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Google Patents Privacy Your Rights Online

Google Patents Guilt-By-Association 199

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-it's-in-the-cloouuuudddd dept.
theodp writes "Guilt by association is defined as the attribution of guilt (without proof) to individuals because the people they associate with are guilty. It's also at the heart of U.S. Patent No. 8,306,922, which was awarded to Google on Tuesday for Detecting Content on a Social Network Using Links, the invention of three Googlers. In its patent application, Google argues that if an individual posts content to social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. 'that is illegal (e.g., content violating copyright law, content violating penal statutes, etc.), inappropriate for minors (e.g., pornography, "R" or "NC-17" rated videos, adult content, etc.), in contravention of an end user licensing agreement (EULA), etc.', then their friends 'may be likely to post content to their profile pages related to similar topics.' Google further explains: 'For instance, a first user and a second user that are designated as friends on a social network may be friends based upon a set of common interests (e.g., the first user and the second user are both interested in tennis). If the first user adds content to its profile page that is related to sports, then the friendship (link) between the first user and the second user can indicate that the profile page of the second user is likely to contain content related to sports as well.' By extension, the same holds true for porn, pirated videos and music, etc., right? So, would you feel comfortable being judged by the online company you keep?"
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Google Patents Guilt-By-Association

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:20AM (#41931975) Journal
    Dear Slashdot,

    I'd like to ask you some questions about your ongoing involvement and interview with Hans Reiser [slashdot.org] ... I haven't seen any activity in CmdrTaco's wife's gmail account for quite some time!

    Sincerely,

    Googlock Holmes
  • by RNLockwood (224353) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:33AM (#41932147) Homepage

    This shouldn't fly. Christians, and perhaps Jews, have believed in original sin in which guilt has been transferred from Eve for millennia. They published but didn't file for a patent.

  • by Vanderhoth (1582661) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:34AM (#41932175)
    I think this is a great excuse to unfriend my mom. She's always posting copyrighted material from the dog shelter she works at and I wouldn't want to be guilty of associating with someone posting material advocating helping homeless animals without the permission of the humane society.
  • by second_coming (2014346) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:36AM (#41932199)
    If Kevin Bacon does anything dodgy, we're all fucked
  • Re:Well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by magic maverick (2615475) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:40AM (#41932261) Homepage Journal

    I get around the problem by not having any friends. Either online or in real life.

    I really don't want to be judged by the company I keep on Slashdot. People's tastes around here are just bizarre. Natalie Portman? Covered in grits? Petrified? Let alone the obsession with wanting to Beowulf everything.

  • by RenderSeven (938535) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:43AM (#41932315)
    8427 attention-starved people +1 LIKED your shallow narcissistic plea for affirmation
  • by Idbar (1034346) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:48AM (#41932363)
    Oh well... I'm just really sorry for Kevin Bacon, that guy is going to have a hard time defending himself in court.
  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Friday November 09, 2012 @11:53AM (#41932417)

    I misread that as "Species 8472 +1 LIKED your shallow narcissistic plea for assimilation"

  • by geek (5680) on Friday November 09, 2012 @01:34PM (#41933495)

    "By extension, the same holds true for porn, pirated videos and music, etc., right? So, would you feel comfortable being judged by the online company you keep?"

    Definitely. Most of the people whose company I enjoy favor a liberal interpretation of the authority of copyright and prefer adult-oriented content to PG and lighter fare. They speak ill of their government when it is justified (and sometimes when it is not) and accept that the four boxes of liberty are all unfortunate necessities. And they believe that even suspected terrorists who worship the wrong deity are endowed by their creator with the rights documented in the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.

    I rather like that sort of person, and hope that the world sees me as one of them. I think people who are not proud to fit that description tend to lie somewhere between pretentious and dull, and are detrimental to our advancement as a productive, open, honest, and self-aware society.

    Definitely. Most of the people whose company I enjoy favor a conservative interpretation of the authority of copyright and prefer family-oriented content to XXX and lighter fare. They speak positively of their government when it is justified (and sometimes when it is not) and accept that the four branches of liberty are all fortunate inheritances from our forward thinking founders. And they believe that self proclaimed terrorists who twist and contort their religion into a religion of hate instead of peace and wage a holy war on the West deserve to be rebuffed in the most forceful manner necessary.

    I rather like that sort of person, and hope that the world sees me as one of them. I think people who are not proud to fit that description tend to lie somewhere between naive and immature, and are detrimental to our advancement as a productive, open, honest, and self-aware society. However many of my close friends also fit this description and it doesn't affect my relationships with them because life is about more than politics, regardless of what the sitting President of the United States says.

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