What we have done so far has laid the foundation for what we hope to do over the next year. The club is already having a real impact on how the world understands Google and we have a solid plan for the next year that we think has a good chance of getting legislation introduced that will effectively regulate Google’s web crawling monopoly. Here’s what we are going to do in 2021:
- Finish the technical study of robots.txt files analyzing Google’s web crawling advantages. We have been doing this analysis along the way on a small subset of available files and we’ve been able to find a large number of compelling examples of Google’s web crawling advantage. We think that by expanding this study to include the full set of available robots.txt files as well as how they have changed over time we will have the data we need to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is a significant problem that governments should do something about.
- Create mock legislation and regulations that can be adapted at the international, federal, and state level. Governments around the world are grappling with how to regulate Google and we have found that they are extremely interested in our research and new ideas about how to approach regulating Google. What we have lacked so far is mock legislation and regulations that they can adopt and use and so over the next year we will create those resources.
- Meet with legislators and regulators to present our findings as well as the mock legislation and regulations. We can’t expect that we can publish this website or a PDF and then sit back while governments just all start moving ahead on their own. Part of the process is meeting with legislators and regulators and taking the time helping them understand why regulating Google in this way is so important. Showing up and answering legislators’ questions is how we got cited in the Congressional Antitrust report and we intend to keep doing what’s worked so far.
- Produce sample litigation for private entities to pursue their own right of action against Google. In the United States in particular there is a novel strategy that private entities could pursue independent of the United States government doing anything at all. It would only take one private company or person who was angry enough at Google to launch such a lawsuit and we want to be there to help along the way at every step.
All of this taken together forms our plan about how to advance effective regulation of Google. If you want to see this happen, we need your support so please join the club.