I think part of it is perception. Google provides a valuable public service, whereas Uber seems to be engaged in a full-out sprint lately to see how fast they can reach, and then surpass, Comcast levels of corporate evil in the public eye. When you go supporting them over Google in a straight-up corporate espionage case in which (assuming the allegations are correct of course) they are clearly in the wrong, just because something something patents something something, it looks really bad.
What’s more, the German government has a long, sad history of using Article 103 to silence people who criticize foreign despots like the Shah of Iran and Chile’s Augusto Pinochet.
Now, I don't know enough about Pinochet to speak on the subject, but by all accounts he was a pretty rough guy. I do know that the Shah of Iran doesn't deserve to be spoken of in his company.
The problem with assassinating the character of someone in living memory is that there are still people around who remember them. For example, my mom lived in Iran under the Shah, growing up. (My grandfather was an engineer doing contract work there at the time.) She and her sisters have a lot of happy memories of that time, because the Shah was building Iran into the sort of place where Western, Christian girls could feel safe. He was improving opportunities for women in his country, he was reducing the oppressive influence of Islam on society, and he was making education more widely available.
Whatever his personal faults may have been, his agenda as a leader was to make Iran a more civilized place, and he was actually succeeding! Right up until the Islamist barbarians overthrew him, that is, plunging the country into a totalitarian hellhole that it has still not recovered from.
Lots of interesting links in the first paragraph, but the one thing I didn't see is any link to information about the process for submitting a comment. That would be quite useful; I'm sure a lot of Techdirt readers have something to say on the subject.
Of course he's pro-consumer. You just have to understand the subtleties of it. He (and the companies he represents) are pro-consumer, just like a wolf is pro-sheep: they'd be in a really difficult spot without them!
Then there's the thing about "hackers." There's more than one type of hacker,
No, there really isn't. That's a bit of pointless culture-warring from the FSF over something that's already been settled in the public consciousness decades ago. A hacker is a computer criminal, and that's the only thing anyone associates with that term, outside of a very small band of folks who might as well be still fighting the Civil War for all the good it does.
Even "ethical hackers" (ie. pentesters and security researchers) are people who do the same things as hackers (break into computer systems) but with authorization or for good purposes rather than nefarious ones.
This should be a no-brainer--if it's your property, it's your property, period--but in a world in which DRM is legally protected, anything goes.
Again, the DMCA is the root from which all digital copyright abuse springs in modern times, and we need to recognize this.
When a weed grows in your garden, you can cut it off above ground, and then deal with it when it grows back again and again and again... or you can uproot it and then you're done with it. If we want to make any real progress pushing back against copyright abuse, we need to uproot it by repealing and reversing the abusive DMCA that allows for takedowns on accusation alone and DRM that tramples on fundamental property rights. Otherwise, people will just continue to build upon it further.
Wow, is Quake still a thing? I actually had no idea.
The one I generally hold up as an exemplar in this discussion is Neverwinter Nights. Published in 2002 (not quite as old as Quake, but 15 years is nothing to sneeze at) and still selling today, because they published a powerful set of mod tools along with the game and actively encouraged the creation of a mod community.
Do you know how big the tip of an iceberg is? About 10% of the whole.
Multiplying the reported stories by a factor of 10, or even by a factor of 1000, would make no real difference in the underlying point, which is that they get everything right the vast majority of times. The cases where things go wrong are such a minuscule fraction as to be negligible, (see "epsilon," above,) and it's highly irresponsible for journalists to paint them as a bunch of habitual screwups when nothing could be further from the truth.
Yeah, horror stories like this come up regularly: you tend to consistently hear about a half-dozen screwups out of PayPal every year.
To put this in perspective, PayPal moves billions of transactions and hundreds of billions of dollars in payments every year, through virtually every country in the world, and amid all that, serious mistakes tend to happen at an average rate of less than one per month!
TLDR: There are far too many sensationalistic journalists out there who do not understand the concept of "epsilon."
What I don't understand is why the tech companies are rolling over and letting this happen.
You know what would have stopped a massive amount of this nonsense in its tracks? If the first time some movie studio or record company had tried to sue Google for frivolous reasons, they'd responded with, "OK, let's settle this like businessmen. Initiating hostile takeover."