Google Accused Of Funding Researchers To Provide Evidence That Defends Its Interests


The Campaign for Accountability has released a report in conjunction with the WSJ that claims Google's funding of research papers relating to copyright issues rose sharply between 2012 and 2017, which is a direct correlation to an increase in anti-piracy bills that Google was fighting legislators over.

Miller doesn't deny that Google funds academic work though its "many research programs" and points to a common interest among some academics, and to Google's support for the principles underlying an open internet, such as copyright, patents, and free expression.

The report's findings are unambiguous - Google uses its enormous wealth and power to attempt to influence policymakers at every level. The remainder worked for, or were affiliated with, groups or institutions that were funded by Google.

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Scholars and academics were handed sponsorship cash to produce papers that supported Google's business and its policy goals in an attempt to curry favour with and influence the public, the research by the US-based Campaign for Accountability (CfA) said.

Mr. Stevens continued, "What's good for Google is not necessarily good for the country". In contrast, Google is one of the largest, most powerful and richest companies on the planet. "Google-funded academics should disclose the source of their funding to ensure their work is evaluated in context and the government makes decisions that benefit all Americans, not just Google employees and stockholders".

However Google has been more vocal about the Campaign for Accountability report, calling it "misleading" in a blog post. "For example, the report attributes to Google any work that was supported by any organisation to which we belong or have ever donated (such as CCIA)", write's Google's director of public policy Leslie Miller.

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Miller said the company expected academics to disclose its funding and maintain their independence. Oracle is not alone-you can easily find similar activity by companies and organizations funded by our competitors, like AT&T, the MPAA, ICOMP, FairSearch and dozens more; including hundreds of pieces directly targeting Google. Over the past 18 months, the Google Transparency Project has documented more than 425 White House meetings by Google lobbyists, 250 revolving door hires between Google and government and more than 325 academic papers paid for by the company to help advance its policy interests.

She also claimed it was "ironic" for the CfA to discuss transparency when it "consistently refuses to name its corporate funders", which Google claimed included its tech rivals.

One of the known funders of the Campaign for Accountability is Oracle, which at the time the project started was in a legal dispute with Google that ultimately ruled in favor of the Mountain View company.

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