, said Goldman.

A 'nice, clean' ruling from the European Court of Justice could potentially influence U.S. law, said Goldman, who added: 'It's very possible we'll get a very muddy, murky ruling.'

'We take it for granted that Google can do whatever it's doing and that's not a question that anyone here (in the U.S.) has ever answered definitively.'

(Additional reporting by Foo Yun Chee in Brussels; Editing by Gary Hill)

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French TV show updates famous shock experiment | View Clip
03/18/2010
WJRT-TV - Online

It's called the "Game of Death" It's an experiment that aired as a game show in Europe. The purpose was to test human nature by showing how far people will go when pressured by authority. The results are shocking.

You may not understand the language, but the message of one social experiment is universal. Wednesday in France a documentary aired featuring a television game show.

In it the contestants were ordered to administer what they thought were powerful electric shocks on other participants if a question was answered wrong.

More than 80 percent of contestants obeyed orders even though the screaming victim could be seen and heard.

What the contestant and the audience did not know was the victim was an actor and the 420 volts being administered were fake.

It was an experiment to test the nature of blind obedience. It replicates a famous and controversial 1960s American study conducted by Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram.

Back then, more than 60 percent of subjects had no problem shocking a complete stranger with electricity when given a wrong answer.

"Most people will in fact act in this horrendous way and press the shock levers that they think are delivering very dangerous, if not lethal, electric shocks to another person," said Dr. Jerry Burger, faculty member at Santa Clara University.

In this latest experiment some contestants were reluctant, but in the end most obeyed in part to a cheering audience.

It was proven 50 years ago authority figures can push people to inflict pain. Now it's obvious television can do the same.

"The lesson is really that in certain circumstances, in the right situation, the average, typical, well-adjusted person will act in these horrendous ways," said Burger.

After they learned about the experiment, some of those contestants admitted that they didn't think twice about turning up the voltage.

All of them had to sign a contract before the show agreeing to obey orders.

(Copyright ©2010 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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A tale of two Great Depressions
03/18/2010
Washington Times

At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, the winner of the straw poll was Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican. One of his best-known positions is support for a return to the gold standard. David Frum, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush and a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, responded by blaming the gold standard for the Great Depression:

"Threatened with the exhaustion of its gold supply, the government felt it had no choice: It had to close the budget deficit. So, in the throes of a severe downturn, the U.S. government did exactly the opposite of what economists would otherwise advise: It cut spending and raised taxes - capsizing the economy even deeper into depression."

As Table 1 shows, that version of the history of the Great Depression is entirely fictional. During every year of President Hoover's administration, from 1929 to 1933, federal expenditure increased. By 1932, expenditure had gone up 50 percent measured in dollars, almost doubled measured in purchasing power, tripled measured as a fraction of national income. If a gold standard makes it impossible to increase federal spending in response to a downturn, Hoover didn't get the message. If stimulus is the solution to high unemployment, the Great Depression should have ended almost before it began.

This raises an obvious question: What would have happened if Hoover had done what the urban-legend view of history claims he did? For a possible answer, it is worth looking back a decade at a different Great Depression.

From 1920 to 1921, the unemployment rate increased by 6.5 percentage points; prices fell by more than 10 percent. Seen without the benefit of hindsight, it obviously was the beginning of a depression. Comparing the increase in unemployment and decrease in prices from 1920 to 1921 to the almost identical figures for 1930 to 1931, it was going to be a Great Depression.

President Warren G. Harding acted as Hoover is supposed to have acted. By 1923, federal expenditure had been reduced to about half its 1920 level. Table 2 shows the result. The unemployment rate that peaked at 11.7 percent in 1921 had fallen by 1923 to 2.4 percent. The country endured one year of high unemployment instead of, under Hoover and then Franklin D. Roosevelt, 11.

It was the Great Depression that didn't happen.

David Friedman is an economist and law professor at Santa Clara University. His most recent book is "Future Imperfect: Technology and Freedom in an Uncertain World" (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

Copyright © 2010 The Washington Times LLC

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Sr. Sandra Schneiders on religious life | View Clip
03/18/2010
Tidings

Sandra Schneiders belongs to the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Monroe, Michigan, and is professor of New Testament Studies and Christian Spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, in Berkeley.

She has written extensively on Religious Life, not only in the National Catholic Reporter, but in her projected three-volume work on Religious Life in the new millennium. The first two volumes were published by Paulist Press in 2000 and 2001 respectively. She is currently working on the third volume.

Professor Schneiders recently published on-line in the NCR (in five installments, Jan. 4-8) an extensive study of Religious Life as a prophetic life form. She had previously published a four-page article on Religious Life in the NCR's Oct. 2, 2009 issue, and this column subsequently summarized its major points.

"No Congregation 'needs' more members than are actually called to it by God.... The purpose of the life is not to perpetuate particular Congregations, nor to staff Church institutions; it is to live intensely the witness to the Gospel."

Her most recent article is difficult to summarize, but I shall try to do so. To make the effort as easy to follow as possible, I will simply list some of Sister Schneiders' main points, whether directly or in paraphrase.

---Religious life is a prophetic life form, as Pope John Paul II acknowledged in Vita Consecrata, a post-synodal apostolic exhortation published in 1996. As such, it is based entirely on Jesus' own prophetic ministry, which called for the end of all domination systems, where power is exercised by the few over the many.

---The current struggle between some in the Vatican and the overwhelming majority of religious communities of women is really a power struggle between those who favor the renewal and reforms promoted by the Second Vatican Council and those who do not. Women's Religious Life is "being used as a symbolic scapegoat" in this confrontation.

---Sisters are a particularly important target because of their sheer numbers and influence. They are also "the largest, best organized, most geographically ubiquitous, most ministerially diversified, and therefore probably most effective promoters of the vision of Vatican II." As such, the Sisters are "the greatest source of hope" for many Catholics, and the "most serious danger" to "the real (that is, pre-conciliar) Church," which others are trying to restore.

---The current investigation of religious communities is confined to communities of women. Male religious communities have declined in numbers just as steeply as women's, but the males are not being investigated. Why is this so?

---Religious Life is also "a charismatic life form, called into existence by the Holy Spirit," which means that its members "live corporately the prophetic charism in the Church." Religious communities, therefore, are not "a work force gathering recruits for ecclesiastical projects," nor is their mission or their particular ministries determined by the hierarchy.

---As for the "shortage" of vocations to Religious Life, "No Congregation 'needs' more members than are actually called to it by God.... The purpose of the life is not to perpetuate particular Congregations, nor to staff Church institutions; it is to live intensely the witness to the Gospel to which the Congregation is called and for as long as it is called."

---Canon 586, for example, expressly forbids the intrusion by ecclesiastical authorities into the internal affairs of religious communities. They have "a rightful autonomy of life, especially of governance."

---Ministerial innovation by a religious community is not a mark of "instability or infidelity to its originating charism. Such innovation belongs to the nature of the vocation as prophetic rather than institutional."

---The good news of the Kingdom, or Reign, of God applies to the here-and-now, and those who proclaim that good news do so in a compassionate, not judgmental, manner, just as Jesus himself acted when he confronted the religious authorities in defense of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). Thus, the "ministry of religious to people suffering insoluble conflicts of conscience or caught in impossible life situations, is not rebellion or insubordination but a carefully discerned and courageous fidelity to their primary ministerial vocation: to mediate the good news of God's compassion and justice to people in concrete conditions."

---Sisters are not clerics. Their "non-clerical status ... has extremely important implications for their prophetic ministry of which many in the Church are unaware or about which they are ill-informed." A cleric makes a promise of obedience to his ecclesiastical superior and his successors. Religious do not. They make vows to God alone, in the presence of their superiors, to lead the Religious Life. "In the concrete, this means that religious, unlike the clergy, are not agents of the institutional Church as Jesus was not an agent of institutional Judaism."

Father Richard P. McBrien is the Crowley-O'Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame.

copyright The Tidings Corporation ©2004

Contact us at: info@the-tidings.com

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Cashier Ethics: Do I Have to Give It Back? | View Clip
03/18/2010
SmartMoney - Online

Discovering that $20 has been knocked off a store receipt or deposited in your checking account isn't quite the same as finding a crumpled $20 bill tucked in the pocket of last year's spring jacket.

For starters, you do have an ethical obligation to point out the “found money,” says Margaret McLean, the associate director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in California. “You learn counting out change as a little kid -- if [the cashier] gives you a quarter too much, you give them back a quarter,” she says. “We have an ethical obligation to play fair and be honest.” You'd be quick enough to point out an error that cost you money, and the store or bank deserves that same consideration.

There could even be financial or legal repercussions for not doing your due diligence. For a bank error, “the bank can grab that money back at any time,” says Linda Sherry, a spokeswoman for Consumer Action, an advocacy group. That could overdraw your account or, with large spent sums, leave you subject to charges of theft.

Yes, reporting the windfall is to risk losing it, but not always. Businesses will sometimes leave the error in your favor. On vacation earlier this year, I used a $200 gift card to pay our group's $90 restaurant bill. We returned the next night and racked up a bill of $120, but the server said the gift card fully covered our tab. Huh? We had $200 available on the card, he explained. I mentioned the previous night's visit, and asked the restaurant to re-check. Nope, still $200. I spoke with the manager, who insisted the account was correct and any discrepancy was the restaurant's problem, not mine. I left with an “extra” $80.

In cases where it becomes impossible to return the return the money (e.g., they won't take it back or you notice it too late to rectify the problem), you can wash your hands of any guilt, McLean says. Lucky me.

We're featuring valuable coupons and sales each Friday to help you spend less on the items you buy. Found a deal we missed -- or looking for a better price on a specific item? Email me at kgrant@smartmoney.com or send me a tweet @kellibgrant.

1) American Airlines

Here is a bit of strange marketing — but why not take advantage? Up to four people traveling together can save 10% on an American (AMR) international flight leaving from the U.S. with the airline's new Century in the Making promotion. American AAdvantage members (membership is free) who pick five memorable football moments to vote for in the poll receive an email promo code good for the discount. Participants don't need to know anything about football – there is no wrong answer. Purchases must be made on the American Airlines site for travel through May 31.

There are plenty of airfare sales out there, however, so make sure to check prices on a search engine like Kayak.com or BookingBuddy.com, which pull prices from airline and travel booking sites for comparison.

2) Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy

During the Give and Get Event through March 21, save 30% on your in-store and online purchases at all three brands. (Five percent of your purchase goes to your choice of five nonprofits, including Feed America and Big Brothers Big Sisters.) Online, tack on up to two more coupon codes to further your savings: THANKYOU gets you $10 off and MYCARD gets you free shipping on orders of $100 or more. The catch: Both require you to use your store-brand credit card.

3) Bloomingdale's and Citibank

Through March 21, Citibank () cardholders who use code CITI at checkout can save $25 on a purchase of $150 or more, and $50 on a purchase of $250 or more. Pair that with current store sales, which include 25% off DKNY and Calvin Klein intimates, 25% to 50% off designer shoes and 20% off kids' purchases of $100 or more (increases to 30% on purchases of $200 or more).

4) Rita's Italian Ice and Ben & Jerry's

On the first day of spring (this year, March 20) Rita's franchises give away free regular-size Italian ices. Then on March 23, Ben & Jerry's hosts its annual Free Cone Day with participating locations offering a free scoop to visitors between noon and 8 p.m.

Both events see a substantial turnout -- who doesn't love free ice cream? -- so aim to get there early or be prepared to wait.

5) “New Moon”

Best Buy (BBY) clearly hopes shoppers will line up to buy a two-disc DVD set of vampire film “New Moon,” the same way they did for movie theater tickets. In a Black Friday-esque promotion, Best Buy is offering the set for $20 instead of $25 ($25 instead of $30 for Blu-ray) to customers who show up within two hours of store opening on March 20. “New Moon” standard packaging goes for $17 instead of $20 on DVDs, $22 instead of $25 for Blu-ray.

If you want to avoid the crowds, Amazon.com (AMZN) has those same door-buster prices as its regular pre-order prices. Shipping is free on orders of $25 or more.

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The Sandra Bullock Marriage Bombshell; Tiger Not Out of the Woods; Brand-New Kirstie Alley Scientolo
03/18/2010
Showbiz Tonight - CNN Headline News

The Sandra Bullock Marriage Bombshell; Tiger Not Out of the Woods; Brand-New Kirstie Alley Scientology and Weight Controversy; Elizabeth Edwards` Message to Rielle Hunter - Part 2

xfdcn SHOWBIZ-TONIGHT-01












Brand-New Kirstie Alley Scientology and Weight Controversy; Elizabeth

Edwards` Message to Rielle Hunter - Part 2>






Michelle Fizer>


a tattoo artist, Michelle McGee. Alleged Tiger Woods` mistress, Joslyn

James, has steamy text messages that were allegedly from Tiger Woods.

"South Park" makes Tiger Woods a butt of jokes. Kirstie Alley says

Scientology has helped her, but not with her weight problem. Elizabeth

Edwards says she is disgusted by the "GQ" photos of Rielle Hunter and says

that Hunter`s claim that she and John Edwards are still in love is pure

fantasy.>


James; South Park; Kirstie Alley; Scientology; Elizabeth Edwards; John

Edwards; Rielle Hunter; Movie Industry; Television and Radio; Media;

Entertainment>





But really, what`s happening, A.J., is this is Tiger - welcome to your legacy. This is part of your legacy now. This is it. Yes, you`re a great golfer. But guess what? You`re a joke. You`re a joke, an absolute joke.HAMMER: And cementing that legacy - and I can`t help but smile as I tell you about this. The new season South Park made its premiere in a big bold way last night.

They did what I thought was a pretty amazing, very funny parody and pretty outrageous, too. And it was called Sexual Healing, all about Tiger and recreating what`s really their own version of that night on Thanksgiving when Tiger Woods smashed his car into a tree. And they turned that whole night into a videogame. Let me play this for you, shall I?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) do you think you`re going?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m getting the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) away from you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Open the door you (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes. Take (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and the car key. What are you guys doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Check it out. It`s EA sports Tiger Woods PGA tour (UNINTELLIGIBLE) for XBox.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop breaking through the window, Candy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Yes, OK. So Carolina, we know Tiger is trying to come back to golf. We`re going to see at the Masters in Augusta.

But Vinnie just mentioned Tiger`s legacy. His legacy really is that, at least for part of it, he`s becoming a laughing stock. He will forever be a punch line.

BERMUDEZ: Yes, he will. And I`m sorry I have (UNINTELLIGIBLE) words, too. Domestic violence is never funny but the geniuses at South Park, that power up pre-nup thing - that was just fantastic.

And one thing that people can learn from this is that we`re living in a digital world. Every person knows how to text. They know how to send texts now. So if anything you can learn a lesson from what Tiger has gone through.

HAMMER: Unbelievable. Well, in that brand-new episode, South Park is also making fun of people who are pretending to be outraged by Tiger`s cheating.

I want you to take a look at part of the show where the Center for Disease Control actually reacts to news about Tiger`s mistresses. Check this out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why? Why are rich, successful men suddenly going out and trying to have sex with lots of women?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tiger Woods was the only most prevalent but our data shows that their numbers are growing. David Letterman, and before that, Bill Clinton. There`s a pattern here, people.

Why would a man who is famous and makes tons of money use that to try and have sex with lots of different women? And these rich celebrities have perfectly good wives at home. Why would they even think of sex with others? Damn it!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Yes, you can understand the CDC should be very concerned here. Very funny. They attack Letterman. They`re attacking Bill Clinton. Charlie Sheen gets attacked over those scandals.

And they go on this rampant sex addiction healing campaign. OK, Vinnie, South Park is bashing the idea that the celebrity can rehab a big libido. And they really do make a pretty good point, don`t they?

POLITAN: Oh, they make a great point. I think it`s the same point we`ve been making here; at least, I`ve been trying to make about this sexual addiction.

Yes, we know there are people who are really addicted. But when it comes to these celebrities and they get caught and it`s all about PR, it`s all about image, it becomes another punch line. So I think there`s a huge lesson here for everybody.

HAMMER: Yes, celebrities coming up now may not feel as invincible as those that came before them. Let`s move on now to another big story making big news today.

Elizabeth Edwards striking back. People magazine reporting today that Elizabeth Edwards was just starting to move on when these photos of her husband`s mistress, Rielle Hunter, were published in GQ magazine.

Now, sources tell People magazine Elizabeth was, quote, disgusted by the photos. And Carolina, I am guessing disgusted is probably a vast understatement for how Elizabeth is feeling right about now.

BERMUDEZ: Oh, yes. It has to make you feel bad when people keep on bringing up the scandal that broke up your marriage. And to see a picture like that, I`m sure she got physically ill after seeing that photo spread.

But you know, things have been bad for Elizabeth Edwards. They have been really bad, so it can only get better from here, hopefully.

HAMMER: I hope so. But it just - every time something like this crops up, if just feels like salt in a very open wound that is not having time to heal.

BERMUDEZ: Yes.

HAMMER: Get this, though. Even though Rielle tells GQ that she and John are still very much in love, well, sources close to Elizabeth are telling People magazine that Elizabeth says all that is pure fantasy.

And Vinnie, I`m guessing you`re with me here. I`m much quicker to side with Elizabeth as to what or may not be real. What about you?

POLITAN: Are we talking about John Edwards or Johnny Edwards here, because Rielle calls him Johnny.

HAMMER: That`s right.

POLITAN: So maybe it`s two different guys. I don`t know. I am with you here, A.J. I don`t know if they have a future but, you know, we`ll see. They do have a child together. Don`t forget that. That`s, you know - it`s just not an affair. It`s a little mini-family.

HAMMER: Yes. And, sadly, all of this now part of the legacy that that child will unfortunately one day be exposed to.

Rielle Hunter did release a statement today striking back. Pretty explosive statement to NBC. And here`s what she`s saying, reacting to Elizabeth Edwards. She says, I stand by this interview. I would give the same exact answers under oath.

And she went on to say that she thinks these racy photos were a total mistake. Duh! Well, Carolina, there you have it. At least it`s something that Elizabeth and Rielle can agree on.

BERMUDEZ: I guess, yes.

HAMMER: Who would have thought?

BERMUDEZ: Yes. They can agree on something and that`s that, you know, it was in poor taste for her to do that type of a pictorial. But now, she just needs to put it to rest.

HAMMER: And go away.

BERMUDEZ: Yes.

HAMMER: Never speak again.

BERMUDEZ: Hopefully.

HAMMER: May we not hear from her ever, ever again.

BERMUDEZ: Yes.

HAMMER: All right. Also making big shocking news tonight. Another big mistress scandal. Jesse James publicly apologizes to Sandra Bullock after those shocking reports that he cheated. Say it isn`t so.

So is there anything that Sandra can learn from Tiger Woods and the John Edwards scandals? Carolina Bermudez, Vinnie Politan, stay right where you are. We`re going to have that in just a moment.

Tonight, Kirstie Alley`s weight controversy. Kirstie is just furious over reports floating around that say her diet program is linked to Scientology. Well, she is striking back in a big way.

You have got to see what Kirstie just told CNN`s LARRY KING LIVE tonight about her weight, her diet and the Church of Scientology.

Plus, would you electrify someone for money?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On this French game show, contestants pose a question. But here`s the catch. If their fellow player gets the answer wrong, he`s zapped with increasing amounts of electricity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Wow. So is this a high-voltage game of death? What would you do if someone had to shock - you had to shock somebody for money? It is the hair-raising game show with a totally unexpected ending. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

And now, the SHOWBIZ News Ticker - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news today.

TEXT: Taylor Swift sets new Billboard record for Top 10 hits. Miley Cyrus says she will rejoice when Hannah Montana ends final season.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Tonight, Sandra`s pain. It has been bombshell after bombshell today after the unbelievable report that Sandra`s husband, Jesse James, has been carrying on a steamy affair with a tattoo model.

Michelle McGee is claiming in a brand-new interview that the affair went on for 11 months. Then, Sandra mysteriously pulled out of the London premiere of her Oscar-winning movie, The Blind Side citing personal reasons.

And then late today, another bombshell. Sandra`s husband releases a statement apologizing to Bullock and his children. So how is Sandra possibly going to deal with this and what can she learn from other scorned wives like Elizabeth Edwards and Tiger Woods` wife, Elin?

Joining me in New York, Michelle Fizer, who is an entertainment journalist. Also in New York tonight, Cooper Lawrence, who is a syndicated radio show host and the author of The Cult of Celebrity.

Well, guys, a lot of people are just scratching their heads today saying, How is it possible? America`s sweetheart, Sandra Bullock, now caught in the middle of a reported cheating scandal with a man that she`s called her rock time and time again, the man that she gave a shout-out to, not even 10 days ago when she won her Oscar.

Cooper, to you first. How can Sandra possibly deal with what has to be such public embarrassment?

LAWRENCE: I mean, this is beyond humiliating, the fact that he didn`t step forward after the Golden Globes, after she said these lovely things about him and he let her continue on with all these wonderful interviews about him.

I mean, it`s unbelievably humiliating. She has to just step back and not say a word the same way that other famous people have who have been cheated on. It`s not for her to come and talk to us anymore. She needs time to deal with all this and heal and she needs private time. And she needs her privacy.

HAMMER: Yes. I just feel so badly for her because it`s almost as if she was painted into a corner with this whole thing. You know, this interview that comes out with this person alleging the affair.

Now, Jesse James, late today, apologizing publicly to Sandra and his three children that he has from previous relationships. He didn`t specifically acknowledge the affair, but in a statement to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, he did say, It`s because of my poor judgment that I deserve everything bad that is coming my way.

This has caused my wife and kids pain and embarrassment beyond comprehension and I am extremely sad to have brought this on them. I am truly sorry for the grief that I have caused them. I hope one day they can find it in their hearts to forgive me.

Michelle, would you agree with me that I can`t imagine this statement is any consolation to Sandra Bullock?

MICHELLE FIZER, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: No, no. She`s nice. She`s self-deprecating. She`s funny. She`s generous. She`s on and on and on. Anyone who can cheat on Sandra Bullock - no woman is safe, basically.

HAMMER: Yes. It`s really - it`s almost beyond words. I mean, honestly, I haven`t been so bummed up by a story. We`ve all been rooting for Sandra throughout the awards season, and really for years now.

So now, sadly, Sandra may know full well what Tiger Woods` wife is going through, what Elizabeth Edwards went through. Cooper, what could Sandra learn from the way Elin and Elizabeth have both handled themselves, which I think has largely been very good.

LAWRENCE: Great. That is how they all handle themselves with grace. They rose above it. They didn`t do any - they didn`t tweet about it. They didn`t put any statements out that said anything derogatory about the mistresses.

They just stepped away and let anybody speculate. And I think that`s what Sandra needs to do here as well. Just be herself, go off on her own. Don`t make any statements and walk away with grace.

HAMMER: Yes. Michelle, what would you suggest based on what we`ve seen from these other women who only just recently have been through virtually the same thing?

FIZER: Well, she definitely got blindsided. And we know that it can happen to anyone. So just the fact that she will take a few minutes, take some time to herself. Glad that she postponed her U.K. press tour -

HAMMER: Yes.

FIZER: Because she needs time to heal and to get all of the facts straight and just handle it with style and grace.

HAMMER: Yes, 10 seconds, Cooper. What`s the single most important thing that Sandra should do right now?

LAWRENCE: Never date a guy with tattoos again.

HAMMER: That`s pretty simple, cut and dry. Sandra, you heard it right there from Cooper Lawrence. Take that advice, please. Michelle Fizer, Cooper Lawrence, I appreciate you both being here tonight.

And as we move on tonight, Kirstie Alley opens up about weight and Scientology with CNN`s Larry King. Kirstie is just furious over those wild reports that say her brand-new weight program is just a front for Scientology.

Kirstie is a Scientologist and she just slammed these reports, calling the accusations bigotry and intolerance at a screening for her new reality show. But could Scientology have helped her with her weight problem?

Well, just tonight on CNN`s LARRY KING LIVE, Larry grilled Kirstie on why Scientology seemed to help her with everything else but not her weight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Your faith, Scientology, might have the best record in America of getting people off drugs.

ALLEY: That`s true.

KING: Why haven`t they helped you with weight addiction?

ALLEY: I don`t know. That`s a good question. Let`s call them and ask them.

KING: Well, I asked -

ALLEY: They have helped me.

KING: You remember the thing -

ALLEY: Scientology has helped me with - first of all, let`s look at the overall picture. I`ve been fat for three years of my life, maybe four.

KING: That`s all?

ALLEY: That`s it. And I`m 59. So out of 59 years, 55 were thin. So I`m not - but I`m saying, of the spirit, when something happens to you - and I`m telling you my spiritual problem is I don`t want to be accountable for certain things. Someone could say that`s psychological, but I think it`s spiritual.

KING: And your faith has helped?

ALLEY: Oh, yes. God knows what I would be if I hadn`t changed the things that I have changed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Well, Kirstie says she has lost over 20 pounds so far.

I`ve got to say, we talk about a lot of shocking stories here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. But nothing nearly is electrifying as a game where the more shocking, the more you win.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On this French game show, contestants pose a question. But here`s the catch. If their fellow player gets the answer wrong, he`s zapped with increasing amounts of electricity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: OK, dear viewer, ponder this, would you? Would you electrify someone for money? You might be surprised. It`s the high-voltage controversy. But is this a game show of death? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

Time now for the SHOWBIZ News Ticker - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news today.

TEXT: Alicia Keys, Black Eyed Peas and Shakira to perform at World Cup tournament. Michael Jackson`s sister, Rebbie, accepts Angel Award for M.J.`s youth charity.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: A controversial game show on French TV is sending shockwaves of outrage around the world today. Here`s how it works. Contestants are shocked with a mind-numbing jolt of electricity if they get the answers wrong.

And if that`s not stunning enough, there`s another strange twist to this shocking show. Here now is CNN`s Randi Kaye with the electrifying story for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It`s called The Game of Death, and it`s torture to play. On this French game show, contestants pose a question, but here`s the catch. If their fellow player gets the answer wrong, he`s zapped with increasing amounts of electricity, as much as 460 volts. The more wrong answers, the more voltage, the more pain.

The audience shouts for more punishment. Some contestants are reluctant but are swayed by the audience demanding higher voltage.

(on camera): But here`s what the audience and contestants don`t know. There is no electricity, no pain inflicted. The players tortured for their wrong answers are really actors hired to play the part. Their screams of agony, fake.

In fact this really wasn`t a game show at all but an experiment about how far some people are willing to go to inflict pain on a complete stranger.

(voice-over): Amazingly, only 16 out of 80 refused to inflict pain on the others.

The show is part of a documentary airing on French TV, which examines what its creators call TV`s mind-numbing power to suspend morality and the striking human willingness to obey orders.

When it was over and contestants were told it was all an experiment, some said they didn`t even think about it; they just followed orders. Others said they were worried but did not want to spoil the show, so they acted against their own principles when ordered to do something extreme.

DR. JERRY BURGER, SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY: Everybody`s torn. Nobody thought that this was a lot of fun or something they enjoyed doing, but they could not find a way to stop themselves from going along with it.

KAYE (on camera): The blind obedience, in this case, is being compared to the behavior of German solders ordered to commit atrocities inside the Nazi concentration camps. In fact, the show`s whole premise was based on an experiment from Yale back in the 1960s, which used a similar method.

(voice-over): In the Yale experiment, the people inflicting the painful shocks thought the electricity was real, too. That didn`t stop 2/3 of them from giving the maximum shock available, 400 volts.

BURGER: Most people will, in fact, act in this horrendous way and press the shock levers that they think are delivering very dangerous, if not lethal, electric shocks to another person.

The moral there is not that people are horrible or that we`re brutal or sadistic individuals. The lesson is really that, in certain circumstances, in the right situation, the average, typical, well-adjusted person will act in these horrendous ways.

KAYE: One added element in the French game showcase - contestants had to sign a contract agreeing to obey orders. For them, there was no turning back.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: That was CNN`s Randi Kaye for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And that`s SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

END

Content and programming copyright 2010 Cable News Network LP, LLLP. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2010 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

Copyright © 2010 Voxant

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PREVIEW-Google adword win in Europe wouldn't end battles | View Clip
03/18/2010
Reuters India

* Experts see a Google win, but warn ruling likely murky

* A clear ruling could influence chaotic US law on adwords

By Alexandria Sage and Georgina Prodhan

SAN FRANCISCO/LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - Google Inc (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) could win a widely expected victory next week in Europe's top court and still face many more battles over keyword advertising, the backbone of its Internet business model.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg will rule on Tuesday whether or not Google infringes the trademark rights of such companies as Louis Vuitton through its Adwords service, in which advertisers pay to use keywords that are the companies' proprietary brand names.

In Google's Adwords service, advertisers pay a fee so that "sponsored links" to their own websites pop up beside a user's keyword search results.

"This case has the potential to shape global standards for the legitimacy of keyword advertising," said Eric Goldman, an associate professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law, who called that a "multibillion-dollar question."

"We're going to get new and highly influential legal guidance on the legitimacy of that practice," he said. "That has the potential to move billions of dollars in our industry." Continued...

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Google executives called YouTube a 'pirate' site
03/18/2010
Oakland Tribune

In spring 2006, Google was roiled in intense debate as the company considered whether to buy the wildly popular video-sharing site YouTube.

Revealing e-mails and other internal communications unsealed Thursday as part of a $1 billion lawsuit brought by Viacom show that many top Googlers — all the way up to co-founder Sergey Brin — were concerned about YouTube's copyright piracy problems and how they could reflect badly on Google's ethics.

"As Sergey pointed out," Google executive David Eun wrote in a June 2006 e-mail circulated among top Google executives, "is changing a policy to increase traffic knowing beforehand that we'll profit from illegal downloads how we want to conduct our business? Is this Googley?"

The outcome of the case is expected to have broad ramifications for how commercial content is posted to the Web. Viacom sued YouTube in 2007, saying it had violated federal law by allowing others to upload more than 60,000 copyrighted videos without authorization, including versions of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "South Park."

Google executives — who previously had referred to YouTube as a "rogue enabler of content theft" whose "business model is completely sustained by pirated content" — nevertheless agreed to pay $1.65 billion to buy YouTube in 2006. In its filings in U.S. District Court in New York, YouTube said that Viacom, which owns Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central and other entertainment properties, secretly tried to use YouTube's popularity to promote its content, posting "roughed up" videos to make them look stolen or leaked, and even sending employees to Kinko's to upload clips that couldn't be traced back to Viacom.

The collateral damage from the no-holds-barred legal battle could ding the reputations of both companies, observers said Thursday after the court material was released. "It is ridiculous that these parties have not settled," said Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University. "It's like a prize fight — they are both scoring points; they are both beating each other up. But instead of making money from the fight, they are paying to be in it. That's really dumb."

documents REVEALED

"For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately 'roughed up' the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko's to upload clips from computers that couldn't be traced to Viacom."

-- YouTube blog

"I think we should beat YouTube -- and all competitors -- but not at all costs. A large part of their traffic is from pirated content. ... One senior media executive told me they are monitoring YouTube very closely and referred to them as a 'video Grokster.' "

-- E-mail from Google content executive David Eun to CEO Eric Schmidt, May 12, 2006

"I can't believe your recommending buying YouTube. Besides the ridiculous valuation they think they're entitled to, they're 80% illegal pirated content."

-- A May 10, 2006, e-mail from Google Video business product manager Ethan Anderson to Google executive Patrick Walker

Copyright © 2010 The Oakland Tribune. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Viacom Says YouTube Ignored Copyrights | View Clip
03/18/2010
El Paso Inc.

SAN FRANCISCO — Pointing to internal YouTube e-mail messages, Viacom said in a court filing that the video site's founders turned a blind eye when users uploaded copyrighted clips so they could amass a big audience and sell the company quickly.

The charge was one of many made by Viacom in filings unsealed on Thursday in its three-year-old copyright lawsuit against YouTube and Google, which bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion.

Google fired back, saying Viacom was distorting the record by taking passages from e-mail messages out of context. It also said Viacom employees and agents “continuously and secretly” uploaded clips from the company's television shows and movies to YouTube for promotional purposes, even as they were complaining about copyright violations.

“They are both tearing each other up, and both are scoring points,” said Eric Goldman, director of the High-Tech Law Institute at the Santa Clara University School of Law.

The lawsuit accused YouTube of profiting from thousands of clips from Viacom movies and shows that were uploaded to the site without permission.

It was filed at the height of tensions between Google and media companies over copyrights — tensions that have since eased substantially. YouTube, which is by far the Web's largest video site, has set up an automated system to detect infringing videos and signed revenue-sharing agreements with more than a thousand media companies.

But more broadly, media companies remain wary of losing control as more of their products become digital, making them easier to copy.

As part of their motions for summary judgment in the case, both sides released hundreds of pages of documents and exhibits on Thursday, including internal documents obtained through the discovery process.

Among them were scores of e-mail messages from YouTube's founders — Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim — discussing what to do about clips uploaded to YouTube that clearly belonged to major studios or television networks.

In a 2005 e-mail message to Roelof Botha, a partner at Sequoia Capital, YouTube's major outside investor, Mr. Chen described a system that the company had put in place for users to flag copyrighted and pornographic content: “That way, the perception is that we are concerned about this type of material and we're actively monitoring it.”

Mr. Chen goes on to acknowledge that much of the infringing material will remain on the site, but that users won't be able to easily stumble upon it.

Google countered that the message was truncated and taken out of context, and that it merely suggested that YouTube was serious about policing its site for copyrighted content.

One e-mail message revealed that even as YouTube's founders were discussing how to deal with copyrighted clips, one of them was uploading such material.

In July 2005, Mr. Chen wrote: “Jawed, please stop putting stolen videos on the site. We're going to have a tough time defending the fact that we're not liable for the copyrighted material on the site because we didn't put it up when one of the co-founders is blatantly stealing content from other sites and trying to get everyone to see it.” Google said that message referred to “viral videos,” not pirated media content.

In another e-mail message from January 2006, a Google executive refers to a conversation with Mr. Hurley and another YouTube executive about copyrights, and compares YouTube with the much less popular Google Video service.

“YouTube is at an advantage b/c they aren't the target that we are with issues like this. They are aware of this (I spoke with them on Friday) and they plan on exploiting this in order to get more and more traffic.”

In its brief, Google pointed to internal Viacom documents in which executives discussed buying YouTube and described it primarily as a place for user-created videos, not a haven for pirated content as they assert in the suit.

“Consumption of ‘branded' content on YT is relatively low,” an executive wrote in an internal presentation from July 2006.

Google also said Viacom filed the suit only when its negotiations over a partnership agreement with YouTube ended after Google bought the site. It said the suit was part of a push to get better licensing terms for its content.

Google said Viacom used various methods to cover its tracks when uploading videos to YouTube. It hired outside marketing agents, used e-mail addresses that couldn't be traced to Viacom when registering accounts and uploaded videos from places like Kinko's, rather than from company computers, Google said.

In one e-mail exchange, employees of the MTV unit of Viacom discussed how to alter a clip they were uploading so it would appear to be unauthorized, presumably because that might generate more interest in it online. “The goal is to make it look ‘hijacked,' ” one employee wrote.

“Viacom's efforts to hide the source of the content it caused to be posted on YouTube were too good,” Google said in its filing, adding that “Viacom and its lawyers were unable to recognize that dozens of the clips alleged as infringements in this case were uploaded to YouTube with Viacom's express authorization.”

Given Viacom's tactics, Google argued that it would have been impossible for its employees to know which videos were uploaded without permission. One of Google's central defenses is that YouTube always complied with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by promptly taking down videos whenever a copyright owner said they had been uploaded without permission.

The Viacom filing suggests that as Google was trying to compete with YouTube in early 2006, executives at the highest levels of Google debated whether to emulate YouTube's more lax approach to copyright.

“Is changing our policy to increase traffic knowing before that we'll profit from illegal downloads how we want to conduct business? Is this Googley?” asked David Eun, then a vice president for content partnerships.

The filings suggest that Eric E. Schmidt, the chief executive, supported a more liberal copyright policy for Google Video, while Sergey Brin, a co-founder, opposed it.

At one point, a Google Video executive recoiled at the notion that Google would buy YouTube: “I can't believe you're recommending buying YouTube... they're 80% illegal pirated content.” Google bought YouTube six months later.

While most media companies are no longer fighting with YouTube, some of the biggest still view it as a rival. Despite a multitude of content deals, YouTube has struggled to build a large database of full-length television shows and movies. And it faces rising competition for that kind of content from sites like Hulu, a joint venture between NBC Universal, Fox and ABC.

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Viacom and Google Trade Barbs As $1 Billion Lawsuit Heats Up | View Clip
03/18/2010
AOL Money and Finance

Viacom's (VIA) $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube -- which is owned by Google (GOOG) -- went public Thursday after a federal judge ordered the release of documents in the three-year-old case. From the beginning, Viacom claimed that YouTube was awash in its copyrighted content, including popular shows like South Park and The Daily Show. Google has countered that it takes down infringing material when asked, as required by law.

For the last three years, the lawsuit has been grinding along mostly under the public radar, until Thursday, when the judge released competing briefs containing eyebrow-raising disclosures and sharp attacks. Meanwhile, Viacom and Google unleashed dueling press statements designed to win the battle for public opinion in the closely watched case.

Entertainment industry watchers view the case as a key battleground in the war over Internet piracy. The basic issue is whether YouTube officials knowingly encouraged copyrighted videos to be posted on the site. That would violate the "safe harbor" provision of the 1998 Digital Millenium Copyright Act that protects websites if they promptly remove infringing content. Each side is asking for summary judgment in its favor, prompting the release of the filings.

"Tale of Two YouTubes"

Eric Goldman, associate professor at Santa Clara University School of Law and director of the High Tech Law Institute, says that after three years, "the parties are both losers for not finding a way to settle this case."

"Only the lawyers win when two heavyweight contenders get locked into a cosmic death struggle," Goldman wrote Thursday. "Everyone else would be better off if Viacom and YouTube instead had poured their millions of dollars of legal fees towards developing innovative and profitable ways to serve consumers' interests. It's ridiculous that they can't find a way to do this."

But it's easy to see why the parties are so deadlocked: it's basically indisputable that YouTube's early success was due, at least in part, to infringing content -- music videos, TV shows -- which frequently went viral. The early YouTube emails clearly show the founders knew such content was driving growth. But even Viacom acknowledges that for the last several years YouTube has been compliant with take-down requests. YouTube users frequently see videos removed over copyright claims.

"Combined together, the filings tell a 'Tale of Two YouTubes,'" Goldman wrote. "Viacom focuses on YouTube of Yore, circa 2005-06, while YouTube's brief largely focuses on YouTube of Now."

A Question of Motives

Viacom is trying to show that YouTube flouted the DMCA before and after it was purchased by Google for $1.65 billion in 2006. Google maintains that it has been vigilant about following the law, and it accuses Viacom of hypocrisy for actually using YouTube as a promotional vehicle while simultaneously suing the site. In order to make its case, Viacom seeks to assign malevolent motives to YouTube's founders.

"YouTube was intentionally built on infringement, and there are countless internal YouTube communications demonstrating that YouTube's founders and its employees intended to profit from that infringement," Viacom said in blunt statement. "Google bought YouTube because it was a haven of infringement. Google knew that YouTube's popularity depended on infringing materials, with several senior Google executives warning that YouTube was a 'rogue enabler of content theft.'

"Instead of complying with the law, Google willfully and knowingly chose to continue YouTube's illegal practices," Viacom said.

Google: 'Safe Harbor' Protects Us

For its part, Google has long claimed protection under the DMCA's "safe harbor" protections for websites that promptly take down infringing material. And Google has long publicly discouraged users from posting copyrighted material.

"The DMCA (and common sense) recognizes that content owners, not service providers like YouTube, are in the best position to know whether a specific video is authorized to be on an Internet hosting service," Google said in a blog post written by Zahavah Levine, YouTube's chief counsel.

But then Google went further, accusing Viacom itself of secretly uploading its own content to YouTube, "even while publicly complaining about its presence there." Viacom "hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site," Google said.

Viacom "deliberately 'roughed up' the videos to make them look stolen or leaked,'' Google said. "It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko's to upload clips from computers that couldn't be traced to Viacom."

Further, "Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt 'very strongly' that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube," Google added.

Bitter Charges Back and Forth

Viacom dismissed Google's blog post. "The statements by Google regarding Viacom activities are merely red herrings and have no relevance on the legal facts of this case," Viacom said.

Viacom asserts that "the law is clear that Google and YouTube are liable for their infringement," by pointing to the 2005 Grokster case, in which the Supreme Court found the file-sharing site liable because its intention was to facilitate copyright infringement, even if it didn't upload the offending material itself.

"By their own admission," Viacom said, YouTube "contained 'truckloads' of infringing content, and founder Steve Chen explained that YouTube needed to 'steal' videos because those videos make 'our traffic soar.'"

Google can point to its own supporting legal precedent, a recent case in involving Universal Music Group and Veoh, another web video site. In that case, the judge ruled that Veoh was "not liable for the copyright violations committed by its users," as CNET reported.

Google said Viacom had taken the early YouTube emails out of context, and then went on to mock Viacom, which it said "tried repeatedly to buy YouTube." Google produced a Viacom memo proposing that the company buy YouTube, saying it would be a "transformative acquisition."

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Google adword win in Europe wouldn't end battles | View Clip
03/18/2010
AEC NEWSROOM

SAN FRANCISCO/LONDON (Reuters) - Google Inc could win a widely expected victory next week in Europe's top court and still face many more battles over keyword advertising, the backbone of its Internet business model.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg will rule on Tuesday whether or not Google infringes the trademark rights of such companies as Louis Vuitton through its Adwords service, in which advertisers pay to use keywords that are the companies' proprietary brand names.

In Google's Adwords service, advertisers pay a fee so that "sponsored links" to their own websites pop up beside a user's keyword search results.

"This case has the potential to shape global standards for the legitimacy of keyword advertising," said Eric Goldman, an associate professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law, who called that a "multibillion-dollar question."

"We're going to get new and highly influential legal guidance on the legitimacy of that practice," he said. "That has the potential to move billions of dollars in our industry."

Brand owners will closely examine next week's judgment on three cases, one of which was brought by Louis Vuitton , as they try to protect their trademarks against a practice they say undermines their cachet.

Buying a sponsored link on a keyword such as "Nike" can be useful for retailers who stock goods of that brand -- yet the retailers do not pay Nike for using the brand name. More controversially, Nike's rivals might buy it as a keyword, hoping to divert trade and traffic to themselves.

At the extreme, brands like Louis Vuitton and others fear that a loss of control of their brands to less-than-desirable outfits -- such as counterfeiters -- would damage painstakingly managed reputations or confuse and drive away consumers.

NO CLEAN WIN

The case is the first at such a high level to test Google's liability, rather than that of the advertisers buying keywords.

Google used to block advertisers from buying others' brand names as keywords, but in 2004 it changed its policy in North America and four years later extended that to Britain and Ireland. Google says it will honor valid complaints from brand owners and prevent their rivals from using a trademarked keyword in their ad text, but some trademark holders say they should not be sold in the first place.

The stakes are high in this murky area of law because paid ads are a mainstay of Google's business and a foundation of commerce in the digital age. Courts in various member states within the European Union have issued disparate rulings, and U.S. decisions are similarly inconsistent.

Although Google does not break out revenue from its paid ads, it derives 97 percent of its annual revenue of nearly $24 billion from advertising.

Cases from five European nations brought by brand owners against advertisers are also pending in the European Court of Justice. The first of those will also be decided next week.

In one of those cases, international flower delivery group Interflora Inc and its UK unit are suing British retailer Marks & Spencer for using the keyword "Interflora" and variants to trigger ads for itself, in the hope of luring flower buyers to its own service.

Interflora says its bidding costs for its own name as a keyword leapt as much as 14-fold when Google changed its policy in Britain in 2008, increasing its costs by a total of $750,000 in the first year after the change.

In the Google case, experts believe the court will rule at least partly in the Web giant's favor, based on the September nonbinding opinion of the court's Advocate General that Google did not infringe brand owners' rights by allowing advertisers to buy keywords corresponding to trademarks.

But the case, which originated in the French courts, is unlikely to completely absolve Google of future responsibility, with further litigation in European countries guaranteed.

"It's my feeling Google is going to win, but it's not going to be an ultimate victory for Google," said Alex Montagu, a New York-based attorney who specializes in intellectual property and international commerce transactions.

Though the hot-button issue of counterfeiting was not in front of the court, brand owners could still find Google liable in their host countries for "secondary infringement" by selling keywords to those who then infringe the trademark, such as counterfeiters.

"Where Google is not out of the woods is if Louis Vuitton can demonstrate that those sponsored links are being sold to people not authorized to use those trademarks, such as counterfeiters or the grey goods market," said Montagu.

He argues for an international convention to deal with the liability of Internet service providers, saying trademark law has not kept pace with the digital age.

EBay Inc , which buys keywords from Google and also operates its own internal search, has similarly been sued by brand owners, including Louis Vuitton, in Europe and the United States over its use of keywords.

A favorable ruling for Google in Europe's top court could allow eBay to reargue cases it has lost in countries such as France considered sympathetic to the claims of brand owners.

Google currently faces eight cases alone in the United States over the sale of trademarked keywords, said Goldman.

A "nice, clean" ruling from the European Court of Justice could potentially influence U.S. law, said Goldman, who added: "It's very possible we'll get a very muddy, murky ruling."

"We take it for granted that Google can do whatever it's doing and that's not a question that anyone here (in the U.S.) has ever answered definitively."

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FRIEDMAN: A tale of two Great Depressions | View Clip
03/17/2010
Washington Times - Online

Spending cuts prevented one, spending increases worsened the other

At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, the winner of the straw poll was Rep. Ron

Paul, Texas Republican. One of his best-known positions is support for a return to the gold standard. David Frum, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush and a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, responded by blaming the gold standard for the Great Depression:

"Threatened with the exhaustion of its gold supply, the government felt it had no choice: It had to close the budget deficit. So, in the throes of a severe downturn, the U.S. government did exactly the opposite of what economists would otherwise advise: It cut spending and raised taxes - capsizing the economy even deeper into depression."

As Table 1 shows, that version of the history of the Great Depression is entirely fictional. During every year of President Hoover's administration, from 1929 to 1933, federal expenditure increased. By 1932, expenditure had gone up 50 percent measured in dollars, almost doubled measured in purchasing power, tripled measured as a fraction of national income. If a gold standard makes it impossible to increase federal spending in response to a downturn, Hoover didn't get the message. If stimulus is the solution to high unemployment, the Great Depression should have ended almost before it began.

This raises an obvious question: What would have happened if Hoover had done what the urban-legend view of history claims he did? For a possible answer, it is worth looking back a decade at a different Great Depression.

From 1920 to 1921, the unemployment rate increased by 6.5 percentage points; prices fell by more than 10 percent. Seen without the benefit of hindsight, it obviously was the beginning of a depression. Comparing the increase in unemployment and decrease in prices from 1920 to 1921 to the almost identical figures for 1930 to 1931, it was going to be a Great Depression.

President Warren G. Harding acted as Hoover is supposed to have acted. By 1923, federal expenditure had been reduced to about half its 1920 level. Table 2 shows the result. The unemployment rate that peaked at 11.7 percent in 1921 had fallen by 1923 to 2.4 percent. The country endured one year of high unemployment instead of, under Hoover and then Franklin D. Roosevelt, 11.

It was the Great Depression that didn't happen.

David Friedman is an economist and law professor at Santa Clara University. His most recent book is "Future Imperfect: Technology and Freedom in an Uncertain World" (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

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The Sheriff | View Clip
03/17/2010
New Republic - Online, The

For the better part of an hour, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has been kicked back in the front cabin of Coast Guard One, the small but handsomely appointed plane on which she travels, chatting easily about the challenges of running the third-largest Cabinet department. En route back to Washington after three days of nonstop meetings in Mexico City--a whirlwind visit made more challenging by the fact that Napolitano broke her right ankle playing tennis last month and is still hobbling around on crutches--the secretary is in wind-down mode. The conference calls and briefing books have been dealt with. Her lunch has been cleared away, her legs are tucked beneath a bright blue blanket, and her voice is as low and soothing as the hum of the jet engines. Which makes it all the more startling when, asked if she'd like to run for office once her current job ends, Napolitano abruptly thonks her head down on the glossy wooden tabletop in front of her and exclaims, “Don't ask me that question!” When I persist, she looks up with a grin and informs me that, having just celebrated her first anniversary at the department, there is no way she's going to touch the question of what's next. Briskly turning the tables, she asks what I plan to do once my current job ends.

Few doubt that the hard-charging former Arizona governor, long considered a rising Democratic star, has ambitions beyond the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Some of her colleagues joke that, having grown up in New Mexico, she'll shoot to become the first person to serve as governor of two different states. More seriously, Napolitano has toyed, from time to time, with the idea of running for Senate. Then again, attorney general was her first pick of administration posts; if things keep going south for the beleaguered Eric Holder, perhaps she could slide into his seat. Napolitano was also said to be on the Supreme Court short list last year. (One White House insider's first comment to me about the secretary was that Obama would have loved to nominate her if she hadn't been so badly needed where she is.) Going forward, if Obama decided to seek a nominee with political chops, Napolitano would be a prime contender. Then there's the presidential thing: While her single-gal status might complicate matters, she has for years been among the first mentioned whenever speculation arises about who will become our first Madame President. Not that Napolitano is commenting. Quizzed on her White House ambitions for the 2009 book Notes from the Cracked Ceiling, she demurred. “I mean people mention it now, obviously, because of my resumé,” Napolitano told author Anne Kornblut, with “a twinkle in her eye.” “But my view is, do a good job on this job, and then see what happens.”

And therein lies the rub. Because, for all of Napolitano's vaunted assets, she may have the worst job in Washington--one where keeping the public safe is only part of the battle and where even minor missteps can prove professionally calamitous. Case in point: If Americans know anything about the secretary, it is likely from her moment of notoriety surrounding the attempted Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight 253. In the wake of the incident, Napolitano, attempting to calm holiday travelers, clumsily asserted that “the system worked.” The political chattering class leapt on her with both feet. Rushing to walk back her remarks, Napolitano insisted she'd been referring only to the part of “the system” that kicked in after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab made his move. But it was too late. The ferocity of the storm, in which the secretary was painted from coast to coast as a total imbecile, caught Napolitano off guard.

It shouldn't have. Americans may love to gripe about the inconveniences created by DHS, but we damn sure know where to point the finger if anything even comes close to going boom. The irony is that much of what people think of as securing the homeland--gathering intel, compiling watch lists, issuing visas--is not handled by Napolitano's troops. Moreover, counterterrorism is only a small fraction of DHS's mandate. A large chunk of its resources are devoted instead to activities that are at most tangentially related to terrorism, such as immigration control, drug interdiction, and natural disaster relief. Thus, Napolitano's already fraught job is made all the more challenging by the gulf between the public's perception of her responsibilities and the rather different reality of her portfolio. Throw in the growing pains of an ill-defined department still struggling to unify 22 agencies, a sadistic oversight arrangement subjecting DHS to the whims of 80-plus congressional committees and subcommittees, and an out-of-power GOP desperate to reclaim the issue of homeland security as its own, and you begin to see why the mission facing Napolitano isn't just thankless. It may be downright impossible.

Although born in New York City, the 52-year-old Napolitano says she's a Westerner at heart. Save for a couple of early years spent in Pittsburgh, Janet and her two siblings were raised in Albuquerque, where their dad was a dean of the University of New Mexico medical school. A brainy, competitive striver, Napolitano studied political science at Santa Clara University, where she was the school's first female valedictorian. She hit the national stage in 1991 when, as a partner in an Arizona law firm, she signed on to help represent Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings. Napolitano's involvement in the spectacle spurred Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman to declare her a political comer. Two years later, President Clinton appointed her U.S. attorney in Arizona.

It was during Napolitano's prosecutorial days that her tough-gal image took root. As U.S. attorney, she handled a couple of high-profile domestic-terrorism cases, including one tied to the Oklahoma City bombing. Elected state attorney general in 1998, she became an aggressive advocate of the death penalty, even defending Arizona's use of it before the Supreme Court. (She lost.) As governor--she was elected in 2002 in what the local press characterized as “one of the tightest and ugliest races for governor in memory”--she was the state's first chief executive to call up the National Guard to control illegal immigration along Arizona's southern border.

Napolitano's personal history fed this reputation as well. In her younger years, she was an avid mountain climber who scaled Mount Kilimanjaro. More daunting still, diagnosed with breast cancer, Napolitano underwent a mastectomy just three weeks before she was scheduled to address the 2000 Democratic National Convention. She later recalled that the pain was so intense she could barely stand. But she delivered the speech as planned. “Janet is one tough lady,” says White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan.

The secretary clearly takes pride in having answered the can-she-hang-with-the-big-boys question faced by so many women pols. On our way to Mexico, she spun tales of some of her diplomatic adventures, including the annual dinners attended by the four U.S. and six Mexican border-state governors. She reminisced about one year when the U.S. participants were Texas's Rick Perry, California's Arnold Schwarzenegger, New Mexico's Bill Richardson--all machismo-heavy alpha males--and herself. Napolitano's wry smile indicates she is highly entertained by the memory. More fun still seems to have been the two-day group horseback rides across Sonora (the Mexican state that borders Arizona) she went on with Governor Eduardo Bours and his wife. Photos from the rides hang not far from a large saddle in the secretary's lowceilinged office at the run-down Nebraska Avenue Complex (a.k.a. the NAC), where much of DHS is being housed until a permanent HQ is complete.

Napolitano's inner circle seems to delight in the boss's image. (One aide affectionately refers to her as “the sheriff,” as in “don't fuck with the sheriff.”) And the office culture carries a slight whiff of the boys' club. Around the NAC, the atmosphere is all business; on the road, there's more of a work-hard, play-hard camaraderie--marathon cigar-and-bull sessions with Mexican colleagues, late-night dips in the Persian Gulf. Hearing tales of her troops' antics, the secretary smiles indulgently and perhaps a bit nostalgically. Napolitano has been known to close down a bar or two in her time, but nowadays, she contents herself with quizzing younger staffers about their after-hours exploits.

Toughness aside, Napolitano doesn't cut a particularly formidable figure. Short and slightly boxy, she sports a smooth cap of gray-flecked dark hair with a prominent white thatch in front. While she can come across as somber or even inert on television, in person, she is an animated talker, and, every now and then, she'll flash what may be the single goofiest grin in Washington. She cannot bear to be idle: When she travels, if there is even a small gap between events, the secretary, an art geek, herds her staff and security detail to the nearest museum. And she remains committed to her regular tennis matches, even if the bum ankle has them on hold. (Post-injury, Napolitano requested the doc wrap her cast in alternating orange and purple bandages in honor of her beloved Phoenix Suns. “He looked at me like I was crazy,” she says.)

The DHS chief craves forward motion in her work as well. Asked what frustrates Napolitano, friend and fellow Cabinet member Kathleen Sebelius says, “I think there's sometimes an impatience about the pace.” This get-'er-done style is appreciated by Napolitano's boss. There are “exactly two reasons” Obama and Napolitano click, says White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina. First, the secretary “fits exactly” into the culture of No Drama Obama. “She doesn't highlight herself. What he wanted was competent administrators to fix this government, and she's kind of the star of that.” Reason two: “He doesn't like B.S., and she's not a B.S. person.”

That said, Napolitano's experience playing politics is one of her assets. As a Democratic governor dealing with a Republican legislature, she had to learn how to work with everyone. This skill is vital at DHS, which has more onerous oversight requirements than other departments, with multiple subcommittees prone to demand reports or hearings on whatever subject strikes their fancy. Even Hill Republicans (on background) say Napolitano and her people have been good about outreach. Aiding matters, Republicans see her as politically reasonable and tend to blame the White House rather than DHS for decisions they find unpalatable.

White House bigwigs will give you a laundry list of reasons beyond political savvy that Napolitano was tapped for the job--administrative competence, legal acumen, loyalty, and so on. Notably absent from the list, as Napolitano's critics have been happy to point out, is significant counterterrorism experience. Both the secretary and the White House insist that, with a mandate as broad as DHS's, no one could have expertise in every area. But some insiders observe that, coming in, the Obama team was looking to shift, or at least broaden, the department's focus. Obama transition advisers Clark Ervin and Richard Clarke note that the administration wanted to reorient DHS away from the strict law-enforcement mentality of the Bushies. “There was a sense the Bush administration overplayed its hand” with the counterterrorism focus, says Ervin, who oversaw the DHS transition, and that the new regime should “take a more sober tone and put it in perspective.”

The White House, unsurprisingly, isn't eager to engage on the subject. But the major projects Napolitano was asked to tackle early on were immigration reform and border violence, with H1N1 occasionally grabbing the spotlight. By necessity, much of her time also goes toward “nuts-and-bolts logistical issues,” she says, explaining that, eight years in, DHS is still laboring to rationalize such basics as personnel and procurement policies, not to mention build a functioning infrastructure. (It wasn't until Napolitano's tenure that the e-mail system was upgraded to enable a message from the secretary's office to go out to the whole department.) With so much going on, small wonder it took the Christmas near-miss to re-center everyone's attention on terrorism, says Ervin.

For now, at least, terrorism has the secretary's full attention. In recent weeks, she has been circling the globe urging other nations to commit to improving their aviation security standards. While out West for the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics, she delivered a big cybersecurity speech in San Francisco. By contrast, even as DHS was heavily involved in the relief efforts in Haiti, Napolitano did not play a high-profile role because the situation didn't directly involve U.S. security.

Which brings usto the formidable p.r. challenge Napolitano faces--both for herself and her department. Sitting atop what some aides jokingly refer to as the Department of Plague and Pestilence, Napolitano is the point person for almost every imaginable disaster to menace the American people: not just jihadists, but hurricanes, floods, fires, mudslides, illegal immigration, drug trafficking, human trafficking, gun smuggling, and swine flu. At the same time, she is often pushed to address security-related developments over which she has no influence (such as where to try the September 11 conspirators). “Pretty much everything's going to be your problem,” says her friend and predecessor Michael Chertoff, who recalls being constantly called to the White House during his four years. “Once, I came into a meeting on some topic, and the president looked at me and said, ‘You're here again!'” Even if the secretary is vigilant and lucky enough to avoid a catastrophe on her watch, the country cannot help but associate her with bad news. As one White House insider puts it, DHS doesn't have a lot of positive achievements to peddle: “If you're seeing and hearing that department, it's because there's a problem somewhere.”

But Napolitano is determined to avoid being known merely as Calamity Janet. She doesn't just want to push incident-specific information out to the public; she wants to let people know that, contrary to what its name suggests, DHS is not--and can never be--wholly responsible for keeping the country safe. Rather, the broad-based homeland security “enterprise,” as she terms it, relies on legions of state and local officials, federal agencies beyond DHS control--and individual Americans.

Napolitano's goal is a worthy one, says Chertoff: “The mantra of anybody in emergency management has always been that individual preparedness is the cornerstone of resilience and response.” Unfortunately, it is human nature to put off the hard work of addressing such unpleasantness. Chertoff, for instance, considers it nuts that schools spend so much time getting kids revved up about recycling but don't bother to teach the need for basic disaster preparedness. Instead, Chertoff says, when disaster strikes, “people suddenly want the government to show up and protect them.” The message that this expectation is unrealistic and even dangerous is a tough sell--and nearly impossible to convey without sounding like you're making excuses for non-performance.

As the “system-worked” brouhaha vividly demonstrated, striking the proper balance between educating people and spinning them is among Napolitano's trickiest duties. Yet it is not clear that she fully appreciates the precariousness of her situation even now. Asked if it's unnerving to be the public face of safety and security, she deflects: “I know there's a really bad picture of me in every airport. That's a little weird.” When pressed on whether she is becoming hyper-cautious about her utterances lest she cause mass panic or, alternatively, fail to convey the urgency of a situation, she sits quietly for several seconds before dismissing the idea. “Not in that sense, no. Yes, in the sense that the press and the Internet bloggers parse our words. There's a media environment in Washington, D.C., that's much more endemic than even when you're running a state.” She then assures me with a laugh, “It hasn't really caused me to change my behavior.”

As Coast Guard Onespeeds east, Napolitano sits reading quietly. Looking to decompress, the secretary has cranked up her iPod and cracked open a new book. But just a few pages into Impeached, David O. Stewart's account of President Andrew Johnson's bloody battles with Congress, Napolitano starts chuckling. Listen to this, she instructs two aides and me: “Once, told that an assassin awaited him at a public meeting, Johnson started his speech by placing a pistol before him. After describing the threat, Johnson roared out, ‘I do not say to him, “Let him speak,” but “let him shoot!”' After long seconds of silence, Johnson remarked with satisfaction, ‘It appears I have been misinformed.'"

The secretary is obviously tickled by the gumption of our seventeenth president: No cowering. No dithering. Just plop the gun down and call the bastard out. This is just the sort of grit with which Napolitano has confronted myriad challenges over the years. But she's never grappled with anything quite like DHS before. And this time, all the grit in the world may not save her from ending up as political roadkill--even if she and her absurdly unwieldy department do, somehow, manage to keep the rest of us alive.

Michelle Cottle is a senior editor of The New Republic.

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Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop | View Clip
03/17/2010
Gazette (Montreal) - Online, The

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Photograph by: Canwest News Service, Canwest News Service

When the loonie surges, every Canadian shopper knows exactly what to do. We sprint over the border to take advantage of our new-found buying power.

Strangely, though, Canadian investors act in the opposite way. After a run-up in the value of the loonie, we hunker down at home, afraid to buy foreign assets.

This makes no sense. As the Canadian dollar gains strength — it traded Monday around US98 cents — investors are passing up the chance to buy foreign securities at prices they would have considered steals a few years ago.

Think of it this way: The surge in the value of the loonie over the past decade has, all by itself, knocked 30% off the value of everything in the United States. Over the same period, the loonie's rise has trimmed European prices by 7% and Japanese values by 22%.

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Instead, most Canadians appear to be doing exactly the opposite. Over the past year, while the loonie has surged against the greenback, the euro and the yen, mutual-fund investors have actually pulled back on investing in U.S., global and international equity funds.

When investors do venture outside Canada, they appear to increasingly like funds that hedge away currency risks.

For instance, five out of the 12 international funds offered in the iShares Canada family of ETFs use currency hedging to remove the impact of the loonie's ups and downs.

Hedging comes at a cost -- about a percentage point of your return every year, according to mutual fund manager Francis Chou. And, for most long-term investors, it delivers no benefit, because currency fluctuations tend to even out over the years. Meir Statman, a professor of finance at Santa Clara University, looked at hedged and unhedged portfolios of global stocks between 1988 and 2002 and found no difference in the returns they generated.

Rather than seeking to protect themselves from currency fluctuations, investors should put the strong loonie to work by snapping up foreign bargains. Especially if the loonie bursts through parity with the U.S. dollar, there is the opportunity to do some interesting cross-border shopping.

The most straightforward opportunities lie in stocks. A 2007 report by Greenwich Associates found that Canadian investors tilted their holdings heavily toward Canadian stocks. Since the Canadian stock market makes up a bare 3% of the world's stock market capitalization, this leaves most of us with portfolios that miss out on much of the world's wealth-making potential.

Given the loonie's strength, now is an excellent time to add some U.S., European and Asian stocks to your holdings. The shares of many multinationals look as cheap compared with the rest of the market as they have in 30 years, according to Barton Biggs of the Traxis Partners hedge fund. He particularly likes big-cap tech stocks such as Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.

Jeremy Grantham of GMO, the Boston-based money manager, also likes high-quality U.S. and international stocks. Some of the names in his portfolios include Oracle, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

If you're of a more adventurous mind, you may want to look at cross-border real estate. While Canadian home prices are still vectoring higher, U.S. property values have crashed. The valuation gap between the two markets is huge.

The International Monetary Fund says that the ratio of home prices to rents is far above its long-term average in Canada. In fact, the home-prices-to-rents ratio (the ratio of average home prices to average rents) is higher in Canada than in any other developed country except for Sweden. By comparison, U.S. home prices have fallen so much that the same ratio there is only slightly above its long-term trend.

You can see the state of the Canadian market reflected in a two-bedroom house down the street from where I live in a middle-class section of mid-town Toronto. The house offers a charmless facade, a narrow parking strip and what real estate agents like to call an “urban” backyard. (That's code for “only concrete grows here.”) Asking price: $974,900.

Compare that to the Sunbelt. In Tampa, or South Florida or Phoenix, it's easy to find sprawling three- and four-bedroom homes in well-to-do neighborhoods for under US$400,000. For condos, think under US$300,000.

With the greenback and loonie more or less at par, you don't have to be a currency expert to realize the arbitrage possibilities.

The owner of the Toronto home could pocket close to half a million dollars by selling his home and buying a Sunbelt getaway. He could rent out his new home or live there half the year. In either event, he would have an extra $500,000 to invest or spend -- an amount that could allow him to retire a decade earlier than he thought.

If selling your Canadian house sounds too risky, fair enough. But aggressive investors in the market for a rental property or second home should start looking at the U.S. possibilities, particularly if the loonie heads above par. Think of it as the ultimate cross-border shopping expedition.

Ian McGugan is a freelance journalist who writes for the Financial Post

© Copyright (c) National Post

newsaboutinsurance.com

Financial Post, Canada

China Daily

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

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Interview With Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich; The Children of Haiti - Part 2
03/17/2010
Anderson Cooper 360º - Cable News Network (CNN)

xfdcn ANDERSON-COOPER-360-D-01












of Haiti - Part 2>







We're also following some other stories tonight. Randi Kaye has a quick update in a 360 News Business Bulletin -- Randi.RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, an al Qaeda leader believed to have played a key role in a deadly attack on CIA employees in Afghanistan was apparently killed by a U.S. missile strike. A U.S. counterterrorism official says it appear Hussein al-Yemeni died last week in Pakistan. Al Yemeni is thought to be one of the masterminds of the December 30 suicide attack that killed seven CIA employees and contractors.

In Fargo, North Dakota, the National Guard and a small army of volunteers, including school kids who have been excused from class to help, are filling sandbags to keep rising floodwaters at bay. The Red River reached major flood stage early today. It is expected to crest on Sunday.

President Obama is expected to sign the jobs bill tomorrow. The Senate passed the bill today with 11 Republican votes. It contains about 18 billion in tax breaks and a $20 billion infusion of cash into highway and transit programs.

Charities here in the U.S. have raised close to $1 billion for Haiti, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Approximately $66 million of that total was in response to that star-studded telethon that was broadcast on major TV networks including CNN back in January.

And reporters and politicians took just a little break from the health-care debate at the Radio and TV Correspondents Association Dinner tonight in Washington. Vice President Joe Biden got a few laughs with his photo collection.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: At our convention, President Obama addressed a stadium of roaring supporters. But let me set the record straight. He's not the only one that addressed the stadium.

Look, I got to level with you, one of the first things the president did, he said, Joe, we've got to have some ground rules here, ground rules relating to our relationship and how you function in your job.

So the next slide is one of our first days in the White House. The president's complaining to me exactly how far down I have to bow when I enter the Oval Office.

That's not the only ground rule. It's a real simple proposition. People beaten in the primary, walk four paces behind.

Look, I -- holy cow. I have no idea how that got there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: Pretty funny, a few laughs.

COOPER: He had a funny.

All right. Time for our Beat 360 winners, our daily challenge to viewers, a chance to show up our staffers by coming up with the better caption for a photo that we put on the blog every day.

Tonight's photo, elephants from the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, stopped near the U.S. Capitol on the National Mall. They're in Washington, of course, to perform.

Staff winner tonight is Sean. His caption: Ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages, your health-care future right here under the big top.

(SOUND EFFECT: GONG)

COOPER: Our viewer winner is Rod from British Columbia. And his caption: Of course we tried, but Nancy Pelosi insisted that elephants in the room were the last thing she needed.

(SOUND EFFECT: ELEPHANT TRUMPETING)

COOPER: What the heck was that?

Your Beat 360 T-shirt is on the way. Congratulations.

Coming up next, a game show with a sick twist. This is an unbelievable story: contestants physically shocking complete strangers when they get an answer wrong. Could you actually do that? You're going to be shocked to see how many people did, and we'll tell you the secret behind the game show.

And actor Corey Haim linked to an illegal prescription drug ring. The actor got thousands of dangerous pills from dozens of doctors in the last year. Tonight, an arrest in the case.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Up close tonight, The Game of Death. That's the name of a game show that was really a psychological experiment. It's playing out on French TV this week.

Now, it's a game show format where contestants were encouraged by a rabid audience to shock another participant with what they think is a near lethal amount of electricity. The more he screams in pain, the more he gets shocked. Now, they had no idea that this was fake and that the participant was really an actor.

For the producers of the show, the point was to demonstrate that how much people will blindly follow orders and how the allure of being famous and being on television can lead someone to do just about anything.

Randi Kaye reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE (voice-over): It's called The Game of Death, and it's torture to play. On this French game show, contestants pose a question, but here's the catch: if their fellow player gets the answer wrong, he's zapped with increasing amounts of electricity, as much as 460 volts. The more wrong answers, the more voltage, the more pain.

The audience shouts for more punishment. Some contestants are reluctant but are swayed by the audience demanding higher voltage.

(on camera) But here's what the audience and contestants don't know. There is no electricity, no pain inflicted. The players tortured for their wrong answers are really actors hired to play the part. Their screams of agony, fake.

In fact this really wasn't a game show at all but an experiment about how far some people are willing to go to inflict pain on a complete stranger.

(voice-over) Amazingly, only 16 out of 80 refused to inflict pain on the others.

DR. JERRY BURGER, SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY: They're in a situation where they have to act quickly. They can't stop and think about what is the right thing to do. They have to act now. All of those things lead people to respond to the situational cues.

KAYE: The show is part of a documentary airing on French TV, which examines what its creators call TV's mind-numbing power to suspend morality and the striking human willingness to obey orders.

When it was over and contestants were told it was all an experiment, some said they didn't even think about it; they just followed orders. Others said they were worried but did not want to spoil the show, so they acted against their own principles when ordered to do something extreme.

BURGER: Everybody's torn. Nobody thought that this was a lot of fun or something they enjoyed doing, but they could not find a way to stop themselves from going along with it.

KAYE (on camera): The blind obedience is being compared to the behavior of German solders ordered to commit atrocities inside the Nazi concentration camps. In fact, the show's whole premise was based on an experiment from Yale back in the 1960s, which used a similar method.

(voice-over) In the Yale experiment, the people inflicting the painful shocks thought the electricity was real, too. That didn't stop 2/3 of them from giving the maximum shock available, 400 volts.

BURGER: Most people will, in fact, act in this horrendous way and press the shock levers that they think are delivering very dangerous, if not lethal, electric shocks to another person. The moral there is not that people are horrible or that we're brutal or sadistic individuals. The lesson is really that, in certain circumstances, in the right situation, the average, typical, well- adjusted person will act in these horrendous ways.

KAYE: One added element in the French game showcase: contestants had to sign a contract agreeing to obey orders. For them, there was no turning back.

Randy Kaye, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So why would an average person be willing to inflict so much obvious pain on another human being? It sort of boggles the mind. Let's dig deeper with Dr. Drew Pinsky.

I mean, I remember this experiment they had done in Yale -- I think it was back in the '60s -- where people were administering electric shocks.

DR. DREW PINSKY, PSYCHOLOGIST: That's right.

COOPER: Adding -- doing it in front of cameras, in front of an audience adds a whole other level of, I guess, pressure.

PINSKY: Pressure is right. And it's an interesting thing to think about. You know, what would make humans do that? Why would we be put together in such a way that they would likely listen to an authority, even when it disavows our own sense of...

COOPER: And the authority's actually the host of a game show.

PINSKY: A game show.

COOPER: And an audience.

PINSKY: Yes, it's bizarre. But I think in this case it speaks so much to sort of what we call sort of a mob mentality, or a group mentality where we lose the self to the group. And this is something that had evolutionary adaptation at one time.

I mean, if we were attacked by a lion here in this room, if we all moved together, evidently, and thought as a whole, we're probably more likely to survive.

But the fact is, when we're in certain social situations, which of course we affect one another very deeply in social situations, it also has an adverse potential, which is we can lose our own sense of compass. We lose our sense of value. We lose our sense of where we are, what we're actually doing. And particularly in this case, I think they lose their sense of reality.

COOPER: Well, one of the persons said that they didn't want to spoil programming by disobeying.

PINSKY: Which is bizarre, right? Yet, if you were in that moment -- and this is the part, I think, also, also very important to point out. We're used to thinking of or contemplating that thinking is something we should rely upon.

But as you see, even in that explanation, the thinking is distorted. The thinking was set askew by the social circumstances. So beware your thought processes. You have to really sort of become aware of where you are, who you are, how your surroundings are affecting you. We're not used to taking a break, stopping and thinking about it. We just listen to our thoughts, and sometimes they're off base.

COOPER: There have been some who liken this to some Nazis' activities during World War II, that you know, you usually say, How could somebody do this? And that there's sort of this group think.

PINSKY: That was the original intent of the studies back in the '60s, to show how people sort of had this ability to follow authority blindly, even when they were harming somebody else and doing something they would never do under other circumstances. And in a way this study is an OK, because we've proved it before. It's just being shown again in a bizarre context.

COOPER: It does say, also, something about the power of television or the power of the desire to be famous.

PINSKY: I think you're right. I think that's where it sort of gets under our skin with this thing, is that it's about something as meaningless as television and fame and a show. So it's not even about an experiment with -- originally, the original study was with doctors in white coats who were sort of imbued with authority and that's what the story -- this is a good-looking talk show host.

COOPER: It's as if Howie Mandel had the power of life and death.

PINSKY: It is. That's a really unsettling -- nothing against Howie. I love Howie.

COOPER: This is the French version of Howie Mandel.

PINSKY: And that's right. And so it sits -- it sits with us -- it should sit in our craw the wrong way. It's something that speaks volumes about the liability of our evolutionary heritage, frankly. It's a good potential in certain circumstances, but if we're not aware of its potential -- shall I call it illicit consequence, we have to be very cautious.

COOPER: It would be interesting to see this done in the United States.

PINSKY: Yes. It's incredible. I think -- I bet you we could even make it a more bizarre circumstance here. I bet we'd -- particularly if it was something where you were participating in the media, where you were seen by the media. I think people would be more persuaded in this country.

COOPER: Fascinating. Dr. Drew, thanks.

PINSKY: A pleasure.

COOPER: We're going to have more with Dr. Drew in a moment on another subject: criminal charges connected to the death of actor Corey Haim. An arrest was made today, tied to an alleged prescription drug ring. The latest on that ahead.

And tonight Oprah Winfrey is going to testify in court. She has to appear on a witness stand. We'll tell you why, ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Crime Punishment, an arrest in connection with the death of actor Corey Haim. The California attorney general's office announced the arrest today, refusing to say who was taken into custody and for what charge.

The development comes just days after authorities launched a probe into a prescription drug ring linked to the former child star, who died, of course, last week. Investigators say that dozens of doctors gave Haim prescriptions for pills that could have harmed him. They say the illegal drug ring involved using stolen identities from doctors to order official prescription pads.

Officials don't yet know what caused the actor's death but have not ruled out the possibility that he died of an overdose.

Joining me now is addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky and senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Dr. Drew, have you heard about drug rings that use fake identities to get prescription pads?

PINSKY: I've heard of everything, Anderson. I've heard of lots of things like this. I've had patients steal my prescription pads. I've had patients lie to doctors. More often than not, the most egregious thing that I've come to understand is that the addicts in our town will learn who the doctor is that's easy to get medicine out of, and they will go and frequent those particular doctors or urgent care centers.

COOPER: Because I mean, in Corey Haim's case, according to the attorney general's office, I mean, he was going to 10 to 12 doctors, going to, you know, more than 10 pharmacies.

PINSKY: We call that doctor shopping. It's not uncommon. Unfortunately, there's not a good way to monitor that in our system just yet. And doctors sometimes feel justified in prescribing these medications to people. The reality that most people don't understand is if you have a history of addiction and you're on an opiate or benzodiazepine, even for a legitimate reason, you're in harm's way. You could die.

COOPER: And are there laws, Jeff, that are supposed to monitor prescription pills like this?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely. That's why they are restricted. Laws say that they can only be subscribed under certain circumstances.

But the interesting thing about a case like this is how much of it is the patient's responsibility, because as Drew said, sometimes patients lie. Patients steal.

How much of it is the patient's responsibility. Because sometimes patients lie, patients steal prescription pads. Sometimes it's their responsibility and the doctors and the pharmacists are just innocent accomplices. So the legal question is -- is this the responsibility of people who were helping him or just plain himself?

COOPER: You were talking -- you were naming those kind of drugs. I mean, according to authorities, he had gotten a prescription for OxyContin, for Vicodin, for Valium. Why would somebody be using all those? And aren't those all painkillers?

PINSKY: Well, the valium is not. Obviously, that's an anti- anxiety medication. But if somebody went in and said, Doc, I've got the worst headache, the worst neck pain, the worst back pain in my life. I've been -- I can't walk anymore. They know exactly what to say to get the right thing from the doctors.

But my patients, the addicts, are a little smarter than that. They know that most doctors will kind of pick up on that and not give them big supplies. They figure out who the guys are that are very liberal with their prescribing habits, and those are the guys that my patients go and see.

COOPER: So producers, I guess, from your show, Celebrity Rehab, had actually called him up.

PINSKY: His name has come up every single season. People have approached me about him over the years. He never followed through. I made myself available to him. And for her. Although I'm still not involved in casting. I can't say, Hey, you've got an addiction problem. Why don't you wait until the cameras heat up so I can treat you. I'd have to treat them right then. So I don't get involved in the casting at all by a

COOPER: His family is saying that they don't think it was a drug overdose. They think it may have been a reaction to a pill that he was taking that he'd just started seeing a blood specialist and was trying a new pill that -- that he had been prescribed, I guess appropriately. Who would be culpable in something like that?

PINSKY: Well, in something like that, that would be an accident. But first of all, there's a lot of unknowns here? What is the real cause of death? I don't that's known. And what were the facts about how he got the drugs. You'd have to know all that before you can speculate about what the crime is.

COOPER: You don't buy this?

PINSKY: No. I -- an addict is on these drugs, they're in harm's way. That's it. There's just no such thing as -- I've never seen successful tapering it off. It just this doesn't work, particularly hard-core addict dealing with this for many, many years. But the fact is, this phenomena, as Jeffrey is alluding to, is steeped in all kinds of histological issues. In other words, some doctors...

COOPER: What does that mean?

PINSKY: Well, philosophical issues. Some doctors will defend prescribing to drug addicts as something that is cool not to do. Some pain management doctors would say, We should give them more medicines, not less.

And some of these doctors who may duped, as you say, into prescribing somebody with addiction medicines that are quite dangerous for them, may in that certain clinical situation have been defensible in making the choice to prescribe; not advisable, not a good choice.

COOPER: But abuse of prescription drugs has been on the rise for the last couple of years, right?

PINSKY: Absolutely. And this, again -- this is the tip of an iceberg. This is what I keep calling the crest of a tsunami of my patients. I see this not just in Hollywood. All my patients are dying young of prescription medication abuse and addiction.

Some of it, they're getting on the street. Some they're getting with the participation of physicians. Some of it, they're responsible for themselves. But it is a very serious problem and it's bleeding down to young people who are getting their hands on this and abusing it even without the addictive process.

COOPER: Dr. Drew, thanks very much. And Jeff, as well, thank you.

As you can see, Dr. Drew Pinsky. He has a new show, VH1's Sober House with Dr. Drew.

Coming up next, autopsy results in the deaths of three people who participated in that sweat-lodge ceremony led by James Arthur Ray. We'll tell you what the findings reveal.

And also, Levi Johnson ordered to pay. The father of Bristol Palin's child will be making monthly child support payments. Details on that ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Let's get a quick update on some other important stories we're following. Randi Kaye has the 360 Bulletin -- Randi.

KAYE: Hi, there, Anderson.

The deaths of three people who participated in the sweat-lodge ceremony (AUDIO GAP) a retreat in Arizona have been ruled accidental. Elizabeth Neuman, James Shore and Kirby Brown died in October while taking part in Ray's Spiritual Warrior program. At least 20 other people got sick during that ceremony. Ray has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges in those deaths..

Oprah Winfrey will testify in a defamation case linked to the sex abuse scandal at her girls' school in South Africa. The school's ex- head mistress filed the suit, and the billionaire talk show host must show up in court. Winfrey has rearranged her TV production schedule to attend the trial in Philadelphia.

A judge ordered the teen father of Sarah Palin's grandson to make child-support payments of $1,750 per month to Palin's daughter, Bristol. The amount is 20 percent of Levi Johnston's estimated $105,000 annual income. Palin and Johnston's son, Tripp, was born in December of 2008.

And a soccer game in Iran turned violent when a player from Cameroon suddenly attacked fans. Look at that. In video updated to Lively.com, he's seen throwing punches and even head-butting people from the stands. His team lost, but it is unclear if that is what prompted this attack.

Whoa! Did you see that?

COOPER: Yes.

KAYE: Wow.

COOPER: Yikes.

KAYE: He's angry.

COOPER: Well, tonight's Shot, in honor of St. Patrick's Day dating. Now we all know that the crew here at 360 enjoys the cutting of the rug.

KAYE: Oh, no.

COOPER: Who could forget their style and grace performing Single Ladies. It swept the country. But we wanted to see how they would fare doing some Irish step dancing. So we brought in the experts, a great group of young dancers from the Innish Preschool of Irish Dance to let them work their magic on our team. Let's watch, shall we?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: They're kind of holding their own.

Nice.

COOPER: Yes. Now a little leprechaun dance there. That -- Steve.

KAYE: Nice footwork.

COOPER: Yes. And there's Bob doing his unique Irish dancing there.

KAYE: Very unique. I hope...

COOPER: He's also into bonding with his teacher there.

KAYE: Look at him.

COOPER: And Jerry at one point just sort of gave up. There you go, I guess. Yes.

KAYE: I hope we have a real great Bob moment coming up.

COOPER: Look at these kids. These kids were amazing dancers. And they were doing this, and they could go for hours like this.

KAYE: Yes. These guys were sweating by the time this was done.

COOPER: Yes.

KAYE: I saw them right after.

COOPER: They are the Innish Free School of Irish Dancing.

KAYE: Oh, wait. Bob is jumping rope. Sea?

COOPER: The kids started to clap, and no one -- no one from our group could clan on cue, which was perhaps the saddest moment of all.

KAYE: Maybe if they had the blond curly wigs.

COOPER: That would have added to the indignity.

KAYE: I think next year we'll try it.

COOPER: I think that would have brought about some sort of charges against us in three states. So -- sort of, you know, OSHA charges. It's on -- all this stuff is on our Web site if you want to see the complete fiasco. The School of Irish Dancing began in 1985.

It's led by Sean Regan, a world champion dancer. We appreciate them taking the time on this busy day to come out for us. They were a terrific group of kids.

Much more at the top of the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

Copyright © 2010 Voxant

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Healthcare Hardball; Haiti Homecoming; Game of Death; Corey Haim Drug Arrest; Making Green Beer - Pa
03/17/2010
Anderson Cooper 360º - Cable News Network (CNN)

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Haim Drug Arrest; Making Green Beer - Part 2>







Charities here in the U.S. have raised close to $1 billion for Haiti, according to Chronicle of Philanthropy. Approximately $66 million of that total was in response to that star-studded telethon that was broadcast on major TV networks including CNN back in January.And reporters and politicians took just a little break from the health care debate at the Radio and TV Correspondents Association Dinner tonight in Washington. Vice President Joe Biden got a few laughs with his photo collections.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: At our convention, President Obama addressed a stadium of roaring supporters. But let me set the record straight, he's not the only one that addressed the stadium.

Look, I got to level with you, one of the first things the President did, is said, Joe, we've got to have some ground rules here, ground rules related to our relationship and how you function in your job. So the next slide is one of our first days in the White House, the President is explaining to me exactly how far down I have to bow when I enter the Oval Office.

That's not the only ground rule. It's a real simple proposition, people beaten in the primary walk four paces behind. Look, I -- holy God, I have no idea how the hell I got there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: Pretty funny. A few laughs.

COOPER: Yes, definitely.

All right, time for our Beat 360 winners. Our daily challenge to viewers, a chance to show up our staffers by coming up with a better caption for the photo that we put on the blog every day.

Tonight's photo: elephants from the Ringling Brothers of Barnum Bailey Circus stop near the U.S. Capitol, on the National Mall here in Washington of course to perform. Our staff winner tonight is Sean and his caption, Ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages, your health care future right here under the big top.

KAYE: OK.

COOPER: Our viewer winner is Rod from British Columbia. His caption, Of course we tried but Nancy Pelosi insisted that elephants in the room were the last thing she needed.

Very good -- what noise is that? Rod your Beat 360 T-shirt is on the way. Congratulations.

Coming up next: a game show with a sick twist. This is an unbelievable story, contestants physically shocking complete strangers when they get an answer wrong. Could you actually do that? You're going to be shocked to see how many people did and we'll tell you the secret behind the game show.

And actor Corey Haim linked to an illegal prescription drug ring; the actor got thousands of dangerous pills from dozens of doctors in the last year, tonight an arrest in the case.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Up Close tonight, The Game of Death , that's the name of a game show that was really a psychological experiment and is playing out on French TV this week. Now, it's a game show format where contestants were encouraged by a rabid audience to shock another participant with what they think is a near lethal amount of electricity. The more he screams in pain, the more he gets shocked.

Now, they had no idea that this was fake and that the participant was really an actor. For the producers of the show, the point was to demonstrate that how much people will blindly follow orders and how the allure of being famous and being on television can lead someone to do just about anything.

Randi Kaye reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAYE (voice-over): It's called the Game of Death and it's torture to play. On this French game show, contestants pose a question, but here's the catch, if their fellow player gets the answer wrong, he's zapped with increasing amounts of electricity, as much as 460 volts. The more wrong answers, the more voltage, the more pain.

The audience shouts for more punishment. Some contestants are reluctant but are swayed by the audience demanding higher voltage.

(on camera): But here's what the audience and contestants don't know, there is no electricity, no pain inflicted. The players tortured for their wrong answers are really actors hired to play the part. Their screams of agony, fake.

In fact, this really wasn't a game show at all but an experiment about how far some people are willing to go to inflict pain on a complete stranger.

(voice-over): Amazingly, only 16 out of 80 refused to inflict pain on the others.

DR. JERRY BURGER, SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY: They're in a situation where they have to act quickly. They can't stop and think about what is the right thing to do. They have to act right now. All of those things lead people to respond to the situational cues.

KAYE: The show is part of a documentary airing on French TV, which examines what its creators called TV's mind-numbing power to suspend morality and the striking human willingness to obey orders. When it was over and contestants were told it was just an experiment, some said they didn't even think about it, they just followed orders.

Others said they were worried but did not want to spoil the show. So they acted against their own principles when ordered to do something extreme.

BURGER: Everybody is torn and nobody thought that this was a lot of fun or something they enjoyed doing, but they could not find a way to stop themselves from going along with it.

KAYE (on camera): The blind obedience in this case is being compared to the behavior of German soldiers ordered to commit atrocities inside the Nazi concentration camps. In fact, the show's whole premise is based on an experiment from Yale back in the 1960s which uses similar method.

(voice-over): In the Yale experiment, the people inflicting the painful shocks thought the electricity was real too. That didn't stop two-thirds of them from giving the maximum shock available, 400 volts.

BURGER: Most people will in fact act in this horrendous way and press the shock levers that they think are delivering very dangerous if not lethal electric shocks to another person. The moral there is not that people are horrible or that were brutal or sadistic individuals, the lesson is really that in certain circumstances, in the right situation, the average typical well-adjusted person will act in these horrendous ways.

KAYE: One added element in the French game showcase, contestants had to sign a contract agreeing to obey orders, for them there was no turning back.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So why would an average person be willing to inflict so much obvious pain on another human being. It sort of boggles the mind. Let's Did Deeper with Dr. Drew Pinsky.

I mean, I remember this experiment they had done in Yale. I think it was back in the '60s where people were administering electric shocks.

DR. DREW PINSKY, ADDICTION SPECIALIST: That's right.

COOPER: Adding -- doing it in front of cameras, in front of an audience adds a whole other level of I guess, pressure.

PINSKY: Pressure, it's right. And it's an interesting thing to think about. You know what would make humans do that that? Why are we put together in such a way that we would likely to listen to an authority even when it disavows our own sense of value --

COOPER: And when the authorities actually are the host of the game show.

PINSKY: A game show.

COOPER: And you know and an audience.

PINSKY: And yes, it's bizarre isn't it? But I think, in this case it speaks so much to sort of what we call sort of a mob mentality or a group mentality where we lose the self to a group. And this is something that had evolutionary adaptation at one time.

I mean, if we were attacked by a lion here in this room, if we all group together evidently and thought as a whole, we probably more likely to survive. But the fact is, when we're in certain social situations, which of course, we affect one another very deeply in social situations, it also has an adverse potential, which is we can lose our own sense of compass, we lose our sense of value, we lose our sense of where we are and what we're actually doing.

And particularly, in this case, I think, they lose their sense of reality.

COOPER: Well, one of the persons said that they didn't want to spoil programming by disobeying which is just --

PINSKY: It's bizarre, right?

COOPER: Yes.

PINSKY: Yes -- yet if you we're in that moment -- and this is the part I think also very important to point out. We are used to thinking of or contemplating that thinking is something we should rely upon. But as you see and even in that explanation, for thinking is distorted. The thinking was set askew by the social circumstances.

So beware your thought processes. You have to really sort of become aware of what, where you are, who you are and how your surroundings are affecting you. And we're not used to taking a break and stopping and thinking about it. We just listen to our thoughts and sometimes they're off base.

COOPER: There have been some who likened this to some Nazi's activities during World War II. That you know, you would say, how can somebody do this and that there's sort of this group thing.

PINSKY: But that was the original intent of the studies back in the '60s to show how people sort of had this ability to follow authority blindly even when they were harming somebody else and doing something they would never do under other circumstances.

And in a way this study is now -- OK, because it's happened -- we've proved it before.

COOPER: Right.

PINSKY: It's just being shown again in a bizarre context.

COOPER: It does say also something I think about the power of television --

PINSKY: Well --

COOPER: -- or the power of the desire to be famous or something.

PINSKY: I think you're right. I think that's where it sort to gets under our skin with this thing. It's about something as meaningless as television and fame and a show.

So it's not even about an experiment with -- the original -- the original study was with doctors in white coats --

COOPER: Right.

PINSKY: -- to it was sort of imbued with authority. And that's what the -- this is a --

COOPER: Right.

PINSKY: -- a good looking talk show host.

COOPER: It's as if Howie Mandel had the power of life and death over these things.

PINSKY: I -- and isn't that's really unsettling? Nothing against Howie, I love Howie.

COOPER: Yes, I know, it's great but like -- this is the French version of Howie Mandel, like you know.

PINSKY: And that's right. And so it sits with us -- it should sit in our craw the wrong way --

COOPER: Right.

PINSKY: -- it's something that speaks volumes about the liability of our evolutionary heritage, frankly. Because there's a good potential in certain circumstances, but if we're not aware of its potential -- shall I call it illicit -- illicit consequence, we have to be very cautious.

COOPER: It would be interesting to see this done in the United States.

PINSKY: Yes, it's incredible. I think, I bet you and we can even make it a more bizarre circumstance here, I bet it would be -- and particularly if there's something where you are participating in the media.

COOPER: Yes.

PINSKY: Where you're seen by the media.

COOPER: Right.

PINSKY: I think people would be more persuaded in this country.

COOPER: It's fascinating. Dr. Drew thanks.

PINSKY: My pleasure.

COOPER: Now, we're going to have more with Dr. Drew in a moment on another subject. Criminal charges connected to the death of actor Corey Haim. An arrest was made today, tied to an alleged prescription drug ring.

The latest on that ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: On Crime and Punishment an arrest in connection with the death of actor Corey Haim. The California Attorney General's office announced the arrest today refusing to say who was taken into custody and for what charge.

But the development comes just days after authorities launched a probe into a prescription drug ring linked to the former child star who died, of course, last week. Investigators say that dozens of doctors gave Haim prescriptions for pills that could have harmed him and say the illegal drug ring involved using stolen identities from doctors to order official prescription pads.

Officials don't yet know what caused the actor's death but have not ruled out the possibility that he died of an overdose.

Joining me now is addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky and senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin. Dr. Drew, have you heard about drug rings that use fake identities to get prescription pads?

PINSKY: I've heard of everything, Anderson. I've heard of lots of things like this. I've had patients steal my prescription pads. I've had patients lie to doctors. I have more often than not, that the most egregious thing that I have come to understand is that the addicts in our town will learn who the doctor is that's easy to get medicine out of and they will go and frequent those particular doctors or urgent care centers.

COOPER: Because I mean -- in Corey Haim's case, according to the attorney general's office, I mean, he was going to ten to 12 doctors, going to, you know, more than 10 pharmacies.

PINSKY: We call that doctor shopping. It's not uncommon, unfortunately, there's not a good way to monitor that in our system just yet and the doctors sometimes feel justified in prescribing these medications to people. The reality that most people don't understand is, if you have a history of addiction and you're on opiate or a benzodiazepine, even if it's for a legitimate reason, you're in a harm's way. You could die.

COOPER: And are there laws, Jeff, that are supposed to monitor prescription pills like that?

JEFF TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, absolutely. That's why they are restricted. Laws say that they can only be prescribed under certain circumstances.

But the interesting thing about a case like this is, how much of it is the patient's responsibility because as Drew said, sometimes patients lie, patients steal prescription pads? Sometimes it's their responsibility and the doctors and the pharmacists are just innocent accomplices.

So the legal question is, is -- is this the responsibility of people who are helping him or just hanging themselves?

COOPER: You we're talking, you were naming those kind of drugs, I mean, according to authorities, he had gotten a prescription for Oxycontin, for Vicodin, for Valium. Why would somebody be using all those drugs? I mean, aren't those all pain killers?

PINSKY: Well, the valium is not, obviously, that's an anti- anxiety medication. But if somebody went in and said, Doc, I've got the worst headache, the worst neck pain, the worst back pain of my life, -- I can't walk anymore. They know exactly what to say to get the right thing from the doctors.

But my patients, the addicts are a little smarter than that. They know that most doctors kind of pick up on that and not give them big supplies. They figure out who the guys are that are very liberal with their prescribing habits and those are the guys that my patients go and see.

COOPER: You know, some producers, I guess from show, Celebrity Rehab had actually called him up.

PINSKY: Correct, his name has come up every single season. People have approached me about him over the years. He never followed through. I made myself available to him. And I heard, although -- and see, I'm not involved in the casting, really. I can't say, Hey you've an addiction problem, why don't you wait until the cameras heat up so I can treat you. I'd have to treat him right then.

So I don't get involved in the casting at all. But I have heard they had approached him this time as well.

COOPER: And his family is saying that they don't think it was a drug overdose, that the thing may have been a reaction to a pill he was taking that he just started to see an addiction specialist and was trying a new pill that -- that he had been prescribed I guess, appropriately. Who would be culpable in something like this?

TOOBIN: Well, in something like that, that would an accident. But first of all, there's a lot of unknowns here. What is the real cause of death, I don't think that's known. And what were the facts about how he got the drugs? You'd have to know all of that before you could even speculate about what the crime might be.

COOPER: You don't buy this.

PINSKY: No, I -- if an addict is on these drugs they're in harm's way, that's it. There's no such thing as -- and I've never seen a very successful taper as an outpatient. This just doesn't work, particularly if you're a hardcore addict who's been you know, dealing with this for many, many years.

But the fact is, this phenomenon as Jeffrey is alluding to is steeped in all kinds of epistemological issues. In other words some doctors --

COOPER: What does that mean?

PINSKY: Philosophical issues. Some doctors would defend prescribing to drug addicts, as something that -- it's cruel not to do. Some pain management doctors who would say, we should give him more medicines not less. And some of these doctors who may have been duped as you say into prescribing somebody with addiction medicines that are quite dangerous for them, may in that certain clinical situation have been defensible in making the choice to prescribe.

It's not advisable, not a good choice.

COOPER: But abuse of prescription drugs has been on the rise for the last couple years, right?

TOOBIN: Correct.

PINSKY: Oh, absolutely. And this -- again, this is the tip of an iceberg. This is what I keep calling the crest of the tsunami of my patients. I see this not just in young Hollywood. All my patients are dying young of prescription medication abuse and addiction. Some of it they're getting on the street, some of it they're getting with the participation of physicians, some of it they are responsible for themselves.

But it is a very serious problem and it's bleeding down to young people who are getting their hands on this and abusing it even without the addictive process.

COOPER: Dr. Drew thanks very much. Jeff, as well, thank you.

Well, as you can see, Dr. Drew Pinsky, he has a new show, VH1's Sober House with Dr. Drew .

Still ahead, One Simple Thing , this beer may not look like the green beer you drank at St. Patrick's Day. But it is definitely green.

We'll tell you why next on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Tonight One Simple Thing , our series about changing the world one idea at a time; a story which seemed perfect for St. Patrick's Day. What if you could make a better beer that was also better for the planet, a green beer that has nothing to do with food coloring.

Here's Reynolds Wolf.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REYNOLDS WOLF, CNN METEOROLOGIST (voice-over): At the Five Season's Brewery in Atlanta, they have been preparing for the perfect pour. They claimed to be the first brewery in the world to serve a micro-brewed green beer.

CRAWFORD MORAN, 5 SEASON'S BREWERY: Here we go, just like this.

WOLF: Master brewer Crawford Moran gave me the honor of tapping the very first keg.

MORAN: Not only does it make the beer better, but it's -- it's green-oriented.

WOLF (on camera): When you think about green beer, most people think of that stuff you have on St. Patrick's Day or that six pack that you left in a your car on a really hot day.

(voice-over): But here that term takes on an entirely different meaning.

(on camera): Crawford, what does green beer mean here?

MORAN: It means something different than Saint Paddy's Day stuff. It mean's beer that is made with pure, pristine rainwater. We just harvest it straight out of the clouds and just the way Mother Nature intended it to be.

WOLF (voice-over): You heard him right. The beer is made with pure rainwater. Now, the concept isn't new. People have been harvesting rainwater for drinking, cooking and farming for centuries. But what is new, is the brew pub has teamed up with rainwater harvest systems to create a beer made from 100 percent rainwater captured on site.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Basically what you do is you put this big tank under your downspout and you're collect water when it rains. The water comes off the roof, it comes through the down spout and goes through a series of different filters and collects them in the tank and then, from there we pump it through some more filtration into the brewery. And that's where we start with the beer.

WOLF: The management here insists that the water is cleaner than city water and it's softer too, one secret of making better beer.

MORAN: And as brewers, we really like to see soft water, so not a lot of mineral content in there. And rainwater, that's what it is.

WOLF: But don't just take his word for it.

MORAN: There you go.

WOLF: The proof is in the drinking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It definitely has a smooth taste to it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's actually very smooth, very mild in flavor, really tasty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The flavor of it is a little bit different, I actually like it a lot better.

WOLF: Now beyond taste, there's a bonus in green beer for both the environment and the 5 Seasons Brewery. They could be trucking in the water from a far off mountain spring, now that would pollute the air and cost money. So they use nature's source rainwater that is local and free. It's what the customers and owners of the brewery agree is a green, green win-win.

Reynolds Wolf, CNN Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Hey, that's it for 360, thanks for watching.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

Copyright © 2010 Voxant

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Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop | View Clip
03/16/2010
Windsor Star - Online, The

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Photograph by: Canwest News Service, Canwest News Service

When the loonie surges, every Canadian shopper knows exactly what to do. We sprint over the border to take advantage of our new-found buying power.

Strangely, though, Canadian investors act in the opposite way. After a run-up in the value of the loonie, we hunker down at home, afraid to buy foreign assets.

This makes no sense. As the Canadian dollar gains strength — it traded Monday around US98 cents — investors are passing up the chance to buy foreign securities at prices they would have considered steals a few years ago.

Think of it this way: The surge in the value of the loonie over the past decade has, all by itself, knocked 30% off the value of everything in the United States. Over the same period, the loonie's rise has trimmed European prices by 7% and Japanese values by 22%.

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Instead, most Canadians appear to be doing exactly the opposite. Over the past year, while the loonie has surged against the greenback, the euro and the yen, mutual-fund investors have actually pulled back on investing in U.S., global and international equity funds.

When investors do venture outside Canada, they appear to increasingly like funds that hedge away currency risks.

For instance, five out of the 12 international funds offered in the iShares Canada family of ETFs use currency hedging to remove the impact of the loonie's ups and downs.

Hedging comes at a cost -- about a percentage point of your return every year, according to mutual fund manager Francis Chou. And, for most long-term investors, it delivers no benefit, because currency fluctuations tend to even out over the years. Meir Statman, a professor of finance at Santa Clara University, looked at hedged and unhedged portfolios of global stocks between 1988 and 2002 and found no difference in the returns they generated.

Rather than seeking to protect themselves from currency fluctuations, investors should put the strong loonie to work by snapping up foreign bargains. Especially if the loonie bursts through parity with the U.S. dollar, there is the opportunity to do some interesting cross-border shopping.

The most straightforward opportunities lie in stocks. A 2007 report by Greenwich Associates found that Canadian investors tilted their holdings heavily toward Canadian stocks. Since the Canadian stock market makes up a bare 3% of the world's stock market capitalization, this leaves most of us with portfolios that miss out on much of the world's wealth-making potential.

Given the loonie's strength, now is an excellent time to add some U.S., European and Asian stocks to your holdings. The shares of many multinationals look as cheap compared with the rest of the market as they have in 30 years, according to Barton Biggs of the Traxis Partners hedge fund. He particularly likes big-cap tech stocks such as Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.

Jeremy Grantham of GMO, the Boston-based money manager, also likes high-quality U.S. and international stocks. Some of the names in his portfolios include Oracle, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

If you're of a more adventurous mind, you may want to look at cross-border real estate. While Canadian home prices are still vectoring higher, U.S. property values have crashed. The valuation gap between the two markets is huge.

The International Monetary Fund says that the ratio of home prices to rents is far above its long-term average in Canada. In fact, the home-prices-to-rents ratio (the ratio of average home prices to average rents) is higher in Canada than in any other developed country except for Sweden. By comparison, U.S. home prices have fallen so much that the same ratio there is only slightly above its long-term trend.

You can see the state of the Canadian market reflected in a two-bedroom house down the street from where I live in a middle-class section of mid-town Toronto. The house offers a charmless facade, a narrow parking strip and what real estate agents like to call an “urban” backyard. (That's code for “only concrete grows here.”) Asking price: $974,900.

Compare that to the Sunbelt. In Tampa, or South Florida or Phoenix, it's easy to find sprawling three- and four-bedroom homes in well-to-do neighborhoods for under US$400,000. For condos, think under US$300,000.

With the greenback and loonie more or less at par, you don't have to be a currency expert to realize the arbitrage possibilities.

The owner of the Toronto home could pocket close to half a million dollars by selling his home and buying a Sunbelt getaway. He could rent out his new home or live there half the year. In either event, he would have an extra $500,000 to invest or spend -- an amount that could allow him to retire a decade earlier than he thought.

If selling your Canadian house sounds too risky, fair enough. But aggressive investors in the market for a rental property or second home should start looking at the U.S. possibilities, particularly if the loonie heads above par. Think of it as the ultimate cross-border shopping expedition.

Ian McGugan is a freelance journalist who writes for the Financial Post

Buffalo News

SkyNews, New Zealand

personalfinanceguide.com

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Return to Top



Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop | View Clip
03/16/2010
Vancouver Sun - Online, The

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Photograph by: Canwest News Service, Canwest News Service

When the loonie surges, every Canadian shopper knows exactly what to do. We sprint over the border to take advantage of our new-found buying power.

Strangely, though, Canadian investors act in the opposite way. After a run-up in the value of the loonie, we hunker down at home, afraid to buy foreign assets.

This makes no sense. As the Canadian dollar gains strength — it traded Monday around US98 cents — investors are passing up the chance to buy foreign securities at prices they would have considered steals a few years ago.

Think of it this way: The surge in the value of the loonie over the past decade has, all by itself, knocked 30% off the value of everything in the United States. Over the same period, the loonie's rise has trimmed European prices by 7% and Japanese values by 22%.

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Instead, most Canadians appear to be doing exactly the opposite. Over the past year, while the loonie has surged against the greenback, the euro and the yen, mutual-fund investors have actually pulled back on investing in U.S., global and international equity funds.

When investors do venture outside Canada, they appear to increasingly like funds that hedge away currency risks.

For instance, five out of the 12 international funds offered in the iShares Canada family of ETFs use currency hedging to remove the impact of the loonie's ups and downs.

Hedging comes at a cost -- about a percentage point of your return every year, according to mutual fund manager Francis Chou. And, for most long-term investors, it delivers no benefit, because currency fluctuations tend to even out over the years. Meir Statman, a professor of finance at Santa Clara University, looked at hedged and unhedged portfolios of global stocks between 1988 and 2002 and found no difference in the returns they generated.

Rather than seeking to protect themselves from currency fluctuations, investors should put the strong loonie to work by snapping up foreign bargains. Especially if the loonie bursts through parity with the U.S. dollar, there is the opportunity to do some interesting cross-border shopping.

The most straightforward opportunities lie in stocks. A 2007 report by Greenwich Associates found that Canadian investors tilted their holdings heavily toward Canadian stocks. Since the Canadian stock market makes up a bare 3% of the world's stock market capitalization, this leaves most of us with portfolios that miss out on much of the world's wealth-making potential.

Given the loonie's strength, now is an excellent time to add some U.S., European and Asian stocks to your holdings. The shares of many multinationals look as cheap compared with the rest of the market as they have in 30 years, according to Barton Biggs of the Traxis Partners hedge fund. He particularly likes big-cap tech stocks such as Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.

Jeremy Grantham of GMO, the Boston-based money manager, also likes high-quality U.S. and international stocks. Some of the names in his portfolios include Oracle, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

If you're of a more adventurous mind, you may want to look at cross-border real estate. While Canadian home prices are still vectoring higher, U.S. property values have crashed. The valuation gap between the two markets is huge.

The International Monetary Fund says that the ratio of home prices to rents is far above its long-term average in Canada. In fact, the home-prices-to-rents ratio (the ratio of average home prices to average rents) is higher in Canada than in any other developed country except for Sweden. By comparison, U.S. home prices have fallen so much that the same ratio there is only slightly above its long-term trend.

You can see the state of the Canadian market reflected in a two-bedroom house down the street from where I live in a middle-class section of mid-town Toronto. The house offers a charmless facade, a narrow parking strip and what real estate agents like to call an “urban” backyard. (That's code for “only concrete grows here.”) Asking price: $974,900.

Compare that to the Sunbelt. In Tampa, or South Florida or Phoenix, it's easy to find sprawling three- and four-bedroom homes in well-to-do neighborhoods for under US$400,000. For condos, think under US$300,000.

With the greenback and loonie more or less at par, you don't have to be a currency expert to realize the arbitrage possibilities.

The owner of the Toronto home could pocket close to half a million dollars by selling his home and buying a Sunbelt getaway. He could rent out his new home or live there half the year. In either event, he would have an extra $500,000 to invest or spend -- an amount that could allow him to retire a decade earlier than he thought.

If selling your Canadian house sounds too risky, fair enough. But aggressive investors in the market for a rental property or second home should start looking at the U.S. possibilities, particularly if the loonie heads above par. Think of it as the ultimate cross-border shopping expedition.

Ian McGugan is a freelance journalist who writes for the Financial Post

U.S. News & World Report

CNBC

personalfinanceguide.com

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Return to Top



Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop | View Clip
03/16/2010
Times Colonist - Online

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Photograph by: Canwest News Service, Canwest News Service

When the loonie surges, every Canadian shopper knows exactly what to do. We sprint over the border to take advantage of our new-found buying power.

Strangely, though, Canadian investors act in the opposite way. After a run-up in the value of the loonie, we hunker down at home, afraid to buy foreign assets.

This makes no sense. As the Canadian dollar gains strength — it traded Monday around US98 cents — investors are passing up the chance to buy foreign securities at prices they would have considered steals a few years ago.

Think of it this way: The surge in the value of the loonie over the past decade has, all by itself, knocked 30% off the value of everything in the United States. Over the same period, the loonie's rise has trimmed European prices by 7% and Japanese values by 22%.

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Instead, most Canadians appear to be doing exactly the opposite. Over the past year, while the loonie has surged against the greenback, the euro and the yen, mutual-fund investors have actually pulled back on investing in U.S., global and international equity funds.

When investors do venture outside Canada, they appear to increasingly like funds that hedge away currency risks.

For instance, five out of the 12 international funds offered in the iShares Canada family of ETFs use currency hedging to remove the impact of the loonie's ups and downs.

Hedging comes at a cost -- about a percentage point of your return every year, according to mutual fund manager Francis Chou. And, for most long-term investors, it delivers no benefit, because currency fluctuations tend to even out over the years. Meir Statman, a professor of finance at Santa Clara University, looked at hedged and unhedged portfolios of global stocks between 1988 and 2002 and found no difference in the returns they generated.

Rather than seeking to protect themselves from currency fluctuations, investors should put the strong loonie to work by snapping up foreign bargains. Especially if the loonie bursts through parity with the U.S. dollar, there is the opportunity to do some interesting cross-border shopping.

The most straightforward opportunities lie in stocks. A 2007 report by Greenwich Associates found that Canadian investors tilted their holdings heavily toward Canadian stocks. Since the Canadian stock market makes up a bare 3% of the world's stock market capitalization, this leaves most of us with portfolios that miss out on much of the world's wealth-making potential.

Given the loonie's strength, now is an excellent time to add some U.S., European and Asian stocks to your holdings. The shares of many multinationals look as cheap compared with the rest of the market as they have in 30 years, according to Barton Biggs of the Traxis Partners hedge fund. He particularly likes big-cap tech stocks such as Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.

Jeremy Grantham of GMO, the Boston-based money manager, also likes high-quality U.S. and international stocks. Some of the names in his portfolios include Oracle, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

If you're of a more adventurous mind, you may want to look at cross-border real estate. While Canadian home prices are still vectoring higher, U.S. property values have crashed. The valuation gap between the two markets is huge.

The International Monetary Fund says that the ratio of home prices to rents is far above its long-term average in Canada. In fact, the home-prices-to-rents ratio (the ratio of average home prices to average rents) is higher in Canada than in any other developed country except for Sweden. By comparison, U.S. home prices have fallen so much that the same ratio there is only slightly above its long-term trend.

You can see the state of the Canadian market reflected in a two-bedroom house down the street from where I live in a middle-class section of mid-town Toronto. The house offers a charmless facade, a narrow parking strip and what real estate agents like to call an “urban” backyard. (That's code for “only concrete grows here.”) Asking price: $974,900.

Compare that to the Sunbelt. In Tampa, or South Florida or Phoenix, it's easy to find sprawling three- and four-bedroom homes in well-to-do neighborhoods for under US$400,000. For condos, think under US$300,000.

With the greenback and loonie more or less at par, you don't have to be a currency expert to realize the arbitrage possibilities.

The owner of the Toronto home could pocket close to half a million dollars by selling his home and buying a Sunbelt getaway. He could rent out his new home or live there half the year. In either event, he would have an extra $500,000 to invest or spend -- an amount that could allow him to retire a decade earlier than he thought.

If selling your Canadian house sounds too risky, fair enough. But aggressive investors in the market for a rental property or second home should start looking at the U.S. possibilities, particularly if the loonie heads above par. Think of it as the ultimate cross-border shopping expedition.

Ian McGugan is a freelance journalist who writes for the Financial Post

© Copyright (c) National Post

aboutinvestingsafely.com

personalfinanceguide.com

CreativeLoafing.com

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Return to Top



Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop | View Clip
03/16/2010
Star Phoenix - Online

When the loonie surges, every Canadian shopper knows exactly what to do. We sprint over the border to take advantage of our new-found buying power.

Strangely, though, Canadian investors act in the opposite way. After a run-up in the value of the loonie, we hunker down at home, afraid to buy foreign assets.

This makes no sense. As the Canadian dollar gains strength — it traded Monday around US98 cents — investors are passing up the chance to buy foreign securities at prices they would have considered steals a few years ago.

Think of it this way: The surge in the value of the loonie over the past decade has, all by itself, knocked 30% off the value of everything in the United States. Over the same period, the loonie's rise has trimmed European prices by 7% and Japanese values by 22%.

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Instead, most Canadians appear to be doing exactly the opposite. Over the past year, while the loonie has surged against the greenback, the euro and the yen, mutual-fund investors have actually pulled back on investing in U.S., global and international equity funds.

When investors do venture outside Canada, they appear to increasingly like funds that hedge away currency risks.

For instance, five out of the 12 international funds offered in the iShares Canada family of ETFs use currency hedging to remove the impact of the loonie's ups and downs.

Hedging comes at a cost -- about a percentage point of your return every year, according to mutual fund manager Francis Chou. And, for most long-term investors, it delivers no benefit, because currency fluctuations tend to even out over the years. Meir Statman, a professor of finance at Santa Clara University, looked at hedged and unhedged portfolios of global stocks between 1988 and 2002 and found no difference in the returns they generated.

Rather than seeking to protect themselves from currency fluctuations, investors should put the strong loonie to work by snapping up foreign bargains. Especially if the loonie bursts through parity with the U.S. dollar, there is the opportunity to do some interesting cross-border shopping.

The most straightforward opportunities lie in stocks. A 2007 report by Greenwich Associates found that Canadian investors tilted their holdings heavily toward Canadian stocks. Since the Canadian stock market makes up a bare 3% of the world's stock market capitalization, this leaves most of us with portfolios that miss out on much of the world's wealth-making potential.

Given the loonie's strength, now is an excellent time to add some U.S., European and Asian stocks to your holdings. The shares of many multinationals look as cheap compared with the rest of the market as they have in 30 years, according to Barton Biggs of the Traxis Partners hedge fund. He particularly likes big-cap tech stocks such as Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.

Jeremy Grantham of GMO, the Boston-based money manager, also likes high-quality U.S. and international stocks. Some of the names in his portfolios include Oracle, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

If you're of a more adventurous mind, you may want to look at cross-border real estate. While Canadian home prices are still vectoring higher, U.S. property values have crashed. The valuation gap between the two markets is huge.

The International Monetary Fund says that the ratio of home prices to rents is far above its long-term average in Canada. In fact, the home-prices-to-rents ratio (the ratio of average home prices to average rents) is higher in Canada than in any other developed country except for Sweden. By comparison, U.S. home prices have fallen so much that the same ratio there is only slightly above its long-term trend.

You can see the state of the Canadian market reflected in a two-bedroom house down the street from where I live in a middle-class section of mid-town Toronto. The house offers a charmless facade, a narrow parking strip and what real estate agents like to call an “urban” backyard. (That's code for “only concrete grows here.”) Asking price: $974,900.

Compare that to the Sunbelt. In Tampa, or South Florida or Phoenix, it's easy to find sprawling three- and four-bedroom homes in well-to-do neighborhoods for under US$400,000. For condos, think under US$300,000.

With the greenback and loonie more or less at par, you don't have to be a currency expert to realize the arbitrage possibilities.

The owner of the Toronto home could pocket close to half a million dollars by selling his home and buying a Sunbelt getaway. He could rent out his new home or live there half the year. In either event, he would have an extra $500,000 to invest or spend -- an amount that could allow him to retire a decade earlier than he thought.

If selling your Canadian house sounds too risky, fair enough. But aggressive investors in the market for a rental property or second home should start looking at the U.S. possibilities, particularly if the loonie heads above par. Think of it as the ultimate cross-border shopping expedition.

Ian McGugan is a freelance journalist who writes for the Financial Post

© Copyright (c) National Post

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Return to Top



POINTER SISTERS BRING BRONCOS TO THEIR FEET
03/16/2010
San Jose Mercury News

They expected to feel "The Power of Love" and wound up doing the "Neutron Dance."

That was the topsy-turvy night at Santa Clara University's 44th annual Golden Circle Theatre Party on Saturday after headliner Huey Lewis and the News canceled because of illness just 48 hours before the fundraiser.

Frank Boitano, chairman of the university's board of fellows (which presents the annual dinner and show), said he learned the bad news at 5 p.m. Thursday.

On stage at San Jose's Center for the Performing Arts, he praised Santa Clara University event planner Karrie Grasser for her quick work. By 11 p.m. the same night, he said, she called to tell him the Pointer Sisters -- another group with Bay Area ties -- would fill in.

The last-minute switch caused plenty of grumbles before the show. But the Pointer Sisters showed up with three decades of hits and plenty of charm to win over the more than 1,500 attendees.

By the last number, the formally dressed crowd was standing up dancing and singing along to "Jump."

At the dinner afterward at the Fairmont, a few people even said the group might have been more fun than Huey Lewis would have been.

That's what you call serendipity.

ONSTAGE ROMANCE: Having just finished San Jose Stage Company's production of Tom Stoppard's "Rock 'n' Roll," veteran Bay Area actor Julian Lopez-Morillas is back at the theater with the South Bay premiere of "Sleep to Wake: Robert Browning Remembers Elizabeth."

The one-man show, about the love affair between the poets, opens Thursday and continues through Sunday. For tickets, call San Jose Stage Company at 408-283-7142 or go to www.thestage.org.

JA'S BIG NAMES: You'd be a fool not to be impressed by the roster that Junior Achievement of Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay is inducting into its Silicon Valley Business Hall of Fame on April 1.

U.S. Undersecretary of Education Martha Kanter, former Palm and VeriFone CEO Robin Abrams, TiE cofounder Kanwal Rekhi, Cypress Semiconductor CEO T.J. Rodgers and corporate laureate Lockheed Martin will be honored at the ceremony at the San Jose's Fairmont Hotel.

CONGRATS: Kent Mather, Jerry King and Frank Zwart -- all longtime members of the American Institute of Architects' Santa Clara Valley chapter -- were among 134 people elevated this month to the parent group's prestigious College of Fellows for their national impact on architecture.

Copyright © 2010 San Jose Mercury News

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Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop | View Clip
03/16/2010
Regina Leader-Post - Online

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Photograph by: Canwest News Service, Canwest News Service

When the loonie surges, every Canadian shopper knows exactly what to do. We sprint over the border to take advantage of our new-found buying power.

Strangely, though, Canadian investors act in the opposite way. After a run-up in the value of the loonie, we hunker down at home, afraid to buy foreign assets.

This makes no sense. As the Canadian dollar gains strength — it traded Monday around US98 cents — investors are passing up the chance to buy foreign securities at prices they would have considered steals a few years ago.

Think of it this way: The surge in the value of the loonie over the past decade has, all by itself, knocked 30% off the value of everything in the United States. Over the same period, the loonie's rise has trimmed European prices by 7% and Japanese values by 22%.

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Instead, most Canadians appear to be doing exactly the opposite. Over the past year, while the loonie has surged against the greenback, the euro and the yen, mutual-fund investors have actually pulled back on investing in U.S., global and international equity funds.

When investors do venture outside Canada, they appear to increasingly like funds that hedge away currency risks.

For instance, five out of the 12 international funds offered in the iShares Canada family of ETFs use currency hedging to remove the impact of the loonie's ups and downs.

Hedging comes at a cost -- about a percentage point of your return every year, according to mutual fund manager Francis Chou. And, for most long-term investors, it delivers no benefit, because currency fluctuations tend to even out over the years. Meir Statman, a professor of finance at Santa Clara University, looked at hedged and unhedged portfolios of global stocks between 1988 and 2002 and found no difference in the returns they generated.

Rather than seeking to protect themselves from currency fluctuations, investors should put the strong loonie to work by snapping up foreign bargains. Especially if the loonie bursts through parity with the U.S. dollar, there is the opportunity to do some interesting cross-border shopping.

The most straightforward opportunities lie in stocks. A 2007 report by Greenwich Associates found that Canadian investors tilted their holdings heavily toward Canadian stocks. Since the Canadian stock market makes up a bare 3% of the world's stock market capitalization, this leaves most of us with portfolios that miss out on much of the world's wealth-making potential.

Given the loonie's strength, now is an excellent time to add some U.S., European and Asian stocks to your holdings. The shares of many multinationals look as cheap compared with the rest of the market as they have in 30 years, according to Barton Biggs of the Traxis Partners hedge fund. He particularly likes big-cap tech stocks such as Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.

Jeremy Grantham of GMO, the Boston-based money manager, also likes high-quality U.S. and international stocks. Some of the names in his portfolios include Oracle, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

If you're of a more adventurous mind, you may want to look at cross-border real estate. While Canadian home prices are still vectoring higher, U.S. property values have crashed. The valuation gap between the two markets is huge.

The International Monetary Fund says that the ratio of home prices to rents is far above its long-term average in Canada. In fact, the home-prices-to-rents ratio (the ratio of average home prices to average rents) is higher in Canada than in any other developed country except for Sweden. By comparison, U.S. home prices have fallen so much that the same ratio there is only slightly above its long-term trend.

You can see the state of the Canadian market reflected in a two-bedroom house down the street from where I live in a middle-class section of mid-town Toronto. The house offers a charmless facade, a narrow parking strip and what real estate agents like to call an “urban” backyard. (That's code for “only concrete grows here.”) Asking price: $974,900.

Compare that to the Sunbelt. In Tampa, or South Florida or Phoenix, it's easy to find sprawling three- and four-bedroom homes in well-to-do neighborhoods for under US$400,000. For condos, think under US$300,000.

With the greenback and loonie more or less at par, you don't have to be a currency expert to realize the arbitrage possibilities.

The owner of the Toronto home could pocket close to half a million dollars by selling his home and buying a Sunbelt getaway. He could rent out his new home or live there half the year. In either event, he would have an extra $500,000 to invest or spend -- an amount that could allow him to retire a decade earlier than he thought.

If selling your Canadian house sounds too risky, fair enough. But aggressive investors in the market for a rental property or second home should start looking at the U.S. possibilities, particularly if the loonie heads above par. Think of it as the ultimate cross-border shopping expedition.

Ian McGugan is a freelance journalist who writes for the Financial Post

Globe and Mail, Canada

London Times

personalfinanceguide.com

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

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Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop | View Clip
03/16/2010
Province - Online, The

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Photograph by: Canwest News Service, Canwest News Service

When the loonie surges, every Canadian shopper knows exactly what to do. We sprint over the border to take advantage of our new-found buying power.

Strangely, though, Canadian investors act in the opposite way. After a run-up in the value of the loonie, we hunker down at home, afraid to buy foreign assets.

This makes no sense. As the Canadian dollar gains strength — it traded Monday around US98 cents — investors are passing up the chance to buy foreign securities at prices they would have considered steals a few years ago.

Think of it this way: The surge in the value of the loonie over the past decade has, all by itself, knocked 30% off the value of everything in the United States. Over the same period, the loonie's rise has trimmed European prices by 7% and Japanese values by 22%.

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Instead, most Canadians appear to be doing exactly the opposite. Over the past year, while the loonie has surged against the greenback, the euro and the yen, mutual-fund investors have actually pulled back on investing in U.S., global and international equity funds.

When investors do venture outside Canada, they appear to increasingly like funds that hedge away currency risks.

For instance, five out of the 12 international funds offered in the iShares Canada family of ETFs use currency hedging to remove the impact of the loonie's ups and downs.

Hedging comes at a cost -- about a percentage point of your return every year, according to mutual fund manager Francis Chou. And, for most long-term investors, it delivers no benefit, because currency fluctuations tend to even out over the years. Meir Statman, a professor of finance at Santa Clara University, looked at hedged and unhedged portfolios of global stocks between 1988 and 2002 and found no difference in the returns they generated.

Rather than seeking to protect themselves from currency fluctuations, investors should put the strong loonie to work by snapping up foreign bargains. Especially if the loonie bursts through parity with the U.S. dollar, there is the opportunity to do some interesting cross-border shopping.

The most straightforward opportunities lie in stocks. A 2007 report by Greenwich Associates found that Canadian investors tilted their holdings heavily toward Canadian stocks. Since the Canadian stock market makes up a bare 3% of the world's stock market capitalization, this leaves most of us with portfolios that miss out on much of the world's wealth-making potential.

Given the loonie's strength, now is an excellent time to add some U.S., European and Asian stocks to your holdings. The shares of many multinationals look as cheap compared with the rest of the market as they have in 30 years, according to Barton Biggs of the Traxis Partners hedge fund. He particularly likes big-cap tech stocks such as Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.

Jeremy Grantham of GMO, the Boston-based money manager, also likes high-quality U.S. and international stocks. Some of the names in his portfolios include Oracle, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

If you're of a more adventurous mind, you may want to look at cross-border real estate. While Canadian home prices are still vectoring higher, U.S. property values have crashed. The valuation gap between the two markets is huge.

The International Monetary Fund says that the ratio of home prices to rents is far above its long-term average in Canada. In fact, the home-prices-to-rents ratio (the ratio of average home prices to average rents) is higher in Canada than in any other developed country except for Sweden. By comparison, U.S. home prices have fallen so much that the same ratio there is only slightly above its long-term trend.

You can see the state of the Canadian market reflected in a two-bedroom house down the street from where I live in a middle-class section of mid-town Toronto. The house offers a charmless facade, a narrow parking strip and what real estate agents like to call an “urban” backyard. (That's code for “only concrete grows here.”) Asking price: $974,900.

Compare that to the Sunbelt. In Tampa, or South Florida or Phoenix, it's easy to find sprawling three- and four-bedroom homes in well-to-do neighborhoods for under US$400,000. For condos, think under US$300,000.

With the greenback and loonie more or less at par, you don't have to be a currency expert to realize the arbitrage possibilities.

The owner of the Toronto home could pocket close to half a million dollars by selling his home and buying a Sunbelt getaway. He could rent out his new home or live there half the year. In either event, he would have an extra $500,000 to invest or spend -- an amount that could allow him to retire a decade earlier than he thought.

If selling your Canadian house sounds too risky, fair enough. But aggressive investors in the market for a rental property or second home should start looking at the U.S. possibilities, particularly if the loonie heads above par. Think of it as the ultimate cross-border shopping expedition.

Ian McGugan is a freelance journalist who writes for the Financial Post

© Copyright (c) National Post

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

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Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop | View Clip
03/16/2010
Ottawa Citizen - Online, The

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Photograph by: Canwest News Service, Canwest News Service

When the loonie surges, every Canadian shopper knows exactly what to do. We sprint over the border to take advantage of our new-found buying power.

Strangely, though, Canadian investors act in the opposite way. After a run-up in the value of the loonie, we hunker down at home, afraid to buy foreign assets.

This makes no sense. As the Canadian dollar gains strength — it traded Monday around US98 cents — investors are passing up the chance to buy foreign securities at prices they would have considered steals a few years ago.

Think of it this way: The surge in the value of the loonie over the past decade has, all by itself, knocked 30% off the value of everything in the United States. Over the same period, the loonie's rise has trimmed European prices by 7% and Japanese values by 22%.

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Instead, most Canadians appear to be doing exactly the opposite. Over the past year, while the loonie has surged against the greenback, the euro and the yen, mutual-fund investors have actually pulled back on investing in U.S., global and international equity funds.

When investors do venture outside Canada, they appear to increasingly like funds that hedge away currency risks.

For instance, five out of the 12 international funds offered in the iShares Canada family of ETFs use currency hedging to remove the impact of the loonie's ups and downs.

Hedging comes at a cost -- about a percentage point of your return every year, according to mutual fund manager Francis Chou. And, for most long-term investors, it delivers no benefit, because currency fluctuations tend to even out over the years. Meir Statman, a professor of finance at Santa Clara University, looked at hedged and unhedged portfolios of global stocks between 1988 and 2002 and found no difference in the returns they generated.

Rather than seeking to protect themselves from currency fluctuations, investors should put the strong loonie to work by snapping up foreign bargains. Especially if the loonie bursts through parity with the U.S. dollar, there is the opportunity to do some interesting cross-border shopping.

The most straightforward opportunities lie in stocks. A 2007 report by Greenwich Associates found that Canadian investors tilted their holdings heavily toward Canadian stocks. Since the Canadian stock market makes up a bare 3% of the world's stock market capitalization, this leaves most of us with portfolios that miss out on much of the world's wealth-making potential.

Given the loonie's strength, now is an excellent time to add some U.S., European and Asian stocks to your holdings. The shares of many multinationals look as cheap compared with the rest of the market as they have in 30 years, according to Barton Biggs of the Traxis Partners hedge fund. He particularly likes big-cap tech stocks such as Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.

Jeremy Grantham of GMO, the Boston-based money manager, also likes high-quality U.S. and international stocks. Some of the names in his portfolios include Oracle, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

If you're of a more adventurous mind, you may want to look at cross-border real estate. While Canadian home prices are still vectoring higher, U.S. property values have crashed. The valuation gap between the two markets is huge.

The International Monetary Fund says that the ratio of home prices to rents is far above its long-term average in Canada. In fact, the home-prices-to-rents ratio (the ratio of average home prices to average rents) is higher in Canada than in any other developed country except for Sweden. By comparison, U.S. home prices have fallen so much that the same ratio there is only slightly above its long-term trend.

You can see the state of the Canadian market reflected in a two-bedroom house down the street from where I live in a middle-class section of mid-town Toronto. The house offers a charmless facade, a narrow parking strip and what real estate agents like to call an “urban” backyard. (That's code for “only concrete grows here.”) Asking price: $974,900.

Compare that to the Sunbelt. In Tampa, or South Florida or Phoenix, it's easy to find sprawling three- and four-bedroom homes in well-to-do neighborhoods for under US$400,000. For condos, think under US$300,000.

With the greenback and loonie more or less at par, you don't have to be a currency expert to realize the arbitrage possibilities.

The owner of the Toronto home could pocket close to half a million dollars by selling his home and buying a Sunbelt getaway. He could rent out his new home or live there half the year. In either event, he would have an extra $500,000 to invest or spend -- an amount that could allow him to retire a decade earlier than he thought.

If selling your Canadian house sounds too risky, fair enough. But aggressive investors in the market for a rental property or second home should start looking at the U.S. possibilities, particularly if the loonie heads above par. Think of it as the ultimate cross-border shopping expedition.

Ian McGugan is a freelance journalist who writes for the Financial Post

Financial Express, India

personalfinanceguide.com

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Return to Top



With love for community spirit A senior from Aloha High is this year's Metro princess
03/16/2010
Oregonian, The

With love for community spirit

The biggest misconception about teenage girls?

For Jessica Hua, it would be that life is one big party. But for the 17-year-old, it's "more about growing as a person and really knowing the people around you," she said.

That kind of approach to life helped earn the senior from Aloha High School the Metro Rose Festival princess crown at a ceremony Monday at the Hollywood Theatre.

Members of the Metro Rose Festival Court are junior Taylor Gerst, 17, of Glencoe High; junior Madison Moore, 17, of Sherwood High; junior Jane Whitmore, 18, of Tigard High; and senior Helen Xun, 17, of Sunset High.

This is the second year that a metro-area princess will be a part of the Rose Festival Court. In 2009, the Rose Festival Foundation opened up a spot on the court to suburban students in an effort to reach a wider audience. Breanna Burnett, the 2009 Metro princess, presented Hua with her crown.

Each of the candidates for the crown recited the speech they had to give to Rose Festival organizers. Hua (pronounced Wah) focused on love.

"Love is what brings a community together, and it's where I get my strength," she said. "My spirit embraces the Rose spirit."

Hua was born in Vancouver, B.C., and has been on the academic honor roll for four years. She is active in sports, including water polo, swimming and track and field. Her hobbies include baking, playing the piano, reading, drawing and travel.

She wants to pursue a career in international public health after college, possibly at Santa Clara University or Portland State University.

On a more personal note, she told the crowd that her mother died of breast cancer when Hua was 11.

"Although she was sick, she stayed strong and always acted like nothing was wrong," she said. "She taught me how to love people and gave me my drive to go out and help others in need. Every time I was near her, she put on a smile and tried to care for me as best she could."

Favorite book: "The Harry Potter series --I love every single book, and my favorite character is Hermione because I can relate to her."

Best memory from Aloha High: "Being involved in sports, definitely, and water polo is my favorite sport. The team was like family --the teams are really small, and you can really bond. It was sad when the season ended."

Her passion: "My passion for a cure for breast cancer has motivated me to organize Race for the Cure teams for the past few years at Aloha High School."

Rose Festival quote: "I believe that beauty, love and passion are the foundation for the City of Roses. Individually, these do not mean much; just like how individual petals of a rose are not seen to its fullest beauty. But when put together, the rose is seen as a symbol of happiness and love."

Hua is the 11th of 15 girls to be named a Rose princess this year, and each princess receives a $3,500 scholarship. The next Rose princess will be named today at Madison High School.

The Rose Queen will be crowned June 12 before the start of the Grand Floral Parade.

Stuart Tomlinson: 503-221-8313; stuarttomlinson@news.oregonian.com

Copyright © 2010 Oregonian Publishing Co.

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Now's the time to shop in U.S.; Surging loonie makes foreign assets cheaper
03/16/2010
National Post

When the loonie surges, every Canadian shopper knows exactly what to do. We sprint over the border to take advantage of our new-found buying power.

Strangely, though, Canadian investors act in the opposite way. After a run-up in the value of the loonie, we hunker down at home, afraid to buy foreign assets.

This makes no sense. As the Canadian dollar gains strength -- it traded yesterday around US98¢ -- investors are passing up the chance to buy foreign securities at prices they would have considered steals a few years ago.

Think of it this way: The surge in the value of the loonie over the past decade has, all by itself, knocked 30% off the value of everything in the United States. Over the same period, the loonie's rise has trimmed European prices by 7% and Japanese values by 22%.

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Instead, most Canadians appear to be doing exactly the opposite. Over the past year, while the loonie has surged against the greenback, the euro and the yen, mutual-fund investors have actually pulled back on investing in U.S., global and international equity funds.

When investors do venture outside Canada, they appear to increasingly like funds that hedge away currency risks.

For instance, five out of the 12 international funds offered in the iShares Canada family of ETFs use currency hedging to remove the impact of the loonie's ups and downs.

Hedging comes at a cost-- about a percentage point of your return every year, according to mutual fund manager Francis Chou. And, for most long-term investors, it delivers no benefit, because currency fluctuations tend to even out over the years. Meir Statman, a professor of finance at Santa Clara University, looked at hedged and unhedged portfolios of global stocks between 1988 and 2002 and found no difference in the returns they generated.

Rather than seeking to protect themselves from currency fluctuations, investors should put the strong loonie to work by snapping up foreign bargains. Especially if the loonie bursts through parity with the U.S. dollar, there is the opportunity to do some interesting cross-border shopping.

The most straightforward opportunities lie in stocks. A 2007 report by Greenwich Associates found that Canadian investors tilted their holdings heavily toward Canadian stocks. Since the Canadian stock market makes up a bare 3% of the world's stock-market capitalization, this leaves most of us with portfolios that miss out on much of the world's wealth-making potential.

Given the loonie's strength, now is an excellent time to add some U.S., European and Asian stocks to your holdings. The shares of many multinationals look as cheap compared with the rest of the market as they have in 30 years, says Barton Biggs of the Traxis Partners hedge fund. He particularly likes big-cap tech stocks such as Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.

Jeremy Grantham of GMO, the Boston-based money manager, also likes high-quality U.S. and international stocks. Some of the names in his portfolios include Oracle, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and GlaxoSmith-Kline PLC.

If you're of a more adventurous mind, you may want to look at cross-border real estate. While Canadian home prices are still vectoring higher, U.S. property values have crashed. The valuation gap between the two markets is huge.

The International Monetary Fund says that the ratio of home prices to rents is far above its long-term average in Canada. In fact, the home-prices-to-rents ratio (the ratio of average home prices to average rents) is higher in Canada than in any other developed country except for Sweden. By comparison, U.S. home prices have fallen so much that the same ratio there is only slightly above its long-term trend.

You can see the state of the Canadian market reflected in a two-bedroom house down the street from where I live in a middle-class section of midtown Toronto. The house offers a charmless facade, a narrow parking strip and what real estate agents like to call an 'urban' backyard. (That's code for 'only concrete grows here.') Asking price: $974,900.

Compare that with the Sunbelt. In Tampa, or South Florida or Phoenix, it's easy to find sprawling three-and four-bedroom homes in well-to-do neighbourhoods for under US$400,000. For condos, think under US$300,000.

With the greenback and loonie more or less at par, you don't have to be a currency expert to realize the arbitrage possibilities.

The owner of the Toronto home could pocket close to half a million dollars by selling his home and buying a Sunbelt getaway. He could rent out his new home or live there half the year. In either event, he would have an extra $500,000 to invest or spend--an amount that could allow him to retire a decade earlier than he thought.

If selling your Canadian house sounds too risky, fair enough. But aggressive investors in the market for a rental property or second home should start looking at the U.S. possibilities, particularly if the loonie heads above par. Think of it as the ultimate cross-border shopping expedition.

---

- Ian McGugan is a freelance journalist who writes for the Financial Post

Copyright © 2010 Financial Post

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Sandra Schneiders on religious life | View Clip
03/16/2010
National Catholic Reporter Online

Sandra Schneiders is a Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (known to many as the "IHMs") and professor of New Testament Studies and Christian Spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, in Berkeley, California.

She has written extensively on Religious Life, not only in the National Catholic Reporter, but in her projected three-volume work on Religious Life in the new millennium. The first two volumes were published by Paulist Press in 2000 and 2001 respectively. She is currently working on the third volume.

Schneiders recently published on-line in the NCR an extensive study of Religious Life as a prophetic life form. It ran in five installments from Jan. 4 through Jan. 8. She had previously published a four-page article on Religious Life in the NCR's Oct. 2 issue, and this column subsequently summarized its major points.

Her most recent article is difficult to summarize, but I shall try to do so in this week's and next week's columns. To make the effort as easy to follow as possible, I will simply list some of Schneiders's main points, whether directly or in paraphrase.

Religious life is a prophetic life form, as Pope John Paul II acknowledged in Vita Conse-crata, a post-synodal apostolic exhortation published in 1996. As such, it is based entirely on Jesus' own prophetic ministry, which called for the end of all domination systems, where power is exercised by the few over the many.

The current struggle between some in the Vatican and the overwhelming majority of religious communities of women is really a power struggle between those who favor the renewal and reforms promoted by the Second Vatican Council and those who do not. Women's Religious Life is "being used as a symbolic scapegoat" in this confrontation.

Sisters are a particularly important target because of their sheer numbers and influence. They are also "the largest, best organized, most geographically ubiquitous, most ministerially diversified, and therefore probably most effective promoters of the vision of Vatican II." As such, the Sisters are "the greatest source of hope" for many Catholics, and the "most serious danger" to "the real (that is, pre-conciliar) Church," which others are trying to restore.

The current investigation of religious communities is confined to communities of women. Male religious communities have declined in numbers just as steeply as women's, but the males are not being investigated. Why is this so?

Religious Life is also "a charismatic life form, called into existence by the Holy Spirit," which means that its members "live corporately the prophetic charism in the Church." Religious communities, therefore, are not "a work force gathering recruits for ecclesiastical projects," nor is their mission or their particular ministries determined by the hierarchy.

As for the "shortage" of vocations to Religious Life, "No Congregation 'needs' more members than are actually called to it by God....The purpose of the life is not to perpetuate particular Congregations nor to staff Church institutions; it is to live intensely the witness to the Gospel to which the Congregation is called and for as long as it is called."

Canon 586, for example, expressly forbids the intrusion by ecclesiastical authorities into the internal affairs of religious communities. They have "a rightful autonomy of life, especially of governance."

Ministerial innovation by a religious community is not a mark of "instability or infidelity to its originating charism. Such innovation belongs to the nature of the vocation as prophetic rather than institutional."

The good news of the Kingdom, or Reign, of God applies to the here-and-now, and those who proclaim that good news do so in a compassionate, not judgmental, manner, just as Jesus himself acted when he confronted the religious authorities in defense of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). Thus, the "ministry of religious to people suffering insoluble conflicts of conscience or caught in impossible life situations, is not rebellion or insubordination but a carefully discerned and courageous fidelity to their primary ministerial vocation: to mediate the good news of God's compassion and justice to people in concrete conditions."

Sisters are not clerics. Their "non-clerical status...has extremely important implications for their prophetic ministry of which many in the Church are unaware or about which they are ill-informed." A cleric makes a promise of obedience to his ecclesiastical superior and his succes-sors. Religious do not. They make vows to God alone, in the presence of their superiors, to lead the Religious Life. "In the concrete, this means that religious, unlike the clergy, are not agents of the institutional Church as Jesus was not an agent of institutional Judaism."

© 2010 Richard P. McBrien. All rights reserved. Fr. McBrien is the Crowley-O'Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame.

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Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop | View Clip
03/16/2010
Global TV - Online

When the loonie surges, every Canadian shopper knows exactly what to do. We sprint over the border to take advantage of our new-found buying power.

Strangely, though, Canadian investors act in the opposite way. After a run-up in the value of the loonie, we hunker down at home, afraid to buy foreign assets.

This makes no sense. As the Canadian dollar gains strength — it traded Monday around US98 cents — investors are passing up the chance to buy foreign securities at prices they would have considered steals a few years ago.

Think of it this way: The surge in the value of the loonie over the past decade has, all by itself, knocked 30% off the value of everything in the United States. Over the same period, the loonie's rise has trimmed European prices by 7% and Japanese values by 22%.

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Instead, most Canadians appear to be doing exactly the opposite. Over the past year, while the loonie has surged against the greenback, the euro and the yen, mutual-fund investors have actually pulled back on investing in U.S., global and international equity funds.

When investors do venture outside Canada, they appear to increasingly like funds that hedge away currency risks.

For instance, five out of the 12 international funds offered in the iShares Canada family of ETFs use currency hedging to remove the impact of the loonie's ups and downs.

Hedging comes at a cost -- about a percentage point of your return every year, according to mutual fund manager Francis Chou. And, for most long-term investors, it delivers no benefit, because currency fluctuations tend to even out over the years. Meir Statman, a professor of finance at Santa Clara University, looked at hedged and unhedged portfolios of global stocks between 1988 and 2002 and found no difference in the returns they generated.

Rather than seeking to protect themselves from currency fluctuations, investors should put the strong loonie to work by snapping up foreign bargains. Especially if the loonie bursts through parity with the U.S. dollar, there is the opportunity to do some interesting cross-border shopping.

The most straightforward opportunities lie in stocks. A 2007 report by Greenwich Associates found that Canadian investors tilted their holdings heavily toward Canadian stocks. Since the Canadian stock market makes up a bare 3% of the world's stock market capitalization, this leaves most of us with portfolios that miss out on much of the world's wealth-making potential.

Given the loonie's strength, now is an excellent time to add some U.S., European and Asian stocks to your holdings. The shares of many multinationals look as cheap compared with the rest of the market as they have in 30 years, according to Barton Biggs of the Traxis Partners hedge fund. He particularly likes big-cap tech stocks such as Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.

Jeremy Grantham of GMO, the Boston-based money manager, also likes high-quality U.S. and international stocks. Some of the names in his portfolios include Oracle, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

If you're of a more adventurous mind, you may want to look at cross-border real estate. While Canadian home prices are still vectoring higher, U.S. property values have crashed. The valuation gap between the two markets is huge.

The International Monetary Fund says that the ratio of home prices to rents is far above its long-term average in Canada. In fact, the home-prices-to-rents ratio (the ratio of average home prices to average rents) is higher in Canada than in any other developed country except for Sweden. By comparison, U.S. home prices have fallen so much that the same ratio there is only slightly above its long-term trend.

You can see the state of the Canadian market reflected in a two-bedroom house down the street from where I live in a middle-class section of mid-town Toronto. The house offers a charmless facade, a narrow parking strip and what real estate agents like to call an “urban” backyard. (That's code for “only concrete grows here.”) Asking price: $974,900.

Compare that to the Sunbelt. In Tampa, or South Florida or Phoenix, it's easy to find sprawling three- and four-bedroom homes in well-to-do neighborhoods for under US$400,000. For condos, think under US$300,000.

With the greenback and loonie more or less at par, you don't have to be a currency expert to realize the arbitrage possibilities.

The owner of the Toronto home could pocket close to half a million dollars by selling his home and buying a Sunbelt getaway. He could rent out his new home or live there half the year. In either event, he would have an extra $500,000 to invest or spend -- an amount that could allow him to retire a decade earlier than he thought.

If selling your Canadian house sounds too risky, fair enough. But aggressive investors in the market for a rental property or second home should start looking at the U.S. possibilities, particularly if the loonie heads above par. Think of it as the ultimate cross-border shopping expedition.

Ian McGugan is a freelance journalist who writes for the Financial Post

Return to Top



Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop | View Clip
03/16/2010
Global Lethbridge (CISA-TV) - Online

When the loonie surges, every Canadian shopper knows exactly what to do. We sprint over the border to take advantage of our new-found buying power.

Strangely, though, Canadian investors act in the opposite way. After a run-up in the value of the loonie, we hunker down at home, afraid to buy foreign assets.

This makes no sense. As the Canadian dollar gains strength — it traded Monday around US98 cents — investors are passing up the chance to buy foreign securities at prices they would have considered steals a few years ago.

Think of it this way: The surge in the value of the loonie over the past decade has, all by itself, knocked 30% off the value of everything in the United States. Over the same period, the loonie's rise has trimmed European prices by 7% and Japanese values by 22%.

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Instead, most Canadians appear to be doing exactly the opposite. Over the past year, while the loonie has surged against the greenback, the euro and the yen, mutual-fund investors have actually pulled back on investing in U.S., global and international equity funds.

When investors do venture outside Canada, they appear to increasingly like funds that hedge away currency risks.

For instance, five out of the 12 international funds offered in the iShares Canada family of ETFs use currency hedging to remove the impact of the loonie's ups and downs.

Hedging comes at a cost -- about a percentage point of your return every year, according to mutual fund manager Francis Chou. And, for most long-term investors, it delivers no benefit, because currency fluctuations tend to even out over the years. Meir Statman, a professor of finance at Santa Clara University, looked at hedged and unhedged portfolios of global stocks between 1988 and 2002 and found no difference in the returns they generated.

Rather than seeking to protect themselves from currency fluctuations, investors should put the strong loonie to work by snapping up foreign bargains. Especially if the loonie bursts through parity with the U.S. dollar, there is the opportunity to do some interesting cross-border shopping.

The most straightforward opportunities lie in stocks. A 2007 report by Greenwich Associates found that Canadian investors tilted their holdings heavily toward Canadian stocks. Since the Canadian stock market makes up a bare 3% of the world's stock market capitalization, this leaves most of us with portfolios that miss out on much of the world's wealth-making potential.

Given the loonie's strength, now is an excellent time to add some U.S., European and Asian stocks to your holdings. The shares of many multinationals look as cheap compared with the rest of the market as they have in 30 years, according to Barton Biggs of the Traxis Partners hedge fund. He particularly likes big-cap tech stocks such as Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.

Jeremy Grantham of GMO, the Boston-based money manager, also likes high-quality U.S. and international stocks. Some of the names in his portfolios include Oracle, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

If you're of a more adventurous mind, you may want to look at cross-border real estate. While Canadian home prices are still vectoring higher, U.S. property values have crashed. The valuation gap between the two markets is huge.

The International Monetary Fund says that the ratio of home prices to rents is far above its long-term average in Canada. In fact, the home-prices-to-rents ratio (the ratio of average home prices to average rents) is higher in Canada than in any other developed country except for Sweden. By comparison, U.S. home prices have fallen so much that the same ratio there is only slightly above its long-term trend.

You can see the state of the Canadian market reflected in a two-bedroom house down the street from where I live in a middle-class section of mid-town Toronto. The house offers a charmless facade, a narrow parking strip and what real estate agents like to call an “urban” backyard. (That's code for “only concrete grows here.”) Asking price: $974,900.

Compare that to the Sunbelt. In Tampa, or South Florida or Phoenix, it's easy to find sprawling three- and four-bedroom homes in well-to-do neighborhoods for under US$400,000. For condos, think under US$300,000.

With the greenback and loonie more or less at par, you don't have to be a currency expert to realize the arbitrage possibilities.

The owner of the Toronto home could pocket close to half a million dollars by selling his home and buying a Sunbelt getaway. He could rent out his new home or live there half the year. In either event, he would have an extra $500,000 to invest or spend -- an amount that could allow him to retire a decade earlier than he thought.

If selling your Canadian house sounds too risky, fair enough. But aggressive investors in the market for a rental property or second home should start looking at the U.S. possibilities, particularly if the loonie heads above par. Think of it as the ultimate cross-border shopping expedition.

Return to Top



Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop | View Clip
03/16/2010
Calgary Herald - Online, The

When the loonie surges, every Canadian shopper knows exactly what to do. We sprint over the border to take advantage of our new-found buying power.

Strangely, though, Canadian investors act in the opposite way. After a run-up in the value of the loonie, we hunker down at home, afraid to buy foreign assets.

This makes no sense. As the Canadian dollar gains strength — it traded Monday around US98 cents — investors are passing up the chance to buy foreign securities at prices they would have considered steals a few years ago.

Think of it this way: The surge in the value of the loonie over the past decade has, all by itself, knocked 30% off the value of everything in the United States. Over the same period, the loonie's rise has trimmed European prices by 7% and Japanese values by 22%.

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Instead, most Canadians appear to be doing exactly the opposite. Over the past year, while the loonie has surged against the greenback, the euro and the yen, mutual-fund investors have actually pulled back on investing in U.S., global and international equity funds.

When investors do venture outside Canada, they appear to increasingly like funds that hedge away currency risks.

For instance, five out of the 12 international funds offered in the iShares Canada family of ETFs use currency hedging to remove the impact of the loonie's ups and downs.

Hedging comes at a cost -- about a percentage point of your return every year, according to mutual fund manager Francis Chou. And, for most long-term investors, it delivers no benefit, because currency fluctuations tend to even out over the years. Meir Statman, a professor of finance at Santa Clara University, looked at hedged and unhedged portfolios of global stocks between 1988 and 2002 and found no difference in the returns they generated.

Rather than seeking to protect themselves from currency fluctuations, investors should put the strong loonie to work by snapping up foreign bargains. Especially if the loonie bursts through parity with the U.S. dollar, there is the opportunity to do some interesting cross-border shopping.

The most straightforward opportunities lie in stocks. A 2007 report by Greenwich Associates found that Canadian investors tilted their holdings heavily toward Canadian stocks. Since the Canadian stock market makes up a bare 3% of the world's stock market capitalization, this leaves most of us with portfolios that miss out on much of the world's wealth-making potential.

Given the loonie's strength, now is an excellent time to add some U.S., European and Asian stocks to your holdings. The shares of many multinationals look as cheap compared with the rest of the market as they have in 30 years, according to Barton Biggs of the Traxis Partners hedge fund. He particularly likes big-cap tech stocks such as Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.

Jeremy Grantham of GMO, the Boston-based money manager, also likes high-quality U.S. and international stocks. Some of the names in his portfolios include Oracle, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

If you're of a more adventurous mind, you may want to look at cross-border real estate. While Canadian home prices are still vectoring higher, U.S. property values have crashed. The valuation gap between the two markets is huge.

The International Monetary Fund says that the ratio of home prices to rents is far above its long-term average in Canada. In fact, the home-prices-to-rents ratio (the ratio of average home prices to average rents) is higher in Canada than in any other developed country except for Sweden. By comparison, U.S. home prices have fallen so much that the same ratio there is only slightly above its long-term trend.

You can see the state of the Canadian market reflected in a two-bedroom house down the street from where I live in a middle-class section of mid-town Toronto. The house offers a charmless facade, a narrow parking strip and what real estate agents like to call an “urban” backyard. (That's code for “only concrete grows here.”) Asking price: $974,900.

Compare that to the Sunbelt. In Tampa, or South Florida or Phoenix, it's easy to find sprawling three- and four-bedroom homes in well-to-do neighborhoods for under US$400,000. For condos, think under US$300,000.

With the greenback and loonie more or less at par, you don't have to be a currency expert to realize the arbitrage possibilities.

The owner of the Toronto home could pocket close to half a million dollars by selling his home and buying a Sunbelt getaway. He could rent out his new home or live there half the year. In either event, he would have an extra $500,000 to invest or spend -- an amount that could allow him to retire a decade earlier than he thought.

If selling your Canadian house sounds too risky, fair enough. But aggressive investors in the market for a rental property or second home should start looking at the U.S. possibilities, particularly if the loonie heads above par. Think of it as the ultimate cross-border shopping expedition.

Ian McGugan is a freelance journalist who writes for the Financial Post

© Copyright (c) National Post

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Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop | View Clip
03/15/2010
Westerly News

When the loonie surges, every Canadian shopper knows exactly what to do. We sprint over the border to take advantage of our new-found buying power.

Strangely, though, Canadian investors act in the opposite way. After a run-up in the value of the loonie, we hunker down at home, afraid to buy foreign assets.

This makes no sense. As the Canadian dollar gains strength — it traded Monday around US98 cents — investors are passing up the chance to buy foreign securities at prices they would have considered steals a few years ago.

Think of it this way: The surge in the value of the loonie over the past decade has, all by itself, knocked 30% off the value of everything in the United States. Over the same period, the loonie's rise has trimmed European prices by 7% and Japanese values by 22%.

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Instead, most Canadians appear to be doing exactly the opposite. Over the past year, while the loonie has surged against the greenback, the euro and the yen, mutual-fund investors have actually pulled back on investing in U.S., global and international equity funds.

When investors do venture outside Canada, they appear to increasingly like funds that hedge away currency risks.

For instance, five out of the 12 international funds offered in the iShares Canada family of ETFs use currency hedging to remove the impact of the loonie's ups and downs.

Hedging comes at a cost -- about a percentage point of your return every year, according to mutual fund manager Francis Chou. And, for most long-term investors, it delivers no benefit, because currency fluctuations tend to even out over the years. Meir Statman, a professor of finance at Santa Clara University, looked at hedged and unhedged portfolios of global stocks between 1988 and 2002 and found no difference in the returns they generated.

Rather than seeking to protect themselves from currency fluctuations, investors should put the strong loonie to work by snapping up foreign bargains. Especially if the loonie bursts through parity with the U.S. dollar, there is the opportunity to do some interesting cross-border shopping.

The most straightforward opportunities lie in stocks. A 2007 report by Greenwich Associates found that Canadian investors tilted their holdings heavily toward Canadian stocks. Since the Canadian stock market makes up a bare 3% of the world's stock market capitalization, this leaves most of us with portfolios that miss out on much of the world's wealth-making potential.

Given the loonie's strength, now is an excellent time to add some U.S., European and Asian stocks to your holdings. The shares of many multinationals look as cheap compared with the rest of the market as they have in 30 years, according to Barton Biggs of the Traxis Partners hedge fund. He particularly likes big-cap tech stocks such as Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.

Jeremy Grantham of GMO, the Boston-based money manager, also likes high-quality U.S. and international stocks. Some of the names in his portfolios include Oracle, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

If you're of a more adventurous mind, you may want to look at cross-border real estate. While Canadian home prices are still vectoring higher, U.S. property values have crashed. The valuation gap between the two markets is huge.

The International Monetary Fund says that the ratio of home prices to rents is far above its long-term average in Canada. In fact, the home-prices-to-rents ratio (the ratio of average home prices to average rents) is higher in Canada than in any other developed country except for Sweden. By comparison, U.S. home prices have fallen so much that the same ratio there is only slightly above its long-term trend.

You can see the state of the Canadian market reflected in a two-bedroom house down the street from where I live in a middle-class section of mid-town Toronto. The house offers a charmless facade, a narrow parking strip and what real estate agents like to call an “urban” backyard. (That's code for “only concrete grows here.”) Asking price: $974,900.

Compare that to the Sunbelt. In Tampa, or South Florida or Phoenix, it's easy to find sprawling three- and four-bedroom homes in well-to-do neighborhoods for under US$400,000. For condos, think under US$300,000.

With the greenback and loonie more or less at par, you don't have to be a currency expert to realize the arbitrage possibilities.

The owner of the Toronto home could pocket close to half a million dollars by selling his home and buying a Sunbelt getaway. He could rent out his new home or live there half the year. In either event, he would have an extra $500,000 to invest or spend -- an amount that could allow him to retire a decade earlier than he thought.

If selling your Canadian house sounds too risky, fair enough. But aggressive investors in the market for a rental property or second home should start looking at the U.S. possibilities, particularly if the loonie heads above par. Think of it as the ultimate cross-border shopping expedition.

Ian McGugan is a freelance journalist who writes for the Financial Post

Return to Top



Pizarro: Entertaining pinch-hit by the Pointer Sisters | View Clip
03/15/2010
SiliconValley.com

They expected to feel "The Power of Love" and wound up doing the "Neutron Dance."

That was the topsy-turvy night at Santa Clara University's 44th annual Golden Circle Theatre Party on Saturday after headliner Huey Lewis and the News canceled because of illness just 48 hours before the fundraiser.

Frank Boitano, chairman of the university's board of fellows (which presents the annual dinner and show), said he learned the bad news at 5 p.m. Thursday.

On stage at San Jose's Center for the Performing Arts, he praised Santa Clara University event planner Karrie Grasser for her quick work. By 11 p.m. the same night, he said, she called to tell him the Pointer Sisters — another group with Bay Area ties — would fill in.

The last-minute switch caused plenty of grumbles before the show. But the Pointer Sisters showed up with three decades of hits and plenty of charm to win over the more than 1,500 attendees.

By the last number of the hourlong set, the formally dressed crowd was standing up dancing and singing along to "Jump."

At the dinner afterward — which spanned several banquet rooms of the Fairmont Hotel — a few people even said the group might have been more fun than Huey Lewis would have been.

That's what you call serendipity.

ONSTAGE ROMANCE: Having just finished San Jose Stage Company's production of Tom Stoppard's "Rock 'n' Roll," veteran Bay Area actor

Julian López-Morillas is back at the theater with the South Bay premiere of "Sleep to Wake: Robert Browning Remembers Elizabeth."

The one-man show, about the love affair between the two Victorian poets, opens Thursday and continues through Sunday. For tickets, call San Jose Stage Company at 408-283-7142 or go to www.thestage.org.

JA'S BIG NAMES: You'd be a fool not to be impressed by the roster that Junior Achievement of Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay is inducting into its Silicon Valley Business Hall of Fame on April 1.

U.S. Undersecretary of Education Martha Kanter, former Palm and VeriFone CEO Robin Abrams, TiE cofounder Kanwal Rekhi, Cypress Semiconductor CEO T.J. Rodgers and corporate laureate Lockheed Martin will be honored at the ceremony at the San Jose's Fairmont Hotel.

CONGRATS: Kent Mather, Jerry King and Frank Zwart — all longtime members of the American Institute of Architects' Santa Clara Valley chapter — were among 134 people elevated this month to the parent group's prestigious College of Fellows for their national impact on architecture.

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com or 408-627-0940.

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Pizarro: Entertaining pinch-hit by the Pointer Sisters | View Clip
03/15/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

They expected to feel "The Power of Love" and wound up doing the "Neutron Dance."

That was the topsy-turvy night at Santa Clara University's 44th annual Golden Circle Theatre Party on Saturday after headliner Huey Lewis and the News canceled because of illness just 48 hours before the fundraiser.

Frank Boitano, chair of the university's board of fellows (which presents the annual dinner and show), said he learned the bad news at 5 p.m. Thursday.

On stage at San Jose's Center for the Performing Arts, he praised Santa Clara University event planner Karrie Grasser for her quick work. By 11 p.m. the same night, he said, she called to tell him the Pointer Sisters — another group with Bay Area ties — would fill in.

The last-minute switch caused plenty of grumbles before the show. But the Pointer Sisters showed up with three decades of hits and plenty of charm to win over the more than 1,500 attendees.

By the last number of the hour-long set, the formally dressed crowd was standing up dancing and singing along to "Jump."

At the dinner afterward — which spanned several banquet rooms of the Fairmont Hotel — a few people even said the group might have been more fun than Huey Lewis would have been.

That's what you call serendipity.

ONSTAGE ROMANCE: Having just finished San Jose Stage Company's production of Tom Stoppard's "Rock 'n' Roll," veteran Bay Area actor

Julian López-Morillas is back at the theater with the South Bay premiere of, "Sleep to Wake: Robert Browning Remembers Elizabeth."

The one-man show, about the love affair between the two Victorian poets, opens Thursday and continues through Sunday. For tickets, call San Jose Stage Company at 408-283-7142 or go to www.thestage.org.

JA'S BIG NAMES: You'd be a fool not to be impressed by the roster that Junior Achievement of Silicon Valley & Monterey Bay is inducting into its Silicon Valley Business Hall of Fame on April 1.

U.S. Undersecretary of Education Martha Kanter, former Palm and VeriFone CEO Robin Abrams, TiE cofounder Kanwal Rekhi, Cypress Semiconductor CEO T.J. Rodgers and corporate laureate Lockheed Martin will be honored at the ceremony at the San Jose's Fairmont Hotel.

CONGRATS: Kent Mather, Jerry King and Frank Zwart — all longtime members of the American Institute of Architects' Santa Clara Valley chapter — were among 134 people elevated this month to the parent group's prestigious College of Fellows for their national impact on architecture.

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com or 408-627-0940.

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Now's the time for investors to cross-border shop | View Clip
03/15/2010
National Post - Online

Canwest News Service This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across ...

When the loonie surges, every Canadian shopper knows exactly what to do. We sprint over the border to take advantage of our new-found buying power.

Strangely, though, Canadian investors act in the opposite way. After a run-up in the value of the loonie, we hunker down at home, afraid to buy foreign assets.

This makes no sense. As the Canadian dollar gains strength - it traded Monday around US98 cents - investors are passing up the chance to buy foreign securities at prices they would have considered steals a few years ago.

Think of it this way: The surge in the value of the loonie over the past decade has, all by itself, knocked 30% off the value of everything in the United States. Over the same period, the loonie's rise has trimmed European prices by 7% and Japanese values by 22%.

This is precisely the time for investors to scoop up foreign stocks and real estate in the same way that your relatives in Niagara Falls, Ont., take advantage of currency fluctuations to bolt across the border and stock up on golf clubs or dress clothes.

Instead, most Canadians appear to be doing exactly the opposite. Over the past year, while the loonie has surged against the greenback, the euro and the yen, mutual-fund investors have actually pulled back on investing in U.S., global and international equity funds.

When investors do venture outside Canada, they appear to increasingly like funds that hedge away currency risks.

For instance, five out of the 12 international funds offered in the iShares Canada family of ETFs use currency hedging to remove the impact of the loonie's ups and downs.

Hedging comes at a cost -- about a percentage point of your return every year, according to mutual fund manager Francis Chou. And, for most long-term investors, it delivers no benefit, because currency fluctuations tend to even out over the years. Meir Statman, a professor of finance at Santa Clara University, looked at hedged and unhedged portfolios of global stocks between 1988 and 2002 and found no difference in the returns they generated.

Rather than seeking to protect themselves from currency fluctuations, investors should put the strong loonie to work by snapping up foreign bargains. Especially if the loonie bursts through parity with the U.S. dollar, there is the opportunity to do some interesting cross-border shopping.

The most straightforward opportunities lie in stocks. A 2007 report by Greenwich Associates found that Canadian investors tilted their holdings heavily toward Canadian stocks. Since the Canadian stock market makes up a bare 3% of the world's stock market capitalization, this leaves most of us with portfolios that miss out on much of the world's wealth-making potential.

Given the loonie's strength, now is an excellent time to add some U.S., European and Asian stocks to your holdings. The shares of many multinationals look as cheap compared with the rest of the market as they have in 30 years, according to Barton Biggs of the Traxis Partners hedge fund. He particularly likes big-cap tech stocks such as Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.

Jeremy Grantham of GMO, the Boston-based money manager, also likes high-quality U.S. and international stocks. Some of the names in his portfolios include Oracle, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Royal Dutch Shell PLC and GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

If you're of a more adventurous mind, you may want to look at cross-border real estate. While Canadian home prices are still vectoring higher, U.S. property values have crashed. The valuation gap between the two markets is huge.

The International Monetary Fund says that the ratio of home prices to rents is far above its long-term average in Canada. In fact, the home-prices-to-rents ratio (the ratio of average home prices to average rents) is higher in Canada than in any other developed country except for Sweden. By comparison, U.S. home prices have fallen so much that the same ratio there is only slightly above its long-term trend.

You can see the state of the Canadian market reflected in a two-bedroom house down the street from where I live in a middle-class section of mid-town Toronto. The house offers a charmless facade, a narrow parking strip and what real estate agents like to call an "urban" backyard. (That's code for "only concrete grows here.") Asking price: $974,900.

Compare that to the Sunbelt. In Tampa, or South Florida or Phoenix, it's easy to find sprawling three- and four-bedroom homes in well-to-do neighborhoods for under US$400,000. For condos, think under US$300,000.

With the greenback and loonie more or less at par, you don't have to be a currency expert to realize the arbitrage possibilities.

The owner of the Toronto home could pocket close to half a million dollars by selling his home and buying a Sunbelt getaway. He could rent out his new home or live there half the year. In either event, he would have an extra $500,000 to invest or spend -- an amount that could allow him to retire a decade earlier than he thought.

If selling your Canadian house sounds too risky, fair enough. But aggressive investors in the market for a rental property or second home should start looking at the U.S. possibilities, particularly if the loonie heads above par. Think of it as the ultimate cross-border shopping expedition.

Return to Top



22 Top Catholic Colleges and Universities | View Clip
03/15/2010
About.com

The United States has some amazing colleges and universities affiliated with the Catholic Church, and this week's newsletter takes a look at 22 of the best.

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Newsom casts himself as reformer in bid for lieutenant governor | View Clip
03/13/2010
San Jose Mercury News - Online

Contra Costa Times

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom meets with the media after announcing that he is running for lieutenant governor, in San Francisco, Friday, March 12, 2010.

SACRAMENTO "” Not so long ago, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was laughing at the thought of running for lieutenant governor. Friday, he apparently decided it"s not such a desultory office after all, jumping into the race for the No. 2 slot on the Democratic ticket on the final day to file.

He cast himself as a reformer seeking to end the dysfunction in the Capitol.

"We need to embrace a new way of doing things in Sacramento and we need new leaders who are willing to stand up and change state government," he said in his announcement statement.

Known mostly as the supporter of same-sex marriage and the guy who bowed out of the governor"s race last fall, Newsom has an opportunity to push the refresh button on his image and prop himself up for a bright future with a statewide race, political observers said.

"It"s a path to higher office," said Ben Tulchin, a San Francisco-based Democratic pollster. "It raises his profile, lets him round out his image and gives him a platform."

Newsom seriously began to consider the race after Tulchin"s polling showed him with a 33 percent to 17 percent lead over Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn in a head-to-head matchup for lieutenant governor. A third possible candidate, Sen. Dean Florez, D-Fresno, immediately quit the race and endorsed Newsom.

Newsom, 42, has been mayor of San Francisco since 2004 after serving on the board of supervisors for

seven years. He made a bid for governor last year before bowing out in the fall, unable to mobilize enough support to overcome Attorney General Jerry Brown"s fundraising and name-identity advantages.

In his final days as a gubernatorial candidate, Newsom scoffed at the notion of running for lieutenant governor, laughing at the question of whether he would seek that office. His former campaign manager, Garry South, who now runs Hahn"s campaign, said Newsom"s ambivalence toward the office will be a central issue.

But even more important, South said, is what he said was Newsom"s questionable work habits as a candidate.

Newsom"s departure from the gubernatorial race, South said, was not that Brown"s victory was inevitable, "but that (Newsom) was utterly incapable or unwilling to do the hard work necessary to run for office at such a high level."

Newsom, South added, "loves the roar of the crowd and the smell of grease paint but what he doesn"t like is applying the elbow grease necessary to run for office at a high level."

Corey Cook, a political-science professor at the University of San Francisco, said Newsom"s flaws as a gubernatorial candidate won"t likely hamper him in a lieutenant governor"s race.

"What (South) is talking about is raising money, but that may not make a difference because there won"t be the same need to raise money," Cook said. "The big thing is that he"s got name recognition and there"s very little money (for Hahn) to turn that around."

Most Democratic campaign cash, Cook said, will be directed to the governor"s race, either into Brown"s campaign or the various independent expenditure committees in support of him.

Hahn had $341,000 cash on hand at the end of last year, and has raised an additional $38,000 since the beginning of the year. Newsom has raised $51,500 "” all in the last in two days.

Newsom conceded that he "openly questioned" the relevancy

of the lieutenant governor"s office.

"But, as I"ve opened my mind," he said, he"s decided that the office will provide him the "freedom and platform" to pursue a political agenda.

Democrats do have to be aware, said Cook, that the top of their ticket"s diversity could pale in comparison to a Republican ticket that could have a woman and a Latino, if ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman wins the GOP gubernatorial nomination and Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, runs as the incumbent lieutenant governor, depending on whether he gets confirmed by the Legislature.

"It"s a valid concern and it could sway some Democratic voters" toward Hahn, Cook said.

James Lai, a political-science professor at Santa Clara University, said it was obvious that Newsom wasn"t ready to run for governor, but he has an opportunity to re-establish himself on the lower rung of California statewide electoral politics.

"He has an image as an ultraliberal mayor from San Francisco, so he"s got to be able to get more exposure, broaden his image, develop a greater political network outside of San Francisco," Lai said. "This campaign will get him out of the context of San Francisco. He needs to soften his image, make him more appealing to inland empire Democrats and moderates."

Contact Steven Harmon at 916-441-2101.

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LATE ENTRIES SHAKE UP RACES
03/13/2010
San Jose Mercury News

Not so long ago, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was laughing at the thought of running for lieutenant governor. Friday, he apparently decided it's not such a desultory office after all, jumping into the race for the No. 2 slot on the Democratic ticket on the final day to file.

He cast himself as a reformer seeking to end the dysfunction in the Capitol.

"We need to embrace a new way of doing things in Sacramento, and we need new leaders who are willing to stand up and change state government," he said in his announcement statement.

Known mostly as a supporter of gay marriage and for having bowed out of the governor's race last fall, Newsom has an opportunity to push the refresh button on his image and prop himself up for a bright future with a statewide race, political observers said.

"It's a path to higher office," said Ben Tulchin, a San Francisco-based Democratic pollster. "It raises his profile, lets him round out his image and gives him a platform."

State Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-SantaMaria, recently tapped by the governor to replace departing Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, said Friday that he's not fazed by having Newsom as a rival in the race.

"I feel I can beat Gavin Newsom," said Maldonado, who represents part of Santa Cruz County and is considered a moderate Republican. "I've been reasonable, pragmatic, and I think the voters of California want someone who has been bipartisan."

Maldonado is running in the Republican primary and hopes before the June contest to seal his nomination to the vacant post, giving him the advantage of incumbency for the election.

"I don't know much about Gavin. I just know what I read," Maldonado said. "Obviously the people of San Francisco think he's a good representative, and they've elected him twice. ... I welcome him to the race."

Newsom began to seriously consider the race after Tulchin's polling showed him with a 33 percent-17 percent lead over Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn in a head-to-head matchup for lieutenant governor. A third possible candidate, state Sen. Dean Florez, D-Fresno, immediately quit the race and endorsed Newsom.

Newsom, 42, has been mayor of San Francisco since 2004 after serving on the board of supervisors for seven years. He made a bid for governor last year before bowing out in the fall, unable to mobilize enough support to overcome Attorney General Jerry Brown's fundraising and name-identity advantages.

In his final days as a gubernatorial candidate, Newsom scoffed at the notion of running for lieutenant governor. His former campaign manager, Garry South, who now runs Hahn's campaign, said Newsom's ambivalence toward the office will be a central issue.

But even more important, South said, is what he called Newsom's questionable work habits as a candidate. Newsom's departure from the gubernatorial race, South said, was not because a Brown victory is inevitable, but because "(Newsom) was utterly incapable or unwilling to do the hard work necessary to run for office at such a high level."

Newsom, South added, "loves the roar of the crowd and the smell of grease paint, but what he doesn't like is applying the elbow grease necessary to run for office at a high level."

Corey Cook, a political science professor at the University of San Francisco, said Newsom's flaws as a gubernatorial candidate are unlikely to hamper him in a lieutenant governor's race.

"What (South) is talking about is raising money, but that may not make a difference because there won't be the same need to raise money," Cook said. "The big thing is that he's got name recognition and there's very little money (for Hahn) to turn that around."

Most Democratic campaign cash, Cook said, will be directed toward the governor's race, either into Brown's campaign or the independent expenditure committees in support of him.

Hahn had $341,000 in cash on hand at the end of last year, and has raised an additional $38,000 since the beginning of the year. Newsom has raised $51,500 -- all in the past two days.

Newsom conceded that he "openly questioned" the relevancy of the lieutenant governor's office.

"But, as I've opened my mind," he said, he's decided that the office will provide him the "freedom and platform" to pursue a political agenda.

Democrats do have to be aware, said Cook, that the top of their ticket's diversity could pale in comparison to a Republican ticket that could have a woman and a Latino, if ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman wins the GOP gubernatorial nomination and Maldonado runs as the incumbent lieutenant governor, depending on whether he gets confirmed by the Legislature.

"It's a valid concern and it could sway some Democratic voters" toward Hahn, Cook said.

James Lai, a political science professor at Santa Clara University, said it was obvious that Newsom wasn't ready to run for governor, but he has an opportunity to re-establish himself on the lower rung of California statewide electoral politics.

"He has an image as an ultraliberal mayor from San Francisco, so he's got to be able to get more exposure, broaden his image, develop a greater political network outside of San Francisco," Lai said. "This campaign will get him out of the context of San Francisco. He needs to soften his image, make him more appealing to Inland Empire Democrats and moderates."

Contact Steven Harmon at 916-441-2101.

Copyright © 2010 San Jose Mercury News

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TESTING THE HYPE: IPAD FOR SALE
03/13/2010
San Jose Mercury News

Apple began taking pre-orders Friday for its multimedia iPad, though the company limited reservations to two per customer, suggesting some early supply problems for the long-anticipated device.

The Wi-Fi-only iPad will be delivered to early-bird shoppers April 3, while the version equipped to run on Wi-Fi and a 3G cellular network will ship several weeks later. When Apple unveiled the touch-screen device Jan. 27, the company said the first iPads would ship in "late March" worldwide. Now, international releases are planned for later in April.

Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek said his checks with Apple's Asian suppliers revealed production problems -- early devices rolling off the assembly line have a higher number of defects than anticipated -- that could limit the number of iPads initially available.

The manufacturing hiccups, though, are not going to be "a big deal," he said. "It's going to be a very short-lived issue," Misek added.

The iPhone rollout also had early hitches and was delayed, he said. "They put all hands on deck and they got it done. (Apple Chief Operating Officer) Tim Cook is the best global logistics manager on the planet. This guy will fix it in the fastest way possible."

Although it's hard to gauge pre-order interest so soon, a call to inquire about placing an order at 7:30 a.m. was met with a 10-minute wait before a sales representative came on the line. "We've been busy here placing orders," she said.

At Apple's retail store at Westfield Valley Fair mall in San Jose, though, there were no lines of iPad fans eager to get their orders in early.

San Jose resident Mark Potter, who showed up at the store to get his wife's iPhone repaired, said he plans to wait for the second or third generation iPad to be released -- after the company "works the bugs out" -- before buying one. "But I am enthusiastic" about the device.

Pre-orders serve two purposes: They give Apple a sense of demand so it can prepare its iPad inventory, and they gin up even more interest in one of the most-hyped products in tech gadget history, Needham analyst Charles Wolf said.

"They want to stoke demand, and having pre-orders is a way to do it," he said. "Apple would like to come out with a press release at some point before the third of April that says, 'We have pre-orders of 1 million, 2 million' -- whatever. They won't come out with the release if it's not a big number."

Wolf said he does not expect a huge wave of pre-orders because the iPad is such a new computing device.

"I think the iPad is a device people are going to want to see and play with before they buy it," he added. "There is nothing like it."

Indeed, Cupertino engineer Kevin Hwang, who visited the Valley Fair Apple Store on Friday to get an iPod touch repaired, said he wants to see what the device is like before buying one. He added, "I need to get the budget approved by my wife. I want to buy it."

Terence Lee, a 25-year-old engineering graduate student at the Santa Clara University, is a solid Apple fan -- he owns an iPhone and iPod and was shopping for a new MacBook. But he's not sure where the iPad would fit in his digital life. "I don't think it's useful. And it's expensive."

Analysts believe the iPad, like the iPhone, will take some time to catch on with mainstream consumers. Apple sold 8.7 million iPhones in its last quarter alone.

An Apple spokesman said late Friday that the company was not immediately releasing any order numbers.

Misek said his sources tell him Apple had already sold "hundreds of thousands" of iPads by midday Friday. "It's going to be a hit. No one should really be surprised. It's Apple, after all."

He calls his estimate of 3 million to 5 million iPad unit sales in the first year "very, very conservative." Misek said an anticipated TV app, which would allow consumers to subscribe to a service that lets them watch slightly delayed television shows, could make the iPad wildly successful.

Devices purchased through Apple's online store will be delivered for free April 3. iPads also can be reserved for pickup at Apple's retail stores.

All models will be available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom by late April, Apple said. Other countries are expected to get the device later in the year.

Apple said the iPad will include 12 new applications designed specifically for the device. It will also run "almost all" of the more than 150,000 apps available for the iPhone and iPod touch, the company said.

Contact John Boudreau at 408-278-3496.

Copyright © 2010 San Jose Mercury News

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Brizzi's lease deals benefited friend, donor | View Clip
03/13/2010
Indianapolis Business Journal

Carl Brizzi was preparing to take over as Marion County prosecutor in late 2002 when he met John Bales, an up-and-coming real estate broker with CB Richard Ellis.

Departing Prosecutor Scott Newman had picked Bales, on the advice of Auditor Martha Womacks, to help shepherd a deal to consolidate the department's office space into 71,000 square feet in the 11-story 251 East Ohio building. Newman signed the deal but left the details of designing the space to Brizzi.

The prosecutor hit it off with Bales. The pair began to hang out and partner on real estate deals, including a bank branch and a small office building. Bales became one of Brizzi's top political contributors, giving more than $5,000 to Brizzi's re-election effort in 2006.
John Bales Bales

Meanwhile, records show Brizzi directed more lucrative work for the Prosecutor's Office to his friend and business partner. From 2003 to 2007, the Prosecutor's Office negotiated three separate amendments to its original lease, each resulting in a new commission check for Bales.

Brizzi, 41, already has come under fire for investments in companies connected to another friend and prolific Republican donor, Timothy Durham, who is the target of an FBI securities fraud investigation. Durham was Brizzi's finance chairman for his 2006 re-election.

Now, the FBI is asking questions about Brizzi's business dealings while in office, including whether he put business relationships with people like Durham and Bales ahead of those who elected him. His handling of the Prosecutor's Office lease deal, worth more than $1 million annually in rent payments, is one of the deals attracting interest.

Prosecution of an elected official at the state level requires an actual quid pro quo, but the standard under the federal Hobbs Act is lower: Any elected official who receives money or property under “color of official right” or through “fear of economic harm” can be charged.

Brizzi, who said earlier this year he will not seek a third term as prosecutor, declined an interview request. But Prosecutor's Office spokesman Mario Massillamany said Brizzi had no choice but to negotiate with Bales on changes to the lease.

“According to the terms of the lease that Prosecutor Newman signed, only Mr. Bales could negotiate the amendment and subsequent extension,” Massillamany wrote in an e-mail. “Mr. Bales has not represented the office in any other capacity.”

But an expert on government ethics questioned Brizzi's judgment in pursuing a personal business relationship with a vendor to his elected office.

Judy Nadler, a senior fellow on government ethics at Santa Clara University, said it would be nearly impossible for any public official to put the interests of constituents first if a decision conflicts with his own financial interests.

That's why elected officials must avoid situations that even suggest a conflict, said Nadler, a former two-term mayor and council member in Santa Clara, Calif.

“Sometimes people forget they are public servants, not businessmen or developers,” Nadler said. “Either be a real estate mogul or serve out your time as a public servant.”

Early extension

Brizzi mapBefore the Prosecutor's Office moved into 251 East Ohio, its functions were spread out over a few floors in the City-County Building, a suite at 17 W. Jackson Place above the Ike and Jonesy's bar, and a leak-prone 9,000-square-foot space in the Victoria Centre at 22 E. Washington St., said Newman, the former prosecutor.

Newman said he brought in Bales, 43, to represent the Prosecutor's Office after watching other Marion County officeholders negotiate their own leases and get bad deals. Newman signed the deal in December 2002.

“Bales was wringing his hands—he was afraid I would negotiate it to death,” Newman said. “I introduced him to Carl as I was leaving office.”

The lease deal—valued at $9.8 million over 10 years—paid Bales a 4-percent commission, about $392,000. The landlord paid both Bales' commission and a 2 percent fee for its own broker.

Brizzi made the first change to the deal in his first month in office. He executed an amendment that extended the lease more than 18 months, to 2014—paying Bales another $51,000. The document does not say whether the building owner provided something in exchange for the lease extension.

Office market observers say the extension could be related to cost overruns on the construction of the space or a change in fixtures to suit Brizzi's tastes. Such changes to major lease deals are not uncommon.

A few months later, in August 2003, Brizzi signed off on another amendment, this time waiving three months of free rent gained in the first amendment to entice the landlord to help cover a $300,000 tab to connect the new offices to a computer network at the City-County Building. Bales had overlooked the cost of running the wires in the original deal, said a broker familiar with the agreement. Bales nonetheless earned another $12,000 or so in fees on the second amendment.

Four years later, in August 2007, Brizzi signed a third amendment to the lease. The deal added another 6,800 square feet to the Prosecutor's Office space, and extended the entire lease deal to 2017.

Bales collected another commission check, likely for more than $219,000, based on an IBJ calculation of the value of the additional annual rent payments.

Massillamany said the amendments will help the department save on rent by locking in a long-term deal. He said the 2007 amendment cut total rent an estimated $423,000.

Bales did not return phone messages.

Competitive rate

The current lease rate for the Prosecutor's Office is $15.69 per square foot, which is competitive compared with similar space available downtown. Market Tower, for example, is marketing space for $17 to $20 per square foot, and M&I Plaza is listing space at $18 per square foot.

But the space is pricier than what other city agencies pay for offices in the City-County Building, which is 100-percent occupied. Those departments pay $10.35 per square foot, said Deputy Controller Jason Dudich.

To lease space outside the City-County Building, a municipal division must seek approval from the City-County Council. The council approved the initial Prosecutor's Office move in October 2002, and the expansion in June 2007.

The resolution authorizing the lease extension and expansion was sponsored by former Republican Councilman Lincoln Plowman, who resigned from the council and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department this month after word leaked he is the subject of a federal investigation. There was no indication his resignation was connected to the Prosecutor's Office deal.

The 251 East Ohio building is owned by Santa Monica, Calif.-based Hertz Investment Group, which acquired the property and the Gold Building at 151 N. Delaware St. for more than $40 million in 2006.

A year after Hertz bought the Indianapolis buildings, the company landed the expansion deal with the Prosecutor's Office. The owner also scored a tax-assessment drop of more than $9 million, thanks to its public-sector tenants.

Two masters

Brizzi also has partnered with Bales, now president of locally based Venture Cos., as a private investor.

In 2004, Brizzi bought and later flipped two condos in Broad Ripple's Reserve development, which was developed by Bales and partners including Steve Pittman and Barnes & Thornburg attorney Ben Pecar.

Brizzi and Bales partnered in 2005 to develop a Key Bank branch in Broad Ripple, at a time Bales was a member of the Metropolitan Development Commission as a county appointee. Bales was reappointed in 2006—at the request of Womacks, the former county auditor—despite concerns over his spotty attendance record at board meetings.

In 2008, Bales and Brizzi took an ownership interest in a building in Elkhart where the state Department of Child Services is a major tenant. Brizzi has said on disclosure forms his stake in the building's ownership is worth $50,000 to $100,000.

Brizzi also owns a 10-percent stake in downtown's Harry & Izzy's restaurant, which he acquired in 2007 and says is worth $100,000 to $250,000. The same year, he worked with Bales to try to raise $30 million for a fund to buy distressed residential and commercial projects in Florida and Indiana. The plan fizzled when they could not generate sufficient interest from investors.

Prosecuting attorneys as a general rule are allowed to maintain outside business interests, including in real estate, as long as they don't conflict with prosecutorial responsibilities, said Steve Johnson, executive director of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council.

He noted that Brizzi sought and received the Indiana attorney general's blessing of his deal to invest in Harry & Izzy's.

Higher standard

Since he took office, Brizzi has managed to build a real estate portfolio without much money or extensive assets. He earns $125,000 a year as prosecutor. A divorce settlement filed in February 2009 shows Brizzi and his wife had three residences, each with first and second mortgages. He pays about $1,000 a month in child support for his four children, and he is paying for student loans.

Meanwhile, Bales has continued to capitalize on political connections to secure real estate deals. In 2008, he won a no-bid contract to handle the sale of all surplus city property, mirroring a similar contract he has with the state.

For now, though, the city has stopped sending work to Venture and Bales. Michael Huber, the city's director of enterprise development, said the deal is on hold as the city shifts its strategy away from a sale-and-lease model to focus on partnerships with businesses and not-for-profits interested in better uses of properties such as City Market.

Brizzi acknowledged in a December letter to supporters that he has made mistakes, including a decision to serve on the board of Durham's Fair Finance Co. He later backed out of the commitment after learning IBJ was investigating more than $168 million in related-party loans the Akron, Ohio, company had made to Durham, partners and related entities.

Another flap over Brizzi involves $29,000 in campaign contributions he accepted from businessman Harrison Epperly. At the same time, an attorney for Epperly's daughter—who got a 110-year sentence in 1991 for a murder-for-hire scheme—was seeking her early release.

Brizzi's office supported the sentence modification, and Paula Epperly Willoughby was freed in July 2009. Brizzi returned the contributions and said they were not a factor in his decision.

“As a public official, I am, understandably and appropriately, held to a higher standard—and any association or action is subject to greater scrutiny,” Brizzi wrote in December, referring to his involvement in Fair Finance. “In hindsight, I should have conducted greater due diligence … before agreeing to serve on the board.”•

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Advertising for the new age: Shopping links in web photos | View Clip
03/12/2010
WJRT-TV - Online

Example of Pixazza advertising at work (Image courtesy Pixazza.com)

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA (KGO) -- Mountain View's Pixazza had its best day ever during and right after last Sunday's Oscars. Its new online advertising platform provides links where consumers can find the gowns and accessories, or similar ones, the movie stars were photographed wearing.

Professor Kirthi Kalyanam at Santa Clara University calls it a breakthrough in online advertising. He is director of the university's Retail Management Institute and a professor of marketing.

"The designers, I think, historically have had trouble monetizing their creations," Kalyanam. "The celebrity wears it. The average consumer cannot afford it, but cannot even figure out where to go to get something that even looks like it."

As people place their mouse over a photo of Oscar winner Sandra Bullock, for example, up will pop information to buy what she is wearing. It's a first-generation approach to converging advertising with content.

"Our service shows not just the exact matches, but garments that look similar and are more affordable, so we try to make these styles accessible to the broadest possible audience," says Pixazza CEO Bob Lisbonne.

Website readers do not have to click on the links, but if they do, it is clear to advertisers that the consumer is truly interested in shopping. It is an effort to target ads related to what you are viewing online.

"People have the option of mousing in and seeing, and it's a discovery process for the user, and then whenever when one of our information cards opens up, it's at their request, and we have their undivided attention," says chief technology officer Jim Everingham.

Pixazza was the first Internet start-up to get funding from Google. The company plans to branch out beyond apparel, adding real estate, sports and travel in the near future.

(Copyright ©2010 KGO-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Newsom casts himself as reformer in bid for lieutenant governor | View Clip
03/12/2010
Whittier Daily News

Contra Costa Times

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom meets with the media after announcing that he is running for lieutenant governor, in San Francisco, Friday, March 12, 2010.

SACRAMENTO -- Not so long ago, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was laughing at the thought of running for lieutenant governor. Friday, he apparently decided it's not such a desultory office after all, jumping into the race for the No. 2 slot on the Democratic ticket on the final day to file.

He cast himself as a reformer seeking to end the dysfunction in the Capitol.

"We need to embrace a new way of doing things in Sacramento and we need new leaders who are willing to stand up and change state government," he said in his announcement statement.

Known mostly as the supporter of gay marriage and the guy who bowed out of the governor's race last fall, Newsom has an opportunity to push the refresh button on his image and prop himself up for a bright future with a statewide race, political observers said.

"It's a path to higher office," said Ben Tulchin, a San Francisco-based Democratic pollster. "It raises his profile, lets him round out his image and gives him a platform."

Newsom seriously began to consider the race after Tulchin's polling showed him with a 33 percent to 17 percent lead over Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn in a head-to-head matchup for lieutenant governor. A third possible candidate, Sen. Dean Florez, D-Fresno, immediately quit the race and endorsed Newsom.

Newsom, 42, has been mayor of San Francisco since 2004 after serving on the board of supervisors for seven years. He made a bid for governor last year before bowing out in the fall,

unable to mobilize enough support to overcome Attorney General Jerry Brown's fundraising and name-identity advantages.

In his final days as a gubernatorial candidate, Newsom scoffed at the notion of running for lieutenant governor, laughing at the question of whether he would seek that office. His former campaign manager, Garry South, who now runs Hahn's campaign, said Newsom's ambivalence toward the office will be a central issue.

But even more important, South said, is what he said was Newsom's questionable work habits as a candidate.

Newsom's departure from the gubernatorial race, South said, was not that Brown's victory was inevitable, "but that (Newsom) was utterly incapable or unwilling to do the hard work necessary to run for office at such a high level."

Newsom, South added, "loves the roar of the crowd and the smell of grease paint but what he doesn't like is applying the elbow grease necessary to run for office at a high level."

Corey Cook, a political-science professor at the University of San Francisco, said Newsom's flaws as a gubernatorial candidate won't likely hamper him in a lieutenant governor's race.

"What (South) is talking about is raising money, but that may not make a difference because there won't be the same need to raise money," Cook said. "The big thing is that he's got name recognition and there's very little money (for Hahn) to turn that around."

Most Democratic campaign cash, Cook said, will be directed to the governor's race, either into Brown's campaign or the various independent expenditure committees in support of him.

Hahn had $341,000 cash on hand at the end of last year, and has raised an additional $38,000 since the beginning of the year. Newsom has raised $51,500 -- all in the last in two days.

Newsom conceded that he "openly questioned" the relevancy of the lieutenant governor's office.

"But, as I've opened my mind," he said, he's decided that the office will provide him the "freedom and platform" to pursue a political agenda.

Democrats do have to be aware, said Cook, that the top of their ticket's diversity could pale in comparison to a Republican ticket that could have a woman and a Latino, if ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman wins the GOP gubernatorial nomination and Sen. Abel Maldonado, R-Santa Maria, runs as the incumbent lieutenant governor, depending on whether he gets confirmed by the Legislature.

"It's a valid concern and it could sway some Democratic voters" toward Hahn, Cook said.

James Lai, a political-science professor at Santa Clara University, said it was obvious that Newsom wasn't ready to run for governor, but he has an opportunity to re-establish himself on the lower rung of California statewide electoral politics.

"He has an image as an ultraliberal mayor from San Francisco, so he's got to be able to get more exposure, broaden his image, develop a greater political network outside of San Francisco," Lai said. "This campaign will get him out of the context of San Francisco. He needs to soften his image, make him more appealing to inland empire Democrats and moderates."

Contact Steven Harmon at 916-441-2101.

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Newsom casts himself as reformer in bid for lieutenant governor | View Clip
03/12/2010
Santa Cruz Sentinel - Online

SACRAMENTO — Not so long ago, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was laughing at the thought of running for lieutenant governor. Friday, he apparently decided it's not such a bad office after all, jumping into the race for the No. 2 slot on the Democratic ticket on the final day to file.

He cast himself as a reformer seeking to end the dysfunction in the Capitol.

"We need to embrace a new way of doing things in Sacramento and we need new leaders who are willing to stand up and change state government," he said in his announcement statement.

Known mostly as the supporter of gay marriage and the guy who had to bow out of the governor's race last fall, Newsom has an opportunity to enlarge his image and set himself up for a bright future with a statewide race, political observers said.

"It's a path to higher office," said Ben Tulchin, a San Francisco-based Democratic pollster. "It raises his profile, lets him round out his image and gives him a platform."

Newsom seriously began to consider the race after Tulchin's polling showed him with a 33 percent to 17 percent lead over Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn in a head-to-head matchup for lieutenant governor. A third possible candidate, Sen. Dean Florez, D-Fresno, immediately quit the race and endorsed Newsom.

Newsom, 42, has been mayor of San Francisco since 2004 after serving on the board of supervisors for seven years. He made a bid for governor last year before

bowing out in the fall, unable to mobilize enough support to overcome Attorney General Jerry Brown's fund-raising and name-identity advantages.

In his final days as a gubernatorial candidate, Newsom scoffed at the notion of running for lieutenant governor, laughing at the question of whether he would seek that office. His former campaign manager, Garry South, who now runs Hahn's campaign, said Newsom's ambivalence toward the office will be a central issue.

But even more important, South said, is what he said was Newsom's questionable work habits as a candidate.

Newsom's departure from the gubernatorial race, South said, was not that Brown's victory was inevitable, "but that he was utterly incapable or unwilling to do the hard work necessary to run for office at such a high level."

Newsom, South added, "loves the roar of the crowd and the smell of grease paint but what he doesn't like is applying the elbow grease necessary to run for office at a high level."

Newsom conceded that he "openly questioned" the relevancy of the lieutenant governor's office.

"But, as I've opened my mind," he said, he's decided that the office will provide him the "freedom and platform" to pursue a political agenda.

James Lai, a political-science professor at Santa Clara University, said it was obvious that Newsom wasn't ready to run for governor.

"He has an image as an ultraliberal mayor from San Francisco, so he's got to be able to get more exposure, broaden his image, develop a greater political network outside of San Francisco," Lai said. "This campaign will get him out of the context of San Francisco. He needs to soften his image, make him more appealing to inland empire Democrats and moderates."

Contact Steven Harmon at 916-441-2101.

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Newsom casts himself as reformer in bid for lieutenant governor | View Clip
03/12/2010
San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online

Contra Costa Times

SACRAMENTO — Not so long ago, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was laughing at the thought of running for lieutenant governor. Friday, he apparently decided it's not such a bad office after all, jumping into the race for the No. 2 slot on the Democratic ticket on the final day to file.

He cast himself as a reformer seeking to end the dysfunction in the Capitol.

"We need to embrace a new way of doing things in Sacramento and we need new leaders who are willing to stand up and change state government," he said in his announcement statement.

Known mostly as the supporter of gay marriage and the guy who had to bow out of the governor's race last fall, Newsom has an opportunity to enlarge his image and set himself up for a bright future with a statewide race, political observers said.

"It's a path to higher office," said Ben Tulchin, a San Francisco-based Democratic pollster. "It raises his profile, lets him round out his image and gives him a platform."

Newsom seriously began to consider the race after Tulchin's polling showed him with a 33 percent to 17 percent lead over Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn in a head-to-head matchup for lieutenant governor. A third possible candidate, Sen. Dean Florez, D-Fresno, immediately quit the race and endorsed Newsom.

Newsom, 42, has been mayor of San Francisco since 2004 after serving on the board of supervisors for seven years. He made a bid for governor last year before

bowing out in the fall, unable to mobilize enough support to overcome Attorney General Jerry Brown's fund-raising and name-identity advantages.

In his final days as a gubernatorial candidate, Newsom scoffed at the notion of running for lieutenant governor, laughing at the question of whether he would seek that office. His former campaign manager, Garry South, who now runs Hahn's campaign, said Newsom's ambivalence toward the office will be a central issue.

But even more important, South said, is what he said was Newsom's questionable work habits as a candidate.

Newsom's departure from the gubernatorial race, South said, was not that Brown's victory was inevitable, "but that he was utterly incapable or unwilling to do the hard work necessary to run for office at such a high level."

Newsom, South added, "loves the roar of the crowd and the smell of grease paint but what he doesn't like is applying the elbow grease necessary to run for office at a high level."

Newsom conceded that he "openly questioned" the relevancy of the lieutenant governor's office.

"But, as I've opened my mind," he said, he's decided that the office will provide him the "freedom and platform" to pursue a political agenda.

James Lai, a political-science professor at Santa Clara University, said it was obvious that Newsom wasn't ready to run for governor.

"He has an image as an ultraliberal mayor from San Francisco, so he's got to be able to get more exposure, broaden his image, develop a greater political network outside of San Francisco," Lai said. "This campaign will get him out of the context of San Francisco. He needs to soften his image, make him more appealing to inland empire Democrats and moderates."

Contact Steven Harmon at 916-441-2101.

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Newsom casts himself as reformer in bid for lieutenant governor | View Clip
03/12/2010
Press-Telegram - Online

Contra Costa Times

Click photo to enlarge

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom meets with the media after announcing that he is running for lieutenant governor, in San Francisco, Friday, March 12, 2010.

SACRAMENTO — Not so long ago, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was laughing at the thought of running for lieutenant governor. Friday, he apparently decided it's not such a bad office after all, jumping into the race for the No. 2 slot on the Democratic ticket on the final day to file.

He cast himself as a reformer seeking to end the dysfunction in the Capitol.

"We need to embrace a new way of doing things in Sacramento and we need new leaders who are willing to stand up and change state government," he said in his announcement statement.

Known mostly as the supporter of gay marriage and the guy who had to bow out of the governor's race last fall, Newsom has an opportunity to enlarge his image and set himself up for a bright future with a statewide race, political observers said.

"It's a path to higher office," said Ben Tulchin, a San Francisco-based Democratic pollster. "It raises his profile, lets him round out his image and gives him a platform."

Newsom seriously began to consider the race after Tulchin's polling showed him with a 33 percent to 17 percent lead over Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn in a head-to-head matchup for lieutenant governor. A third possible candidate, Sen. Dean Florez, D-Fresno, immediately quit the race and endorsed Newsom.

Newsom, 42, has been mayor of San Francisco since 2004 after serving on the board of supervisors for seven years. He made a bid for governor last year before

bowing out in the fall, unable to mobilize enough support to overcome Attorney General Jerry Brown's fund-raising and name-identity advantages.

In his final days as a gubernatorial candidate, Newsom scoffed at the notion of running for lieutenant governor, laughing at the question of whether he would seek that office. His former campaign manager, Garry South, who now runs Hahn's campaign, said Newsom's ambivalence toward the office will be a central issue.

But even more important, South said, is what he said was Newsom's questionable work habits as a candidate.

Newsom's departure from the gubernatorial race, South said, was not that Brown's victory was inevitable, "but that he was utterly incapable or unwilling to do the hard work necessary to run for office at such a high level."

Newsom, South added, "loves the roar of the crowd and the smell of grease paint but what he doesn't like is applying the elbow grease necessary to run for office at a high level."

Newsom conceded that he "openly questioned" the relevancy of the lieutenant governor's office.

"But, as I've opened my mind," he said, he's decided that the office will provide him the "freedom and platform" to pursue a political agenda.

James Lai, a political-science professor at Santa Clara University, said it was obvious that Newsom wasn't ready to run for governor.

"He has an image as an ultraliberal mayor from San Francisco, so he's got to be able to get more exposure, broaden his image, develop a greater political network outside of San Francisco," Lai said. "This campaign will get him out of the context of San Francisco. He needs to soften his image, make him more appealing to inland empire Democrats and moderates."

Contact Steven Harmon at 916-441-2101.

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Newsom casts himself as reformer in bid for lieutenant governor | View Clip
03/12/2010
Pasadena Star-News - Online

SACRAMENTO — Not so long ago, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was laughing at the thought of running for lieutenant governor. Friday, he apparently decided it's not such a bad office after all, jumping into the race for the No. 2 slot on the Democratic ticket on the final day to file.

He cast himself as a reformer seeking to end the dysfunction in the Capitol.

"We need to embrace a new way of doing things in Sacramento and we need new leaders who are willing to stand up and change state government," he said in his announcement statement.

Known mostly as the supporter of gay marriage and the guy who had to bow out of the governor's race last fall, Newsom has an opportunity to enlarge his image and set himself up for a bright future with a statewide race, political observers said.

"It's a path to higher office," said Ben Tulchin, a San Francisco-based Democratic pollster. "It raises his profile, lets him round out his image and gives him a platform."

Newsom seriously began to consider the race after Tulchin's polling showed him with a 33 percent to 17 percent lead over Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn in a head-to-head matchup for lieutenant governor. A third possible candidate, Sen. Dean Florez, D-Fresno, immediately quit the race and endorsed Newsom.

Newsom, 42, has been mayor of San Francisco since 2004 after serving on the board of supervisors for seven years. He made a bid for governor last year before

bowing out in the fall, unable to mobilize enough support to overcome Attorney General Jerry Brown's fund-raising and name-identity advantages.

In his final days as a gubernatorial candidate, Newsom scoffed at the notion of running for lieutenant governor, laughing at the question of whether he would seek that office. His former campaign manager, Garry South, who now runs Hahn's campaign, said Newsom's ambivalence toward the office will be a central issue.

But even more important, South said, is what he said was Newsom's questionable work habits as a candidate.

Newsom's departure from the gubernatorial race, South said, was not that Brown's victory was inevitable, "but that he was utterly incapable or unwilling to do the hard work necessary to run for office at such a high level."

Newsom, South added, "loves the roar of the crowd and the smell of grease paint but what he doesn't like is applying the elbow grease necessary to run for office at a high level."

Newsom conceded that he "openly questioned" the relevancy of the lieutenant governor's office.

"But, as I've opened my mind," he said, he's decided that the office will provide him the "freedom and platform" to pursue a political agenda.

James Lai, a political-science professor at Santa Clara University, said it was obvious that Newsom wasn't ready to run for governor.

"He has an image as an ultraliberal mayor from San Francisco, so he's got to be able to get more exposure, broaden his image, develop a greater political network outside of San Francisco," Lai said. "This campaign will get him out of the context of San Francisco. He needs to soften his image, make him more appealing to inland empire Democrats and moderates."

Contact Steven Harmon at 916-441-2101.

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Pro-life group urges Congress to pass Senate health care bill | View Clip
03/12/2010
National Catholic Reporter Online

Twenty-five pro-life Catholic theologians and Evangelical leaders yesterday sent letters to members of Congress urging them not to let misleading information about abortion provisions in the Senate health care bill block passage of sorely-needed reform.

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, a Washington-based advocacy group, said that the Senate health bill upholds abortion funding restrictions and supports pregnant women.

The letter included a page by page analysis of the Senate bill as it pertains to abortion.

The group asked members of Congress “to make an informed decision about this legislation based on careful deliberation guided by facts.”

“We believe that the provisions below provide extensive evidence that longstanding restrictions on federal funding of abortion have been maintained. Furthermore, this bill provides new and important supports for vulnerable pregnant women,” the letter states.

The complete text of the letter follows:

Dear Member of Congress,

As Christians committed to a consistent ethic of life, and deeply concerned with the health and well-being of all people, we want to see health care reform enacted. Our nation has a rare and historic opportunity to expand coverage to tens of millions of people, make coverage more affordable for all families, and crack down on many of the most harmful practices of the health insurance industry.

We are writing because of our concern about the lack of clear and accurate information regarding abortion provisions in the health care reform bill passed by the Senate on December 24, 2009.

Reforming our health care system is necessarily complex, and the provisions related to abortion, or any other issue, require careful examination of the facts as they exist in the legislative language. We believe that the provisions below provide extensive evidence that longstanding restrictions on federal funding of abortion have been maintained. Furthermore, this bill provides new and important supports for vulnerable pregnant women.

Following is a comprehensive factual listing of all provisions related to abortion and positive supports for pregnant women in HR 3590, along with specific page references.

Abortion-Related Provisions Included in the Senate-Approved Health Care Reform Bill “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (HR 3590 EAS/PP)

· Prohibits the Secretary of HHS from requiring the coverage of any abortion services as part of the essential health benefits for any qualified health plan offered in a state insurance Exchange (pg. 2070);

· Allows the insurance company to decide whether or not to include coverage of abortion services, including the Hyde abortion exceptions, in a qualified health insurance plan offered in a state insurance Exchange (pg. 2070);

· Prohibits insurance companies from using federal funds, including federal tax credits and cost-sharing assistance, to pay for abortion services except for those services allowable under the Hyde amendment (pg. 2071);

· Requires an insurance company that chooses to offer a plan in a State Exchange with abortion coverage, beyond the Hyde abortion exceptions, to collect a separate second premium payment from each enrollee for the cost of the abortion coverage (pgs. 2071-2072 & 2074-2075);

· Requires the insurance company to deposit all separate payments into a separate account that consists solely of abortion premium payments and that it is used exclusively to pay for such services (pgs. 2072-2074);

· Requires the state health insurance commissioners to ensure that insurance companies comply with these requirements in accordance with guidance and accounting standards set by the Office of Management and Budget and the Government Accountability Office (pg. 2075);

· Requires insurance companies that offer general abortion coverage as part of a qualified health plan to provide a notice of coverage in the summary of benefits and coverage explanation (pg. 2076);

· Allows states to pass a law prohibiting the inclusion of abortion coverage in plans offered in a state health insurance Exchange (pg. 2069);

· Requires the director of the Office of Public Management to ensure that there is at least one private, multi-state qualified health plan offered in each state insurance Exchange that does not provide coverage of abortion services beyond the Hyde exceptions (pgs. 2087-2088);

· Prohibits insurance companies offering qualified health plans from discriminating against any individual health care provider or health care facility because of its unwillingness to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions (pg. 2076);

· Prohibits the preemption of state laws regarding abortion (pg. 2077);

· Maintains current Federal laws relative to conscience protection; willingness or refusal to provide abortion; and discrimination on the basis of the willingness or refusal to provide, pay for, cover, or refer for abortion or to provide or participate in training to provide abortion (pg. 2077);

· Establishes and provides $250 million for programs to support vulnerable pregnant women (pgs. 2170-2173); and

· Increases the adoption tax credit and makes it refundable so that lower income families can access the tax credit (pgs 2400-2407).

We are now at a critical moment in the history of our country. More than 30 million Americans may finally gain access to a health care system that is affordable -- providing families, children and seniors with fundamental care that is essential to human dignity. We respectfully ask that you make an informed decision about this legislation based on careful deliberation guided by facts.

Sincerely,

Morna Murray

President

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good

Ron Sider

President

Evangelicals for Social Action

Rev. Jim Wallis

President and CEO

Sojourners

Stephen F. Schneck

Director, Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies

The Catholic University of America

Joel Hunter

Senior Pastor

Northland Church

Dr. David P. Gushee

Chair

New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good

David O'Brien

Professor of Faith and Culture

University of Dayton

Francis Xavier Doyle

Former Associate General Secretary

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Jean Stokan

Director

Institute Justice Team

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Lisa Cahill

Professor of Theology

Boston College

Bryan N. Massingale, S.T.D.

President, Catholic Theological Society of America

Associate Professor of Theology

Marquette University

David DeCosse

Director of Campus Ethics Programs

Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Santa Clara University

Nicholas P. Cafardi

Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law

Duquesne University School of Law

Dennis M. Doyle

Religious Studies

University of Dayton

Terrence W. Tilley

Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J. Professor of Catholic Theology

Chair, Theology Department

Fordham University

Richard Gaillardetz

Murray/Bacik Professor of Catholic Studies

University of Toledo

Vincent J. Miller

Professor

Department of Religious Studies

University of Dayton

Alex Mikulich

Research Fellow

Jesuit Social Research Institute

Loyola University

Sandra A. Yocum, Ph.D.

Chair of Religious Studies

University of Dayton

Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale

Senior Pastor

Ray of Hope Christian Church, Decatur, GA

Dr. Barbara Williams Skinner

President

Skinner Leadership Institute

Cheryl Bridges Johns

Professor of Christian Formation & Discipleship

Pentecostal Theological Seminary

Brian McLaren

Author, Speaker and Founding Pastor

Cedar Ridge Community Church

Glen Stassen

Lewis B. Smedes Professor of Christian Ethics

Fuller Theological Seminary

Lisa Sharon Harper

Executive Director, NY Faith & Justice

Author, Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican...or Democrat

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3 At Santa Clara University in California, Maybe the Joy of Garbage class is for you.
03/12/2010
Morning Show - WJXT-TV, The

3 IN NEWS NOW, A settlement's been reached -that would compensate more than 10-THOUSAND plaintiffs who say they were sickened by dust from the collapsed World Trade Center towers. Lawyers representing the thousands of rescue and clean-up workers agreed to a settlement after years of fighting in court. If approved, the plaintiffs could share up to 657.5 million dollars. The agreement must still be approved by a judge, and the 10-thousand plus plaintiffs. 3 In Oklahoma, Health Authorities are investigating six possible cases of bacterial meningitis including two elementary school deaths. A 7 year old boy and 8 year old girl died yesterday from the rare blood infection. As of this morning, at least one other student from the same school is in critical condition and showing symptoms of the illness. The state health board is providing antibiotics to the schools to help prevent the spread of the disease. 3 The majority leader of Utah's House of Representatives says he paid a woman 150-thousand dollars to keep quiet about going with him as a minor. Republican Kevin Garn told his colleagues he did not have any sexual contact with the woman, but wanted to keep their relationship out of the press during his 2002 bid for US Congress. Garn says the woman, who he didn't identify, is trying to contact news outlets about what happened. That's why he decided to come clean. 3 .3 When one high school student fought the law, the law canceled the fight. With the backing of the ACLU, Constance McMillen fought a Mississippi school board to take her lesbian partner and wear a tuxedo to her high school prom, The school board responded by announcing they were canceling the entire dance. Here's the schools oficial statement it canceled the prom "due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events. " 3 Classmates were furious with McMillen, one student even saying she ruined her senior year. McMillen almost didn't return to school for fear of retribution by her classmates but says, "My daddy told me that I needed to show them that I'm still proud of who I am. The fact that this will help people later on, that's what's helping me to go on. " On Thursday, The ACLU filed a lawsuit against the principal and superintendent which requests not only that the prom be reinstated, but the opposite-sex date policy be lifted too. 3 3 .3 CHECK THIS OUT, Why sit in that English Lit or Psych 101 when you can taking a course on your favorite movie or or iPhone Application Programming? Well, thanks to a few universities across the country, You can, And you won't believe how creative professors are getting these days. At Stanford University, iTunes U is a class for students and other budding entrepreneurs. The course is even available for download at the I-tunes STORE. It focuses on I-phone apps both present and future, including how to develop an app of your very own. 3 Star Trek is very philosophical. At least, that's what Georgetown professors claim in the course description. Students can "watch Stark Trek, read philosophy, and hash it all out in class" They can even debate questions like whether or not time travel is possible and if reality is radically different from what it appears to be. 3 This class, offered as a spring 2009 seminar, talks about how maple syrup is made and how the process has barely changed since the Native Americans first began making it. The class also gets to take field trips to local produces, restaurants, and festivals, creating and eating plenty along the way. 3 At Santa Clara University in California, Maybe the Joy of Garbage class is for you. It explores the technical aspects of decomposition and waste processes, focusing on two types of waste: items that rot and items that don't. It also explores the social justice issues related to environmental matters, like landfills and recycling centers, and why they're frequently located in poorer neighborhoods. 3 As a part of their Paideia Festival of Learning Reed college has offered this course since 1980. And they're not alone. Submerged snorkeling or underwater basket weaving courses are also offered at the University of California-San Diego and the University of Arizona. 3 Robert Pattinson is back on the big screen Starring as a young man finding his way through complicated relationships. A preview of the new film "remember me" Plus we're giving away four free tickets. Plus -part two of a special report On building our children's confidence and self-esteem. All new at 8 - how a local event is taking on the beauty industry First though - a new tool to track salmonella outbreaks Cards you swipe at the grocery store. How it works next.

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Newsom casts himself as reformer in bid for lieutenant governor | View Clip
03/12/2010
Lexington Herald-Leader - Online

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Not so long ago, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was laughing at the thought of running for lieutenant governor. Friday, he apparently decided it's not such a desultory office after all, jumping into the race for the No. 2 slot on the Democratic ticket on the final day to file.

He cast himself as a reformer seeking to end the dysfunction in the Capitol.

"We need to embrace a new way of doing things in Sacramento and we need new leaders who are willing to stand up and change state government," he said in his announcement statement.

Known mostly as the supporter of gay marriage and the guy who bowed out of the governor's race last fall, Newsom has an opportunity to push the refresh button on his image and prop himself up for a bright future with a statewide race, political observers said.

"It's a path to higher office," said Ben Tulchin, a San Francisco-based Democratic pollster. "It raises his profile, lets him round out his image and gives him a platform."

Newsom seriously began to consider the race after Tulchin's polling showed him with a 33 percent to 17 percent lead over Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn in a head-to-head matchup for lieutenant governor. A third possible candidate, state Sen. Dean Florez, a Democrat, immediately quit the race and endorsed Newsom.

Newsom, 42, has been mayor of San Francisco since 2004 after serving on the board of supervisors for seven years. He made a bid for governor last year before bowing out in the fall, unable to mobilize enough support to overcome Attorney General Jerry Brown's fundraising and name-identity advantages.

In his final days as a gubernatorial candidate, Newsom scoffed at the notion of running for lieutenant governor, laughing at the question of whether he would seek that office. His former campaign manager, Garry South, who now runs Hahn's campaign, said Newsom's ambivalence toward the office will be a central issue.

But even more important, South said, is what he said was Newsom's questionable work habits as a candidate.

Newsom's departure from the gubernatorial race, South said, was not that Brown's victory was inevitable, "but that (Newsom) was utterly incapable or unwilling to do the hard work necessary to run for office at such a high level."

Newsom, South added, "loves the roar of the crowd and the smell of grease paint but what he doesn't like is applying the elbow grease necessary to run for office at a high level."

Corey Cook, a political-science professor at the University of San Francisco, said Newsom's flaws as a gubernatorial candidate won't likely hamper him in a lieutenant governor's race.

"What (South) is talking about is raising money, but that may not make a difference because there won't be the same need to raise money," Cook said. "The big thing is that he's got name recognition and there's very little money (for Hahn) to turn that around."

Most Democratic campaign cash, Cook said, will be directed to the governor's race, either into Brown's campaign or the various independent expenditure committees in support of him.

Hahn had $341,000 cash on hand at the end of last year, and has raised an additional $38,000 since the beginning of the year. Newsom has raised $51,500 - all in the last in two days.

Newsom conceded that he "openly questioned" the relevancy of the lieutenant governor's office.

"But, as I've opened my mind," he said, he's decided that the office will provide him the "freedom and platform" to pursue a political agenda.

Democrats do have to be aware, said Cook, that the top of their ticket's diversity could pale in comparison to a Republican ticket that could have a woman and a Latino, if ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman wins the GOP gubernatorial nomination and state Sen. Abel Maldonado, a Republican, runs as the incumbent lieutenant governor, depending on whether he gets confirmed by the Legislature.

"It's a valid concern and it could sway some Democratic voters" toward Hahn, Cook said.

James Lai, a political science professor at Santa Clara University, said it was obvious that Newsom wasn't ready to run for governor, but he has an opportunity to re-establish himself on the lower rung of California statewide electoral politics.

"He has an image as an ultraliberal mayor from San Francisco, so he's got to be able to get more exposure, broaden his image, develop a greater political network outside of San Francisco," Lai said. "This campaign will get him out of the context of San Francisco. He needs to soften his image, make him more appealing to inland empire Democrats and moderates."

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Newsom casts himself as reformer in bid for lieutenant governor | View Clip
03/12/2010
InsideBayArea.com

Contra Costa Times

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom meets with the media after announcing that he is running for lieutenant governor, in San Francisco, Friday, March 12, 2010.

SACRAMENTO — Not so long ago, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was laughing at the thought of running for lieutenant governor. Friday, he apparently decided it's not such a bad office after all, jumping into the race for the No. 2 slot on the Democratic ticket on the final day to file.

He cast himself as a reformer seeking to end the dysfunction in the Capitol.

"We need to embrace a new way of doing things in Sacramento and we need new leaders who are willing to stand up and change state government," he said in his announcement statement.

Known mostly as the supporter of gay marriage and the guy who had to bow out of the governor's race last fall, Newsom has an opportunity to enlarge his image and set himself up for a bright future with a statewide race, political observers said.

"It's a path to higher office," said Ben Tulchin, a San Francisco-based Democratic pollster. "It raises his profile, lets him round out his image and gives him a platform."

Newsom seriously began to consider the race after Tulchin's polling showed him with a 33 percent to 17 percent lead over Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn in a head-to-head matchup for lieutenant governor. A third possible candidate, Sen. Dean Florez, D-Fresno, immediately quit the race and endorsed Newsom.

Newsom, 42, has been mayor of San Francisco since 2004 after serving on the board of supervisors for seven years. He made a bid for governor last year before

bowing out in the fall, unable to mobilize enough support to overcome Attorney General Jerry Brown's fund-raising and name-identity advantages.

In his final days as a gubernatorial candidate, Newsom scoffed at the notion of running for lieutenant governor, laughing at the question of whether he would seek that office. His former campaign manager, Garry South, who now runs Hahn's campaign, said Newsom's ambivalence toward the office will be a central issue.

But even more important, South said, is what he said was Newsom's questionable work habits as a candidate.

Newsom's departure from the gubernatorial race, South said, was not that Brown's victory was inevitable, "but that he was utterly incapable or unwilling to do the hard work necessary to run for office at such a high level."

Newsom, South added, "loves the roar of the crowd and the smell of grease paint but what he doesn't like is applying the elbow grease necessary to run for office at a high level."

Newsom conceded that he "openly questioned" the relevancy of the lieutenant governor's office.

"But, as I've opened my mind," he said, he's decided that the office will provide him the "freedom and platform" to pursue a political agenda.

James Lai, a political-science professor at Santa Clara University, said it was obvious that Newsom wasn't ready to run for governor.

"He has an image as an ultraliberal mayor from San Francisco, so he's got to be able to get more exposure, broaden his image, develop a greater political network outside of San Francisco," Lai said. "This campaign will get him out of the context of San Francisco. He needs to soften his image, make him more appealing to inland empire Democrats and moderates."

Contact Steven Harmon at 916-441-2101.

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ROTC Enrollment on the Rise Across U.S, Army Reports | View Clip
03/12/2010
FOXNews.com

Updated March 11, 2010

After being shunned by scores of colleges across the country for more than 40 years, the U.S. Army's ROTC program is making a comeback.

Baltimore Polytechnic Institute Air Force Junior ROTC cadet Kwameka Jones salutes before her squad practiced drills, Nov. 12, 2009, in Baltimore (AP).

After being shunned by scores of colleges across the country for more than 40 years, the U.S. Army's ROTC program is making a comeback.

Roughly 32,000 cadets are currently enrolled in the Reserve Officer Training Corps on the university level -- a modest, yet notable, increase from previous years, says Lt. Col. Michael Indovina, chief public affairs officer with the U.S. Army Cadet Command. He said the program had 30,721 cadets a year ago and 28,489 the year before.

About 273 colleges and universities currently host the 200-year-old ROTC program, which often covers a student's full tuition in exchange for a fixed period of active and inactive military service after graduation.

At schools like Georgetown, Texas A&M and Cornell, professors of military science teach ROTC courses on campus. In exchange for receiving training and financial benefits, the enrollees must then commit to three to four years of active military service -- and often four years of "inactive ready reserve responsibility," according to Indovina.

"We have a lot of kids who want to serve their country," said Indovina, who declined to speculate on reasons for the steady enrollment increase over the last five years. "Do we have some cadets who are doing this because of the economy? Sure, but it's not something we track."

Even Stanford University, which barred the military training program from its campus during the height of the Vietnam War, is considering bringing ROTC back to campus. A faculty committee, spearheaded by historian David Kennedy and former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry, is reportedly planning to study the possibility of welcoming the program back to the California campus.

Stanford, as well as dozens of other elite schools including Columbia, Yale, Harvard and Brown, eliminated the program in the early 1970s after students and professors protested teaching the art of war on college campuses.

Many of the same colleges have kept the ban in place in opposition to the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which prohibits gays from serving openly in the military, forcing interested students to train at so-called "partner schools."

Stanford permits ROTC enrollees to train at Santa Clara University, while Columbia allows students to attend military science classes and leadership training labs at Fordham University. Indovina said the program currently has 512 such partner schools that allow outside students to participate in their programs.

Whether more schools will follow Stanford's initiative in reconsidering the program remains to be seen. President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and a slew of lawmakers, including Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, have pushed to repeal "don't ask, don't tell," arguing that the policy is blatantly discriminatory and detrimental to U.S. national security.

In an e-mail statement sent to FoxNews on Thursday, Robert Hornsby, director of media relations at Columbia's office of communications and public affairs, said, "We do not have anything new to say on this matter."

The university's president, Lee Bollinger, has consistently cited "don't ask, don't tell" as the "predominant reason" for not formally inviting the program back onto its campus.

"We will not have programs on the campus that discriminate against students on the basis of such categories as race, gender, military veteran status, or sexual orientation," Bollinger said his last statement on the matter in 2008. "Under the current 'don't ask, don't tell' policy of the Defense Department, openly gay and lesbian students could or would be excluded from participating in ROTC activities."

"That is inconsistent with the fundamental values of the university," he said.

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Newsom casts himself as reformer in bid for lieutenant governor | View Clip
03/12/2010
Contra Costa Times - Online

SACRAMENTO Not so long ago, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was laughing at the thought of running for lieutenant governor. Friday, he apparently decided it's not such a bad office after all, jumping into the race for the No. 2 slot on the Democratic ticket on the final day to file.

He cast himself as a reformer seeking to end the dysfunction in the Capitol. 'We need to embrace a new way of doing things in Sacramento and we need new leaders who are willing to stand up and change state government,' he said in his announcement statement.

Known mostly as the supporter of gay marriage and the guy who had to bow out of the governor's race last fall, Newsom has an opportunity to enlarge his image and set himself up for a bright future with a statewide race, political observers said. 'It's a path to higher office,' said Ben Tulchin, a San Francisco-based Democratic pollster. 'It raises his profile, lets him round out his image and gives him a platform.' Newsom seriously began to consider the race after Tulchin's polling showed him with a 33 percent to 17 percent lead over Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn in a head-to-head matchup for lieutenant governor. A third possible candidate, Sen. Dean Florez, D-Fresno, immediately quit the race and endorsed Newsom.

Newsom, 42, has been mayor of San Francisco since 2004 after serving on the board of supervisors for seven years. He made a bid for governor last year before bowing out in the fall, unable to mobilize enough support to overcome Attorney General Jerry Brown's fund-raising and name-identity advantages.

In his final days as a gubernatorial candidate, Newsom scoffed at the notion of running for lieutenant governor, laughing at the question of whether he would seek that office. His former campaign manager, Garry South, who now runs Hahn's campaign, said Newsom's ambivalence toward the office will be a central issue.

But even more important, South said, is what he said was Newsom's questionable work habits as a candidate.

Newsom's departure from the gubernatorial race, South said, was not that Brown's victory was inevitable, 'but that he was utterly incapable or unwilling to do the hard work necessary to run for office at such a high level.' Newsom, South added, 'loves the roar of the crowd and the smell of grease paint but what he doesn't like is applying the elbow grease necessary to run for office at a high level.' Newsom conceded that he 'openly questioned' the relevancy of the lieutenant governor's office. 'But, as I've opened my mind,' he said, he's decided that the office will provide him the 'freedom and platform' to pursue a political agenda.

James Lai, a political-science professor at Santa Clara University, said it was obvious that Newsom wasn't ready to run for governor. 'He has an image as an ultraliberal mayor from San Francisco, so he's got to be able to get more exposure, broaden his image, develop a greater political network outside of San Francisco,' Lai said. 'This campaign will get him out of the context of San Francisco. He needs to soften his image, make him more appealing to inland empire Democrats and moderates.' Contact Steven Harmon at 916-441-2101.

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San Francisco's Newsom launches lieutenant governor bid | View Clip
03/12/2010
Christian Science Monitor - Online

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom speaks during a panel discussion at Santa Clarita University in Santa Clara University on Sept. 16.

San Francisco

Despite having once laughed at the notion of running for California lieutenant governor, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom confirmed Friday that he's jumping into the race for the state's No. 2 spot.

Mr. Newsom, who surprised many when he ended a gubernatorial bid last October, announced his candidacy in an early morning TV interview, ending weeks of speculation that he would enter the race for lieutenant governor.

“If you told me two months ago we'd be sitting down having this conversation, I would say, ‘no way.' But enough people came to me and made a case for this office,” Newsom told CBS 5.

Many political analysts have long said that Newsom, known as much for his boyish looks as his liberal politics, viewed his San Francisco mayorship as a launching pad for higher office.

Newsom grabbed national attention in 2004 when he began granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples in San Francisco at a time when gay marriage was illegal in California. That move was halted by the California Supreme Court, beginning a contentious battle over same-sex marriage in the state that is still playing out in the courts.

In entering the statewide race, Newsom's biggest competition in the June Democratic primary appears to be Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn. But in a February poll taken at a time when there were only rumors of Newsom's interest, he led Ms. Hahn by 16 points among Democratic voters.

Hahn has wasted little time in going after Newsom for dismissing the job of lieutenant governor when he was campaigning for governor. On her YouTube channel, Hahn is airing old interviews of the mayor saying he doesn't even know what the lieutenant governor does.

In Friday's interview with CBS 5, Newsom explained his dismissiveness as an attempt to deflect speculation that he would opt for the No. 2 spot since he was trailing in the polls behind Attorney General Jerry Brown, who officially announced his candidacy for governor earlier this month.

“I was running for governor and the focus was on governor. It wasn't on another office. And, you know, there were a lot of machinations to get me out of that governor's office to get me to run for lieutenant governor,” Newsom said.

Garry South, who worked as a senior adviser on Newsom's gubernatorial campaign and now works for Hahn, said he was “surprised and perplexed” by Newsom's last-minute entrance into the statewide race.

“In every one of several conversations we had about the job while he was running for governor, the Mayor expressed nothing but disinterest in and disdain for the office of lieutenant governor,” Mr. South said in a statement. “In fact, he was derisively dismissive of Gray Davis's decision to run for and serve as lieutenant governor prior to running for governor (‘I'm not a Gray Davis,' he said).”

Newsom will have a difficult time shaking comparisons to the former Governor Davis, who served as lieutenant governor before a gubernatorial term that ended in a recall. But political analysts say he has the statewide name recognition that makes him the frontrunner going into June's primary vote.

If he wins, Newsom would probably face state Sen. Abel Maldonado, a moderate Republican who Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed to fill the lieutenant governor position vacated by John Garamendi, a Democrat who left state office for a seat in Congress.

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Top Business Stories of The Week | View Clip
03/12/2010
Chief Executive Magazine - Online

AIG Sells Asian Life Unit to Prudential Plc For $35.5 Billion: AIG Sells Asian Life Unit to Prudential Plc for $35.5 Billion: American International agreed to sell an Asian life insurance unit with 20 million customers to Prudential Plc for $35.5 billion in the company's biggest divestiture since it was bailed out by the U.S.

Prudential, Britain's biggest insurer will pay $25 billion in cash and $10.5 billion in stock and other securities for AIA Group the London-based insurer said in a statement today. The insurer said it plans to raise $20 billion in a rights offering and sell about $5 billion of bonds to finance the cash part of its offer.

Caterpillar Moves to Cut Links With Iran: Caterpillar, the US building equipment group, has become the latest company to bow to a lobbyists' “name and shame” campaign by announcing steps to sever trading links with Iran.

The company said it would bar its non-US subsidiaries from accepting orders for products that they knew were destined for delivery to Iran.

The New York-based United Against Nuclear Iran which spearheaded a campaign against the Illinois company, greeted the announcement as its second victory in a month after Huntsman, the Texas chemicals manufacturer, announced in January that its foreign subsidiaries would suspend sales to Iran in view of the “reputational risk” posed to the company.

General Motors Has Announced it Will Recall 1.3 Million Cars in North America Over a Potentially Faulty Power Steering Motor: General Motors Co is recalling 1.3 million compact cars in North America to address a power steering problem that has been linked to 14 crashes and one injury, the company said on Tuesday.

U.S. safety regulators opened an investigation on Jan. 27 into approximately 905,000 Cobalt models in the United States after receiving more than 1,100 complaints of power steering failures.

The recall covers the 2005-2010 models.

Retail Sales up 4 Percent in February: Major retail chains say they saw sales rise 4 percent in February, despite blizzards in the East and Midwest. Instead of reaching for their credit cards, though, consumers have shifted to pay by cash or by debit cards. Experts say the recession has taught them to stop accumulating debt.

Consumers are getting comfortable with shopping again. Retail sales rose 4 percent nationally last month. Economics professor Mario Belotti at Santa Clara University says consumer spending could fluctuate in future months, but for now, one thing is clear.

"Consumers now are becoming more confident in the economy, more optimistic," he said.

House OKs $15 Billion Jobs Bill: Congressional Democrats made headway on their top legislative priority job creation when the House of Representatives approved a $15 billion package of tax credits and highway construction.

The 217 to 201 vote gave Democrats a much-needed victory after weeks of delay caused by Republican tactics, a record-setting snowstorm and internal bickering. More job-creation efforts are in the pipeline, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said."Today's legislation is one key element of our agenda to get Americans back to work and strengthen our economy," Pelosi said on the House floor.

GM to Reinstate 600 Dealerships Slated to be Cut: General Motors will reinstate 661 dealerships it sought to drop from its sales network.

GM executives said that 661 dealerships more than half of the 1,100 seeking to stay with the automaker will receive letters giving them the option to remain open. The company said it made the move because it would not have enough time to negotiate with all 1,100 dealerships within a four-month window imposed by the federal government.

"By doing this we save a lot of time, energy and dollars," said Jim Bunnell, GM general manager of network support, saying the company wished to avoid a "very large arbitration process."

FTC Proposes EnergyGuide Labels for TVs: The Federal Trade Commission has proposed requiring EnergyGuide labels on televisions sold in the U.S., giving consumers scouting new TVs more information about their potential purchase's energy use.

The yellow-and-black labels, which are required on many appliances, give information such as the estimated yearly cost of operating the appliance and its cost compared with other, similar models.

The FTC noted it began seeking comments a year ago on whether the labels should be required on certain consumer electronic products, including TVs. Based on the comments the commission received, it is now proposing that the labels be included on TVs. The announcement begins a public-comment period on the proposed rule which will run until May 14.

Mortgage Rates Fall Below The 5 Percent Mark: Mortgage rates have dipped below 5 percent again, four weeks before a government program that is helping keep rates low is scheduled to run out.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 4.97 percent this week, down from 5.05 percent a week earlier, mortgage finance company Freddie Mac said. Rates dropped to a record low of 4.71 percent in December and have hovered around 5 percent since, kept down by a Federal Reserve campaign to spur home buying by lowering how much it costs to get a home loan.

Treasury Restates Support For Fannie, Freddie: Treasury Department was forced to reiterate its financial support for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after a key lawmaker rattled investors by pointing out that their debt does not enjoy the explicit guarantee of the federal government.

Speaking to reporters at a housing conference, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., noted that debt issued by the two mortgage finance companies is different from bonds issued by the Treasury Department. He also raised the risk that investors in the companies' debt may not be paid back.

"I've always said to people, even when I was not too worried about Fannie and Freddie, please do not think this is federally guaranteed," Frank said. "I don't think it is, I don't think it should be."

MetLife Set to Buy AIG's Alico Unit: AIG was closing in on a deal to sell its foreign life insurance unit to MetLife for about $15.5 billion in cash and stock, leaving it with a substantial minority stake in MetLife, sources familiar with the matter said.

MetLife is expected to pay American International Group about $6.8 billion in cash and about $8.7 billion in equity, which includes convertible preferred, common shares and common equivalent securities, for the unit, American Life Insurance, one of the sources said.

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SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY OFFERS CLASS TO EXPLORE TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF DECOMPOSITION.
03/11/2010
WGN Morning News - WGN-TV

WE WERE LOOKING AT STRANGE LASSES CLASS YOZ CUTAKE AT COLLEGES. WANT TO BE AN ENGINEER OR BIOLOGIST THIS MIGHT BE MORE INTERESTING THAN CALCULUS OR BIOLOGY. IT'S THE SCIENCE OF HARRY POTTER. IN MARYLAND EXAMINES PHYSICS THROUGH HARRY'S MAGIC. HOW ABOUT THE JOY OF GARBAGE. SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY OFFERS CLASS TO EXPLORE TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF DECOMPOSITION. FUN, FUN. AND UNDERWATER BASKET WEAVE. REID COLLEGE IN OTHERS ONE OF THE FEW COLLEGES THAT OFFER THIS COURSE. A NICE EASY MAJOR TO GET YOU THROUGH FOUR YEARS. THAT'S RIGHT. HI, THERE. WE HAVE SOME CLOUDS AROUND AND WE GOT SOME RAIN COMING. TEMPERATURES AT THE MOMENT IS FAIRLY MILD. IT'S BEEN MILD PAST COUPLE OF DAYS. 49 DEGREES. AT CHICAGO. WE ARE EXPECTING A HIGH TEMPERATURE TODAY PROBABLY AROUND THE MID-50s. BUT TAKE A LOOK AT THIS. A LINE OF SHOWER WAS FEW THUNDERSTORMS STUCK IN THERE. MOVING TOWARD THE CHICAGO AREA. WE ARE THINKING BY 9:00 OR 9:30 THIS STUFF SHOULD PROBABLY HAVE MADE IT ALL THE WAY UP TO THE WISCONSIN BORDER. EVERYBODY IS ACTUALLY GOING TO GET SOME OF THIS AND SOME OF THE STORMS ACTUALLY FAIRLY IMPRESSIVE. NOTICE SOME ARE WEAKENING. SOME ARE REINTENSIFYING. SO WE WILL KEEP A CLOSE WATCH ON IT THROUGHOUT THE MORNING AND LET YOU KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING. RIGHT NOW JUST SOUTHWEST OF DuPAGE COUNTY. MEANWHILE OUR TEMPERATURES OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS SHOULD MAKE IT TO ABOUT 55 AT NOON. MAYBE SOME SHOWERS STILL AROUND THE AREA AT THAT TIME. SEVEN-DAY FORECAST TEMPERATURES TAILING OFF A BIT. WE ARE EXPECTING RAIN SHOWER POSSIBILITIES JUST ABOUT EVERY DAY THROUGH SUNDAY. BUT BEYOND THAT THE SUN COMES OUT WITH LITTLE GREATER FORCE. TEMPERATURES PRETTY CHILLY ON MONDAY BUT WE WARM UP TO AROUND 50 DEGREES ON WEDNESDAY. LET'S GO TO TRAFFIC NOW AND VAL HAS THAT. HI, JIM. LET'S TAKE A LOOK OUTSIDE AND UPDATE THE DRIVE TIMES FOR YOU NOW. SKYCAM9 IS OVER I-88 WITH A LOOK AT TRAFFIC AND LOOKS LIKE THE KENNEDY INBOUND AND OUTBOUND IN THE YELLOW IS A LITTLE SHY OF 30 MINUTES ON BOTH DIRECTIONS BUT IT'S ALL NORMAL DELAYS. EDENS INBOUND SLOWING AROUND WILSON TO THE KENNEDY PP OUTBOUND SLOW KENNEDY TO TOUHY. IKE INBOUND WILL BE JAMMED BETWEEN WOLF AND FIRST AVENUE. YOU WILL SEE DRIVE TIME ON THE EISENHOWER NOW WHERE IT'S 35 MINUTES IN. 32 ON THE REVERSE. STEVENSON AT 21 MINUTES. TWO POCKETS OF SLOW TRAFFIC AROUND LAMONT AND CENTRAL TO CICERO IS SLOW. INBOUND RYAN LOOK AT THAT. BOTH SIDES IN THE YELLOW. TRAFFIC IS SLOW. ROOSEVELT TO THE IKE. INBOUND COMING IN AT 18 MINUTES ON THE OUTBOUND SIDE. I-57 JAMMED FROM HALSTED TO THE RYAN. BISHOP FORD IS SLOW BETWEEN STONY AND THE RYAN AND THEN A LOOK AT THE TOLLWAYS. LOOKS LIKE THE TRI-STATE OKAY. REAGAN MAJOR LOOKS LIKE MINOR DELAYS HAPPENING THERE. AND EVERYTHING ELSE COMING IN NICE AND QUIET. LAKE SHORE DRIVE EVEN SMOOTH SAILING AT 15 MINUTES BETWEEN HOLLYWOOD AND MONROE.

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Is ChatRoulette breaking child porn laws? | View Clip
03/11/2010
True/Slant

Anyone following the coverage of ChatRoulette will not be surprised to hear that there are many penises — or peni — to be found there. What you may be surprised to hear is that those penises could get the site into serious legal trouble.

The site now specifies that users must be 16 years of age, though it does not confirm that in any way, i.e., requiring users to enter a birth date before they hit “Play.” Based on my spinning of the ChatRoulette wheel, I have anecdotal evidence that youngsters under 16 are on the site.

Pair that with the fact that the wheel often lands on a naked person — when Web Ecology did a survey of the game, 5% of the users encountered were “genitals” — you've got a problem. The site is possibly running afoul of the laws that have developed over the past 15 years to protect kids from seeing porn and adults from distributing child porn…

The German newspaper Spiegel has the first extensive profile of the 17-year-old Russian high school student who created the site. Due to its sudden popularity, he's got some moneyed suitors.

Late last year, only 500 people were using the Web site that Andrey Ternovskiy launched. Now Chatroulette gets around 1.5 million visitors daily. With Russian billionaires offering him cash and Google on the other line, the Moscow teenager has to make a decision: America or Russia?

via Winning the Human Lottery: The Russian-American Battle over Chatroulette – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International.

But are they going to want to take on the liability that lurks in the chaotic site?

Eric Goldman, a technology lawyer and associate professor at Santa Clara University Law School, suggested to me that the site may run into some child pornography problems.  “It seems like any minor showing his/her private parts via Chat Roulette is producing child porn, and anyone who randomly stumbles across this minor is receiving child porn,” wrote Goldman in an email.

Additionally, there are a number of laws on the books — “of dubious constitutionality,” says Goldman – banning the display of pornographic materials to minors over the Internet.

ChatRoulette would not be protected by Section 230(c) — the Communications Decency Act, which usually indemnifies hosting companies from the actions of their users — because the Act protects websites from liability for civil charges and state criminal charges, but does not protect against federal criminal prosecutions. Goldman recommends that the site segregate users into “kids only” and “porn” categories to protect itself.

“There has been a 15 year long paranoia about kids using the Internet being exposed to porn, and there are a bunch of laws on the books (of dubious constitutionality) banning the display of pornographic materials to minors over the Internet,” wrote Goldman. Indeed, I remember having some risque conversations in AOL chat rooms as a preteen in the 1990s. My friends and I became addicted to chat rooms when we discovered AOL in high school. Having been told all of our lives not to talk to strangers, it was wonderfully liberating to rush headfirst into it online.

A 2000 Newsweek article called the chat rooms “AOL's Dirty Little E-Secret,” explaining that “no matter the putative topic (TV, movies, Limp Bizkit), most AOL chat rooms inevitably devolve from banal small talk into cheesy pickup lines, and from there into paired-off Instant Message tete-a-tetes and exchanges of lewd digital photos.” Most news coverage from the 1990s on chat rooms focused on their dark side and the dangers posed to children like us. So legislators created harsh laws to protect lascivious kids like us. AOL responded by creating “kids only” areas. Goldman says ChatRoulette needs to do something similar.

“If ChatRoulette doesn't do some type of redesign to protect its kid users from the random naked genitalia, I don't think this is going to turn out well for them or the industry.  If they care about this, ChatRoulette almost assuredly will need to ask its chatters to self-identify as interested in “adult” chatting or not and then keep the two chatting pools separate.  Then, they will need to punish anyone who misreports and goes into the non-adult zone improperly,” wrote Goldman. “This is the kind of “protect the kids” concern that gets legislators foaming at the mouth.”

As I've said before, I'm a big fan of the site. I think Jon Stewart is wrong about it.

But I am not a fan of the occasional penis I stumble into when I play ChatRoulette — tangentially, can anyone explain to me the appeal of indecent exposure? — and I hit “next” as fast as I can when that occurs. That works for me. But, legally, that may not be a solution for kids.

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THE MOST RIDICULOUS UNIVERSITY COURSES YOU CAN TAKE | View Clip
03/11/2010
Capitalfm.co.ke

Thu,11 Mar 2010 | By Capital Radio

March 11: If you're still clinging to the idea that college isn't a complete joke, you need to hear this list from the Huffington Post, identifying the ten most ridiculous college courses you can actually take at schools around the country. Check it out:

At Santa Clara University, you can take a class called The Joy of Garbage, where you explore "the technical aspects of decomposition and waste processes."

At Cornell University, you can take a class called Tree Climbing.

At Georgetown University, you can take a class called Philosophy and "Star Trek".

At UCLA, you can take a class called Queer Musicology, which explores pressing issues like "the possibility that being gay makes music by gay composers sound different to you than it would if you were straight."

At Pitzer College in California, you can take a class called Learning from YouTube, which . . . shocker . . . consists of "students watching, discussing, and commenting on YouTube videos."

At Stanford University, you can take a class called iPhone Application Programming. (--Actually, if you went to college to get a decent job afterwards, this class might not be such a lame idea.)

At Alfred University in New York, you can take a class called Maple Syrup; The Real Thing.

At Frostburg State University in Maryland, you can take a class called The Science of "Harry Potter".

At Centre College in Kentucky, you can take a class called The Art of Walking.

And at Reed College in Oregon, you can take a class called Underwater Basket Weaving. No, really.

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