Dear Google

We’ve launched our first community open letter at dear-google.com and we’d really like YOU to sign it. When it comes to addressing the big guys, there’s a fine line between ranting and sucking up. We hope we’ve trodden that line well, but we’ll leave that up to you to judge. Basically, we’re looking for new ways to create an online culture that’s  little more mindful of copyrights WITHOUT making it tougher to browse or use content. We figured this kind of dialogue may be a good place to start… Here are some excerpts:

“We are creative people. We are developers, photographers, bloggers, designers. We are artists. We create for a living. We create for love. Piracy and intellectual property theft harms us daily…. We would like to work together to make it harder to steal using Google…. We’d like to do this without impeding the search experience or asking Google to relinquish its impartiality. We are looking for a win-win situation”

The foundations are then laid for a simple but effective three pronged approach:

1. “Penalize pirate sites that sell illegal copies of other people’s material (images, designs, templates, text, music etc.).”

2. “Discourage non-attributing content scrapers that profit from traffic generated through stolen content (images, text, artwork, video, data etc.).”

3. “Where available, we would really like to see copyright information displayed in search results for all web pages and sites (including owner, date and author details).”

Of course, these three points are elaborated in considerably more detail on the petition site, dear-google.com.

“We believe that these three simple suggestions will help foster greater respect for original work and the creators that create them. Please consider working with creatives to implement these or similar measures by 11 November 2011. Not because we’re asking but because it’s right, very not-evil and it’ll contribute greatly to an online environment that fosters respect for content creators and their work.”