From Wired News:
Internet search leader Google is in talks to acquire the popular online video site YouTube for about $1.6 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing a person familiar with the matter.
Mountain View-based Google and San Mateo-based YouTube are still at a sensitive stage in the discussion, the newspaper reported on its website.
The blog TechCrunch had reported on rumors of the acquisition talks. Representatives from Google and YouTube did not immediately return calls to The Associated Press.
By a comment in this blog, I was informed of a campaign -I had forgotten 😦 – of Amnesty International, about the role of Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! in China: Undermining Freedom of Expression in China.
While the use of information and communications technology to suppress dissent has been documented in many countries, it is the example of China that has generated the most public and political concern internationally.
In part this is because the apparatus of Internet repression is considered to be more advanced in China than in any other country, and in part because of the willingness of Internet hardware and software companies to cooperate with the Chinese government in their quest to develop a large and lucrative market.
The control the Chinese authorities maintain over their citizens’ right to freedom of expression and information is continuing and pervasive. This has put the spotlight on the contribution of Internet companies such as Yahoo!, Microsoft and Google to China’s efforts to maintain such control and restrict fundamental freedoms. In assisting the Chinese administration by complying with its censorship demands, these companies are seen to be facilitating or sanctioning the government’s efforts to control the free flow of information. They thereby contravene established international norms and values, and compromise their own stated principles.
International concern regarding the role of US companies in China’s Internet censorship policy has led the US House of Representatives Committee on International Relations to hold a joint hearing of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations and the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.
Among the parties that provided testimony, views were expressed that US Internet companies, including Yahoo!, Microsoft and Google, have colluded with the Chinese authorities, undermining their self-proclaimed corporate values, as well as the human right to freedom of expression and information. Although there are other Internet companies worthy of investigation for involvement and assistance in the Chinese government’s Internet censorship, as well as the suppression of dissent, the focus of this report is limited to Yahoo!, Microsoft and Google.
All three companies have, in one way or another, facilitated or colluded in the practice of censorship in China. Yahoo! has provided the Chineseauthorities with private and confidential information about its users.This included personal data that has been used to convict at least two journalists, considered by Amnesty International to be prisoners of conscience. Microsoft has admitted to shutting down a blog on the basis of a government request. Google has launched a censored version of its international search engine in China. All three companies have demonstrated a disregard for their own internally driven and proclaimed policies. They have made promises to themselves, their employees, their customers and their investors which they failed to uphold in the face of business opportunities and pressure from the Chinese government. This raises doubts about which statements made by these organisations can be trusted and which ones are public relations gestures.
Of the three companies, Google has come closest to acknowledging publicly that its practices are at odds with its principles, and to making a commitment to increase transparency by informing users in China when a web search has been filtered. Although there are many other transparency options that the company should consider, these are welcome first steps.While each of Yahoo!, Microsoft and Google may be considered to be complicit in the Chinese government’s denial of freedom of information, Yahoo!’s actions have, in particular, assisted the suppression of dissent with severe consequences for those affected. The company allowed its Chinese partner to pass evidence to the authorities that was subsequently used to convict individuals, at least two of whom received long prison sentences for peacefully exercising their legitimate right to freedom of expression.
Thus Yahoo! appears to have failed to honour its responsibility to ensure that its own operations and those of its partners are not complicit in human rights abuses. This is in breach of widely recognised international human rights principles for companies
El líder de las búsquedas en Internet, Google, va a adquirir el sitio de vídeos de YouTube, por aproximadamente 1.6 billones de dólares, según ha informado el Wall Street Journal, aunque las conversaciones están todavía en un momento sensible.
Veremos si esto incrementa o disminuya la censura que se respira en Youtube y en Google. Hay que señalar que Amnistía Internacional presentó un informe sobre cómo Google, Yahoo! y Microsoft habían cambiado sus políticas para complacer al Gobierno chino en sus demandas de límites a la libertad de expresión.
Under the agreement, YouTube users will have full access to videos from Warner artists like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Madonna. They will also be permitted incorporate material from those videos into the clips that they create and upload to YouTube. Warner and YouTube will share advertising revenue sold in connection with the video content.