[governance] Is This An Issue for Internet Governance/Internet Human Rights?
nhklein at gmx.net
Sat Jul 23 19:33:25 EDT 2011
On 7/24/2011 4:24 AM, Milton L Mueller wrote:
> Let’s look at the details of the case.
> Taipei said it wanted Android platform users to comply with local
regulations regarding trial periods and refunds.
> Google said, if you force us to do that, we will withdraw Android
market service from Taipei.
> To me, that seems fair enough. An agreement to disagree; a failure to
transact. That should be the end of the story.
> Those who are complaining about this result seem to be either
disconnected from economic reality or, at worst, hypocritical believers
in having your cake and eating it, too. Apparently, they want to tell
Google: you CANNOT offer services here on terms that you find necessary
to meet your needs as a supplier, but if you withdraw service we will
whine about it and imply that you should be forced to offer service in a
locality you do not want to do business in.
> There is a very simple form of governance at work here, it’s called
rational mutual adjustments to local circumstances.
> The Taipei government says, “we will impose regulations on what you
do.” Google says, in response, “well, those regulations are too costly
to us, we shall choose not to do business there.” This kind of choice
occurs in thousands of different industries in thousands of different
ways. You don’t want to live in a world in which that kind of adjustment
is not possible.
> This process of choice provides checks and balances on both players.
If Google is too unreasonable in its unwillingness to comply with local
consumer regulations, it will be barred from many markets and lose out
to others. If Taipei is too unreasonable in its demands on external
businesses, it will only prevent its citizens from getting access to
many valuable products and services.
> Please tell me what is a better alternative?
Not an alternative in the strict sense of the word - but a third
(future) option: Open Standards Hardware.
Years ago, many "experts" did not think Linux and the applications that
run on this Open Source system would achieve the development achieved so
A few years ago I was in contact with a group of technicians who were
working on an Open Standards definition for the hardware for a mobile
phone and a lot of other functions which we find in different Symbian,
Microsoft etc. mobile devices.
Surely to develop Open Standards Hardware is not as easy as developing
Open Source software. And the major players at the existing hardware
markets would probably not be keen to get involved soon - just as the
mayor players on the market for proprietary software were not keen to
see the share of Open Source software expanding. But it does.
A while ago, I started a new blog:
...thinking it over... after 21 years in Cambodia
continuing to share reports and comments from Cambodia.
nhklein at gmx.net
Phnom Penh / Cambodia
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