[governance] Is This An Issue for Internet Governance/Internet Human Rights?

Norbert Klein 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.

Norbert Klein

A while ago, I started a new blog:

...thinking it over... after 21 years in Cambodia

continuing to share reports and comments from Cambodia.

Norbert Klein
nhklein at gmx.net
Phnom Penh / Cambodia
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