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Gaia Project Agrees To Google Cease and Desist 323

Posted by Zonk
from the quieting-that-particular-deity dept.
Dreben writes "Gaia, an opensource project to develop a 3D API to Google Earth, has decided to comply with a request from Google. The search giant's Chief Technologist, Michael Jones, contacted the project with a request to cease and desist from all past, present and future development of the Gaia project. Amongst other things, they cited 'improper usage of licensed data,' which Google licenses from assorted third party vendors. They are going so far as to request anyone who has ever downloaded any aspect of Gaia to purge all related files. From the post to the freegis-l mail list: 'We understand and respect Google's position on the case, so we've removed all downloads from this page and we ask everybody who have ever downloaded gaia 0.1.0 and prior versions to delete all files concerned with the project, which include source code, binary files and image cache (~/.gaia).' How does such a request, likely to have turned into a demand, affect fair usage? While the API is intended to interface with the the Google Earth service, Google Earth is nothing without the data. Yet at the same time, Google openly publishes their own API which uses the same data in the same manner."
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Gaia Project Agrees To Google Cease and Desist

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  • by localoptimum (993261) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @06:46PM (#16987258)
    I came across something like this through work. I was helping to organise a physics conference in Berlin. We were using a town map website to mark the conference venue. I entered the address of the place, copied the url (with all the cgi after it), and made a link so that the visitors could navigate to the map website and immediately get a big red cross on it. Our legal experts told me to get rid of the link because we could face a law suit for improper use of linking to other people's material (even though the huge ad banner still shows viagra and goodness knows what else all around the map, and the visitors were therefore contributing to the ad revenue). It's all fucking bullshit if you ask me.
    • by Kagura (843695) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @06:53PM (#16987316)
      ... with a request to cease and desist from all past, present and future development of the Gaia project.

      Sure, so long as you let us keep the time machine after we've complied!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dextromulous (627459)
      Now you have me wondering, since Slashdot has contributed to large bandwidth bills for some websites, why don't we hear of Slashdot being in "legal trouble" for "improper use of linking ot other people's material." It sounds like what you were doing is not "improper use" at all, but IANAL, so maybe your legal experts are right... or maybe they're just a bunch of idiots when it comes to the Internet. Hotlinking, however, would be a different story.
      • by sumdumass (711423)
        Slashdot has been accused of it before. At least we have seen stories about it on the main page. Not to the extent were it needed shut down or anything but it was neccesary once or twice for the editors to defend thier practice. I know this because I remeber the story submisions on it.

        And It is a different concept from Slashdot linking to a"news" story with some comentary then discusing it later then someone using someone elses service as a feature of thier website to promote thier conference.

        Now the bigest
    • The sooner we all buy GPSs and share/aggregate tracks of our local streets, the sooner we will have a better, more current product than the street maps that GE currently licences from traditional mapping agencies. This is an area where public data collection ought to cream anything a centralised/aggregated approach can do (certainly in terms of currency).

      GE is neat but the main innovation it offers is ready access to large volume of base data.

      Xix.
  • Licensing! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by screevo (701820) <screevo@CURIEscreevo.com minus physicist> on Saturday November 25, 2006 @06:48PM (#16987274) Homepage Journal
    According to the post, it's quite simple. Google has a license to use their API with the data. It's not google being a bully. It's google saving their rear.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Omnifarious (11933) *

      *nod* I was initially thinking that if gaim wasn't in the wrong for using the Oscar protocol to talk to AIM servers, then the Gaia people couldn't be in the wrong either. I still don't think they're exactly in the wrong. But I do feel that the proper thing for them to do is agree to Google's terms precisely because the data Google is serving up is not licensed for the use Gaia is putting it to. Essentially they are being nice and helping Google honor agreements it has made with third parties.

      OTOH, I d

  • by Onno Hovers (219380) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @06:48PM (#16987280)
    Google News is using stories from online sources without a license. When will Google itself cease and desist?
    • by TheSunborn (68004) <tiller&daimi,au,dk> on Saturday November 25, 2006 @06:51PM (#16987300)
      As soon as someone ask the to do so. (Just search slashdot for a history of someone doing exactly that, resulting in google dropping them as requested.)
    • Google is also using content from websites without a license! When will they stop searching other sites?! Why can't Google create its own content?!

      Like someone else mentioned, delisting is an option for anyone who wants it.
      • by Restil (31903)
        In addition, you can prevent google and other search engines from ever crawling your site in the first place if you just use the robots.txt file.

        -Restil
  • by bunions (970377) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @06:49PM (#16987288)
    > request to cease and desist from all past, present and future development

    Hopefully google will let the developers use the google time machine to go back and not work on it.
  • Qua? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Graymalkin (13732) * on Saturday November 25, 2006 @06:51PM (#16987302)
    Fair use does not involve using a sublicensed product against the terms of the license agreement. When you spend the money to photograph and map the surface of the Earth you can license it and do with it what you please. Until then you have to deal with the licenses Google Earth's data falls under or not use it. Google is actually being pretty generous in providing a Google Earth/Maps API as they're going out on a limb licensing content from other vendors. There's a reason all of the images have Google logo watermarks or watermarks of the company that collected the data.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cycoj (1010923)
      Well I disagree. Google is putting the data freely available on the net. They should not be able to prevent users from using that content. What if microsoft suddenly decides to have all it's servers only provide content to IE, and then threaten firefox developers because they develop a program which is able to access their content. On a different note google is reusing quite a significant amount of publically available image data as well AFAIK. If you read the notice on the Gaia site it is also not quite cl
      • matter of time (Score:4, Insightful)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @07:30PM (#16987580) Homepage Journal
        A growing chunk of the world is going on with their lives ignoring intellectual property completely, and even though I make my living through payments for intellectual property, I am perfectly happy to see the entire IP structure collapse. It's based on some bad assumptions and ultimately destructive conventions.

        I, for one, am pleased to walk down the streets of Belgrade and see "Nike" shoes for 5 dollars (US) and slipstreamed copies of Windows XP professional SP2 for less than that. I've made the decision to circumvent the laws of Intellectual Property whenever I can. I look forward to the whole thing blowing up and a new model taking its place (even though there's a chance it could be a worse model).

        The direction IP law is taking us goes to a very bad place.
        • Re:matter of time (Score:4, Insightful)

          by mr_matticus (928346) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @07:39PM (#16987630)
          so what would you do if someone started selling your work for 75% cheaper than what you sell it for, and as a result, your income dropped 50% or more?

          i think you'd turn to those same IP laws you violate for protection. but then when they see that you ignore them when it suits you, you'd be SOL.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by PopeRatzo (965947)
            I've actually experienced the loss of income due to the copying of my work. But the solution is not trying to nail down the system further, but rather to re-think the way the work is released, and perhaps, the expectations of just how rich one is supposed to get because of a single idea or bit of creativity.

            I'm glad, for example, to see that more groups are performing live in response to the widespread copying of their recordings. Now, if you just cut out the record companies, there's still a profit to be
      • No, they're not putting it freely on the net. They're giving you access to that data (which they paid for), which in no small part belongs to someone else. That's like saying that the articles on JSTOR are a free-for-all because JSTOR gives you a web interface to them. Google has provided access for free, and you want to trample on their good will and take it for your own use.

        It's not Google's data, and it's not free as in speech. If Google had their own satellites and put their own images on Google E
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          That's a pretty interesting argument, there. If you take it to its logical conclusion, you'd have to say that Google (and Yahoo, MSN etc) are operating search engines illegally, since they are clearly making unlicensed use of nearly all the crawled pages they have in their search engine index. It's a fair position to take, but where do you go from there?
          • Well, there's a distinction between JSTOR and Google in that JSTOR is the uploader and maintainer of the electronic copies, whereas Google simply takes you to external content and doesn't assume maintenance, storage, or distribution control over any of that content (Google cache of course being potentially problematic). Google is more like a telephone book that automatically finds your business ad and puts it in the book for you--yes, it's done without your explicit permission, but it also only helps you m
      • Re:Qua? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by xigxag (167441) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @08:50PM (#16988204)
        Well I disagree. Google is putting the data freely available on the net.

        Google is not making the data freely available -- it is encrypted and can (ordinarily) only be accessed from within Google software or within the Google network through a passkey. It is as if you had some private banking information stored on an ftp server. The server is connected to the internet. Does that mean it's up for grabs? Would you like for someone to crack your password? Would you like for them to share that information with others?

        Secondly, there is no indication in the letter that Google is preventing users from using the content. They are merely trying to regulate it, just as you must regulate any resource. There is not even the threat of a lawsuit. More likely Google would just change their protocols and make people jump through more hoops to get at the data. Is that to anyone's advantage?

        Imagine you own a toy store. You have a large free candy dispenser outside your store window set up so that people can sample sweets throughout the day, in the hope of luring in customers. After a few weeks, a woman named Gaia comes by and figures out how to jerry-rig the dispenser so that she can get an unlimited quantity of candy for free all at once. She sets up a table in the public park with the candy she's taken from your dispenser and just gives it out to people, no charge. That's nice of her, being so generous, but it's really at your expense. Soon after, you're forced to take down your dispenser.

        That's what's wrong with your argument.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by cycoj (1010923)
          Google is not making the data freely available -- it is encrypted
          That is simply wrong, if that was the case gaia would not be working. The gaia guys simply reverse engineered the google earth protocol, so that they could get the content. Perfectly legitimate and legal(at least in Russia, most of Europe) IMO. Now if google does not want people to access that data they should encrypt it.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mr_matticus (928346)
            You continually ignore the detail that the data the Gaia project is accessing isn't free as in speech. It's free as in beer, because Google bought the beer and is sharing it with anyone who comes to Google's house on Saturdays. It's licensed, proprietary data, and the Gaia people did not have a license to it. That's not "perfectly legitimate and legal" anywhere. You can't just take Google's beer from his garage and give it out yourself, even though Google isn't charging for it.
    • Re:Qua? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ben there... (946946) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @11:21PM (#16989156) Journal
      Google is actually being pretty generous in providing a Google Earth/Maps API as they're going out on a limb licensing content from other vendors. There's a reason all of the images have Google logo watermarks or watermarks of the company that collected the data.

      I used to work for one of the companies named in those watermarks, who provides GIS datasets of the US and a few other countries. They purchase datasets from smaller companies/localities and merge and improve them to provide data to Google, in-car nav companies, and routing for businesses. One dataset that we had purchased from a county government cost the company $30,000. Almost all of the datasets required the company to agree to a Data Usage Agreement. Every street, water, rail, etc. segment that was modified in our database was tagged with the source of the data. I designed the database that cataloged those datasets, imagery, and maps to record the restrictions of each dataset. I was not privy to our sales contracts, but I would assume sales to Google involved passing along many of the same Data Usage Agreements, for a much larger amount of data and of course a much larger sum of money.

      And our work probably wasn't nearly as expensive as sending satellites into space like the data from Space Imaging. Their Data Usage Agreements are likely even more limiting, and their data more expensive. My former employer buys satellite images from Space Imaging and more accurate aerial imagery from USGS flyovers to improve the accuracy of their GIS datasets, but they do not produce or distribute the images themselves.

      Google did the right thing in abiding by the contracts they signed to license the data from companies like mine. We are already fortunate enough that Google absorbs the cost of that data to provide it through their API like they do, and that Google even managed to negotiate a contract allowing its use through their API.
  • by troicstar (1029086) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @06:58PM (#16987338)
    especially to small time users. It would have generated goodwill. I'm sure their agreements with the 3rd party providers didn't stipulate not to allow other api's to be developed, merely (ab)use of the dataset by said apis. Grey areas would benefit both parties.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FroBugg (24957)
      The project was accessing data that Google did not own, only licensed, in a way that was not covered by Google's license. If Google hadn't shut them down, the owners of the data would likely have gone after this project (and possibly gone straight to a lawsuit) as well as tried to force Google to make it harder for other people to do this in the future, thus limiting what Google itself can do with the data.

      It sucks, but that's what happens when you're dealing with licensed data.
    • by honkycat (249849)
      It's quite possible they were alerted to this "problem" by one of their licensors and didn't have the choice to ignore it.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25, 2006 @08:20PM (#16987934)

        I'm on the Google Earth team and yes, this is exactly what happened. The license we have to the imagery forbids us from allowing access from unofficial clients. The data providers take this very seriously indeed and noticed very quickly that such an application was out in the wild.

        Fortunately, the Gaia author understood our position and ceased development, for which we are grateful. I think we are going to send him a T-Shirt or something to try and make up for it. It's a small gesture but we don't want him to think badly of us.

        I guess some people will see this action as us dumping on the little guy, but it's not that simple. Many Googlers have a background in open source and have been on both sides of the fence. However, the fact remains that this sort of aerial imagery is not only very expensive to produce but also very expensive to manipulate and merge into a unified "Earth". If we allowed open source clients to access the Earth database it would be easier to dump the (unwatermarked) images en-masse and avoid paying the imagery owners for it. Clearly, that's not something anybody wants - satellites don't launch themselves.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by MikeBabcock (65886)
          Using karma bonus so everyone sees this:

          AC (parent) posted:

          I'm on the Google Earth team and yes, this is exactly what happened. The license we have to the imagery forbids us from allowing access from unofficial clients. The data providers take this very seriously indeed and noticed very quickly that such an application was out in the wild.

          Fortunately, the Gaia author understood our position and ceased development, for which we are grateful. I think we are going to send him a T-Shirt or something to try and
        • by unitron (5733) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @11:58PM (#16989358) Homepage Journal
          "...satellites don't launch themselves."

          Which is probably just as well in the long run. :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mr_matticus (928346)
      What? The agreement was that Google had paid for and been granted access to the map data, and Google users were therefore permitted to use the resulting application. Someone else developing an API to access that map data (held by Google in proxy to the original data) is bypassing the Google interface to get to the data, to which they have no license or access rights.

      This isn't a grey area. A grey area would be someone writing a page which hooks into Google's API. This bypasses Google's and substitute
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 25, 2006 @07:00PM (#16987352)
    Google doesn't own most of the map data they're using-- they've bought licenses allowing them to use it in certain ways and Gaia was causing Google to violate those agreements. If Google's data suppliers had cut off their contracts over this, then both Google Earth and Gaia would cease to exist.
  • by heroine (1220) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @07:05PM (#16987394) Homepage
    There has never been a time when 2 corporate entities, Google and Apple, have been as beloved and cherished by the public as we have today. It's a true sign of unprecidented respect for a corporation when users obey the corporation's every request without as much as a wimper. If it was Microsoft, the kids would be screaming and it would be on every blog. Google is so beloved, they could tell kids to shoot themselves and they'd do it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by catbutt (469582)
      yes, that probably has to do with the fact that google has earned the trust of many people by their past good behaviour. It is not in the least bit irrational that people factor this in, and therefore are more likely to conclude that google is not acting maliciously in this case.

      If google does enough things that shifts the balance the other way (same goes for microsoft), people will take this into account as well. This is how humans operate, and it makes plenty of sense.

      I imagine you do the same wit
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MickDownUnder (627418)
        How has google earnt trust?

        I really don't get this, Google must have some of the best marketing dudes in the world when everyone thinks they smell like a rose, when they're in the business of making money through profiling people. They're collecting information on people by what they search for, the emails they send and receive, if you use Google desktop search they're collecting information off your PC and thanks to Google analytics and it's very very wide adoption (view source and search for urchintracke
    • by evilviper (135110)
      If it was Microsoft, the kids would be screaming and it would be on every blog. Google

      And if it was Mark Foley asking for a beer, instead of Cameron Diaz...

      People give Google the benefit of the doubt, while they give the opposite to Microsoft, because both companies have earned it, based on their past actions. There's nothing wrong with that, at all. In fact, completely IGNORING Microsoft's history would be wrong...
    • > It's a true sign of unprecidented respect for a corporation when users obey
      > the corporation's every request without as much as a wimper.

      _Some_ users obey...
    • Does Microsoft's mapping service have a publicly accessible API? At least Google does, and it's a lot less restrictive than Microsoft's, having one with restrictions on how you use the data vs. not having one and not having any software access to said data.
    • by turing_m (1030530)
      Tell that to Daniel Brandt, creator of scroogle.org.

      Google is at least several orders of magnitude more evil than Microsoft, the only difference is PR.

      Brin and Page started immediately with the Orwellian doublespeak. Like the US government naming their War Department the Department of Defense, they make their motto "Don't be evil", while doing all manner of evil things. They record everything you've ever searched on, your emails on gmail, they know who your friends are, they actively hire and work with the
  • I see one possibility (actually a personal wishlist item more than anything): A GDAL based, cross-platform GPS application that can render geotiffs to a window and plot the current position for locally stored maps. Currently, the only application that does this and, even then, only just (no disrespect, I use it a lot, but maritime charts rarely fit into a 1280x1024 pixel raster) is GPSDrive. Yes, I've heard of mapd and had a few attempts to port it, but it doesn't play nice with FreeBSD. The Grass port, whe
  • by goldcd (587052) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @07:41PM (#16987644) Homepage
    "While the API is intended to interface with the the Google Earth service, Google Earth is nothing without the data. Yet at the same time, Google openly publishes their own API which uses the same data in the same manner."

    Yes - Google Earth is nothing without the data. That's why they pay huge sums of money for that data. They intend to make a return on this investment - and I'm sure anybody with Google shares would expect them to do so.

    To make a return they want people to use it. To get more people to use it they developed an API - the usage of which they intend to ultimately bring money back to Google with.

    Why on earth would they want other people ripping off the data they paid to license to do other stuff with - something that doesn't return them money. More importantly, whoever is licensing them the data isn't going to be too happy that other people are copying it without paying them a license fee. If I wrote some software and sold copies to people, and one of my customers started burning copies and giving them out to everybody, I would be pissed off with that customer.

    If Gaia wants to use the maps, I'm sure the OSS community will collectively reach into their pockets to pay for the licensing fee required (that would be the fee required to distribute those maps free, to anybody). Alternatively, why don't we send up an OSS satellite ourselves and take our own photos?

    I fail to see how this is a story..
    • Exactly.

      Nothing here to get remotely excited about.

      Dumb asses start visualization project without data to visualize. News at 11.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HuguesT (84078)
      There is a story here because Google asked nicely, explaining why they thought Gaia was a big no-no to them. They didn't send in the lawyers.

      More amazingly, the Gaia people understood Google's reasoning and complied, even though that meant canning many hours of work.

      Please note that it is not an open-and-shut case here that what Gaia was doing was illegal, only detrimental to Google.

      Intelligence at work is something worth telling sometime.
  • Open Dependencies (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @08:00PM (#16987752) Homepage Journal
    This scenario is a compelling case for open dependencies. Depending on a proprietary data source, like Google's GIS data, is a risk that can destroy a project when that source on which the project depends changes its terms of use, or turns out too limited to use by the project's actual scope or use cases. If Gaia were coded to use an open standard for data, then its developers could probably use Google data as one source during its development. The release could then use whichever data source the user specified. The most Google could do would be to insist the project stop specifying Google as a default source, and maybe stop users from connecting to the Google API.

    Though that would encourage a good project (if Gaia is one) to grow the popularity of other data sources that compete with Google. So Google would probably go along with it.

    Including tiered architectures with choices for alternative components and data in standard formats is a powerful way to force even a powerful force like Google to go with the flow.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The most Google could do would be to insist the project stop specifying Google as a default source, and maybe stop users from connecting to the Google API.

      To clarify, we have not asked the Gaia authors to stop developing the program, only to stop accessing Google Earths database. Once the author has pulled the GE download code, he is free to retarget it to say the NASA World Wind imagery and carry on, we have no problems with that.

      • by in7ane (678796)
        It is the people who run the program that are accessing the Google Earths database, not the author. It would seem the author is free to do whatever he wants, and it would not matter much if 'you' had a problem with that - he is based in Russia, hence the nice letter from Michael Jones rather than legal threats :) Having said that, I fully agree that this probably puts Google in breach of their licensing agreements with the data providers, which can only adversely affect the users as well as Google.
    • by in7ane (678796)
      It would seem that it's libgefetch that Google have a problem with - specifically the 'authentication' part: /**
      * Internal function to authenticate at Google server
      *
      * Mimics Google Earth's behavior (and uses data actually copypasted
      * from tcpdump) - does two HTTP requests and awaits second one to
      * contain 80 byte session ID. This SID is stored in gefetch handle
      * and used in later requests, giving access to imagery and other data.
      */

      However, the 'authent
  • by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @08:05PM (#16987800)
    Google apologists? WTF

    After reading several posts, more people are standing up to defend Google and their control of their IP. That is fine, but if the article was about MS or another 'evil' corporate company doing this, we would see 1000 posts by now telling the world how evil they are.

    What surprises me, is when I see the same people decry Microsoft or IBM and then in related issues stick up for companies like Google and Apple. These companies are all out for their own interest, give back only what 'little' they 'have' to give back and don't give a crap about OSS.

    If you look back at tons of articles, where Apple stops giving back source, closes Darwin, or straps on tons of DRM and closes their entire media business to just themselves; or articles where Google admits to data mining email and has some 'unknown-unholy' alliance to firefox that controls the development of the browser and people just roll over like these are all ok things and people still think these companies are good and all about being Open.

    Google is not any better than any other corporate machine, and as they get bigger their weight will be felt more and more by the entire industry.

    Google is not about cute kittens any more than MS is about cute kittens.

    Ok?
  • They built an API to access google earth data in a different way. The license says you can only access the data via googles client software. But the Gaia project itself is not violating the license, they are just providing the means. Its the people that use the Gaia API that do the violation. This is just like a manufacture of a CD burner. A CD burner can be illegally used to copy copyrighted material, but it is the user of the CD burner that's breaking the license, not the CD manufacturer
    • by westlake (615356)
      But the Gaia project itself is not violating the license, they are just providing the means. Its the people that use the Gaia API that do the violation.

      the burner has multiple uses. the Gaia API only one. "providing the means" was suffiencient to sink Napster.

    • by s7uar7 (746699)
      It's nothing like the manufacturer of a CD burner. A CD burner can be used for numerous legal purposes, whereas gaia could only be used if you break the Google license agreement.
  • by Glomek (853289) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @09:08PM (#16988338)
    While there can be differences of opinion over whether it was right for Google to make the request, they sure made it with a lot more tact than many companies have in the past. No threats. No blustering. No legal speak. It was a very reasonable letter that respects the recipient's intelligence and moral integrity.

    I'm impressed.
  • From TFA... (Score:5, Informative)

    by CharonX (522492) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @09:32PM (#16988474) Journal
    The data that we license for Google Earth and Google Maps is made available for use under the restriction that it not be accessed or used outside of Google's client software.
    In other words, they got a license for the images, data, whatever only for use in their software. The original providers of that data would - understandably - be unhappy if they allowed the data to be used by other products (remember, they want to keep selling the data to people). So Google has to be the "bad guy" and pull the plug from the 3rd party devs or the data providers will sue them for allowing others to take the data and/or pull the plug on Google's license.
    • by HarryCaul (25943)

      Gosh, I hope that no one who published the books Google wants to put online made a similar agreement with anyone.

  • There is a fundamental assumption of the web, which google seem to have misunderstood. It is this:
    "Anything you publish, I can use. In return, anything I publish, you can use".

    for example, I make my website accessible to googlebot without restriction (including indexing, caching etc). In return, google is available to me. It's simply about fairness: the "price of entry to the Internet" is that one should contribute one's own material.
    This is how, for example, people share html layouts. The unfortunate thing
  • 1: Anything involving lawyers is Evil.
    2: Anything holding back Open Source is Evil.
    3: Anything involving big corporations against the little guy just trying to make the world a better place is Evil.

    That's Three Strikes, Google.

  • by Ragica (552891) on Saturday November 25, 2006 @10:20PM (#16988816) Homepage
    I had heard of Gaia, and was going to try it on my laptop (Gentoo) ... but forgot about it. Then I saw it come into the FreeBSD ports tree at an opportune moment and so I built it on my FreeBSD desktop system. When i ran it I at first couldn't figure out if it was doing anything. All I had was a map of the world which I could grab and move... I was about to give up (without reading any docs of course!) when i accidentally hit my scroll wheel.... ZOOOOM.

    I have google earth installed on a windows box and play with it from time to time. But (granted that box is older and more limited than the FreeBSD box -- though it does have a much better video card in it) it runs pretty distressing slow... chews up the system resources. Gaia on my freebsd box was *fast*. Amazingly fast. And therefore fun! Sure I didn't have any UI to speak of, could not look up addresses or landmarks... but i was soon zooming in to any place i was interested in and finding my own way around, and having more fun doing it in the fast minimal interface than I ever had in google earth.

    Also it was so nice to see in native 64 freebsd bits... i don't think I'll ever see Google's offerings come to my platform of choice ... ever (except of course in the annoying form of Linux emulation). )-:

    Alas, the very next day I see the news about the take down....

    Sigh.

  • ...those of Stanford elitism couldnt stop the Ivory Tower's fall [u-tokyo.ac.jp].

  • Guys... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Shados (741919) on Sunday November 26, 2006 @05:11AM (#16990490)
    Google pays for that data, and they are bound by contracts and license agreements to only use it in certain ways. While i'm sure part of the decision is for their own benifits, it still doesn't change that most likely, as part of the agreement, Google has a responsability to make sure that data isn't used in ways that did not conform with said agreement.

Nobody said computers were going to be polite.

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