Paying Professors: Inside Google’s Academic Influence Campaign

Pretty amazing story here on Google funding legal research:  https://www.wsj.com/articles/paying-professors-inside-googles-academic-influence-campaign-1499785286.

Follow-up article in the Chronicle: http://www.chronicle.com/article/Scholars-Cry-Foul-at-Their/240635.

 

Dennis Crouch

About Dennis Crouch

Law Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law. Co-director of the Center for Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship.

63 thoughts on “Paying Professors: Inside Google’s Academic Influence Campaign

  1. r those of us reading the posts on this blog from professors, this is not surprising. What is surprising to me is that law schools care so little about ethics. The average law journal “article” is a disgrace and it is no wonder that Google figured out it could buy the law professors.

    I think you should find out how many of your professors have been paid by Google. $50K-$400K is quite a lot of money to a law professor.

    This is a very serious issue. To pretend that for a law professor that hundreds of thousands of dollars is not a lot of money is ridiculous. Plus, let’s put this in context. What this amounts to is buying the credibility of academia. This is not money for labs, but for the professor to write a paper in a law journal that is not peer reviewed. This is really bad.

    Dennis should go back and see if any of this professors that post on this blog have received money for their posts and law journal articles and the terms of the money. I.e., here is an abstract write a paper and get it published in a law journal and here is $400K to do it.

    Remember that I ask each professor if I read your paper and find that you are being unethical do I have recourse? The professors never answer that question, because the answer is no.

    (Of course the fact that Oracle helped to disclose this is meaningful only if it goes to the veracity of what is disclosed. There is no evidence that what was disclosed about Google is not true and Google did not even deny the details that are very disturbing.)

    (First MM posts ridiculous nonsense and then Ordinary posts ridiculous nonsense to prevent any meaningful dialogue. (Ordinary posted an unethical post pretending that he was quoting from someone in a straw man. MM posted a ridiculous screed.)

    1. Let’s face it. The professors are bought. They have zero credibility and should be treated like they are in-house counsel at Google. All of them.

    2. There is nothing unethical about my posts. I just wanted to highlight the massive hypocrisy you engage in regularly. You use the word “unethical” like you don’t know what it means, which is worrying for a supposed patent “professional.” You really are the boy who cried unethical (we know how that story ended). You just like to throw that word around so you can try to stop conversations that you do not like, which is cowardly and you should feel bad.

      (And, by the way, there are numerous occasions in the report that have been shown to be wrong and have had to be addressed by Oracle… I mean, Oracle’s puppet organization.)

      1. Ordinary, you quoted a sentence to make it appear that I had written it. You have admitted you did it intentionally, but you think it is OK because “I just wanted to highlight the massive hypocrisy you engage in regularly.”

        You define unethical conduct.

        1. It’s weird that you think that that sentence was about you, when it was just an open question that did not mention you at all. So, to review, not only are you a hypocrite, you are also egotistical beyond belief.

          You apparently don’t know what ethics are, so your opinion can be taken for what value it has, nothing.

  2. Hello,

    Could anyone provide me an idea of how many
    in-house patent lawyers per researcher are hired in industry? What is the rule of thumb?

    1. Not sure that that statistic will be a meaningful one, Bob.

      “A number” will surely exist, but what do you think that that number signifies?

      Even if you search out and break down “that number” per different art units, of what use (or even meaning), would such statistics provide?

      Is there a “right” number for “that number” to be? Is there any meaning if that number is changing over time that would be useful?

      Quants and Quals may be far too muddled, even if you found “your answer.”

  3. If you prior is, “If it is funded by Google, it must be biased in favor of Google,” how do you reconcile that the report that the WSJ is based on is funded by Oracle?

    1. >>If it is funded by Google, it must be biased in favor of Google,

      You built your own straw man there and quoted it to make it seem like that was a real argument. Shameful.

      Obviously, the basis of concern is the level of control over the papers. I.e., give you $50,000 to write a paper with the following abstract.

      You ordinary are again blowing smoke like MM does. Shameful.

      1. Nice way to avoid the obviously conflict between your priors and this article.

        It was been overwhelmingly demonstrated that the Oracle-sponsored report was propaganda. It was sloppy and misleading, grasping at straws in a lot of places to try to exaggerate a point. Why does Oracle choose to focus solely on Google and not a general trend in the tech industry? Can Oracle have something to gain by releases, through their surrogate group, a report against Google?

        Besides, papers either stand on their merits or they don’t.

        1. This is just smoke blowing on your part Ordinary. I don’t think I will dignify your nonsense with a substantive response.

          Re-read what I wrote and try to address the substance.

          1. You won’t give a substantive response because you can’t.

            1. The substantive response is that all sources should be checked for bias.

              Yes, Oracle’s involvement does – and should – raise a red flag.

              That being said, your obvious call for total dismissal smacks of something other than just “being equal” in noting possible bias.

              It is not as if some of the items presented don’t “stand in their own.”

              1. Haha touché, Monsieur Anon.

                I agree that this should be the standard for both the authors of the report and the researchers.

              2. Notice who raised the flag about Oracle and the gaping hypocrisy and who didn’t.

                1. MM did not raise the flag about Oracle….

                  …and totally misses the point about some of the items presented standing on their own….

                  …But, hey, a chance to v0m1t out some ad hominem, and Malcolm is all over it (never mind the Accuse Others Of That Which Malcolm Does angle on hypocrisy rings out yet again as Malcolm’s number one meme.

                  Stultifying.

              3. Thank goodness “anon” is totally unbiased.

                LOLOLOLOLOLOROTFLMAO

  4. For those of us reading the posts on this blog from professors, this is not surprising. What is surprising to me is that law schools care so little about ethics. The average law journal “article” is a disgrace and it is no wonder that Google figured out it could buy the law professors.

    I think you should find out how many of your professors have been paid by Google. $50K-$400K is quite a lot of money to a law professor.

    (So, this is supposed to be about the reach of Google’s influence and the post is taken over by the resident paid blogger to make ridiculous comments.)

    1. Again, what is happening is MM is just blasting the comments to mask any real dialogue about a topic his employers would not like discussed.

  5. Well 6, the editors did not like our “meta” discussion (while leaving in Malcolm’s RACYISM comment).

    Its’ things like that that CREATE perceptions about this blog and its “editorial controls” (and rather unsavory perceptions at that).

      1. Lack of critical thinking “being in vogue” is NOT what “America’s leading patent law source” should be aiming for….

        1. “Lack of critical thinking”

          That’s not what I was referring to as being in vogue. It starts with an R and ends in a CYSM. But it’s a secrit.

          1. Again, 6, a post highlighting “ISM” is deleted.

            And with every such deletion, the perception is cemented that a certain narrative is what is to be “accepted” here.

            Damm the consequences, eh editors?

  6. Oh, boy, grab the popcorn and watch the tr 0lling peanut gallery here wet its pants.

    LOLOLOLOLOLOL

    The Wall Street Journal — a very serious source of news! Always credible. And totally never biased.

    ROTFMLAO

    So, what exactly did Google get for $5,000?

    Also, here’s the thing about taking money and using the money to do research: if your hands aren’t tied with respect to the result (i.e., you get the money either way) no harm no foul. Doubly irrelevant if the result is the right result.

    So Google paid some professor to do some legal research and X came up with a compelling legal argument based on that research? So. What.

    Meanwhile all rich white glibertarian tr 0ll types who sit here and whine, whine, whine about how they can’t make a living by extorting “big corp” with junk patents anymore are just as poorly off as they would be.

    Google doesn’t matter, you p@ thet ic mewling entitled infants. What matters is the arguments and your arguments have always s*cked. Google never paid me a dime, of course, but you sniveling t u r ds have never stopped accusing them of doing so because it’s all you know how to do.

    Let me put it even more plainly: it’s YOUR behavior that created the bl0w back. And the bl0w back is going to keep coming because (wait for it) you’re just a puddle of human s k u m and you can’t help yourselves.

    [shrugs]

    1. The irony of discussing disclosures and transparency with the “Campaign for Accountability” is that this group consistently refuses to name its corporate funders. And those backers won’t ‘fess up either. The one funder the world does know about is Oracle, which is running a well-documented lobbying campaign against us. In its own name and through proxies,

      ROTFLMAO

      The patent maximalists are hypocrites? Oh, say it isn’t so. I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you!

      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

    2. What’s up with the racism, and why does Patently-O apparently condone it?

      1. What’s up with the racism

        ROTFLMAO

        What’s next? Are you going to suggest that Google paid me to do research on the demographics of the patent maximalists?

        LOLOLOL

        1. What’s next? Are you going to suggest that

          Nice deflection.

          Maybe instead YOU do that grow up thing you always seem to want others to do…

    3. A majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (58%) now say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country, up from 45% last year.

      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

      Play your cards, Dennis. You do understand the game, don’t you?

      LOL

      Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

      1. “A majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (58%) now say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country, up from 45% last year.”

        God willing we’ll have it at 100% by the end of the year with inroads into dems.

    4. Except this was to write papers with abstracts already written. You know, reality, what was disclosed in the article.

    5. “So Google paid some professor to do some legal research and X came up with a compelling legal argument based on that research? So. What.”

      So the Russians paid some hackers to do some research and X came up with compelling stuff about emails based on that research? So. What……

      So, that.

    6. “Google doesn’t matter, you p@ thet ic mewling entitled infants. What matters is the arguments and your arguments have always s*cked. Google never paid me a dime, of course, but you sniveling t u r ds have never stopped accusing them of doing so because it’s all you know how to do.”

      —-Russia doesn’t matter, you p@ thet ic mewling entitled infants. What matters is the facts about the emails and your reporting about the emails by the #FakeNews has always s*cked. The Russians never met with the campaigne, of course, but you sniveling t u r ds in the #FakeNewsMedia have never stopped accusing them of doing so because it’s all you know how to do.—-

      Its amazing how similar your tactics are…..

      1. Its amazing how similar your tactics are…..

        Long noted (even the acronym was placed on the “shall not be allowed to see the light of day” list.

        Of course, perceptions persist regardless (and are augmented by certain actions).

  7. I already had plenty of reasons to ignore law review articles; this is just another one.

    1. I already had plenty of reasons to ignore law review articles

      What were the other reasons? Please share. Because you’re a very serious person! Just brimming with deep insights.

      So tell everyone all the other reasons.

      1. I cannot speak for other reasons Atari Man may have, but if you had been paying attention at all Malcolm, law review articles have been panned for a number of reasons for quite some time now

        (and in particular, law review articles by certain professors) that reflect MORE the incestual nature of academia and the lack of meritocracy

        (having been long ago replaced with a “how well can you parrot back the professor’s party line” as a form of “learning well;” this is otherwise noted as an abdication of the teaching of the ability to reason critically)

        and reflect LESS a reasoned analysis of why legal decisions have been made as they have been made.

        I do not remember who noted this (not I, and I really would like to give proper credit to the person), but there is a HUGE difference in legal scholarship that aims to influence emerging law and legal scholarship that objectively looks at how law has been applied.

        Advocacy pieces – especially paid ones with abstracts already completed – diminish rather than strengthen any claim to legitimacy from academia.

        As to your poker tell of “Because you’re a very serious person!” you may want to drop that from your short script. It does not help YOUR credibility at all.

  8. For those of us reading the posts on this blog from professors, this is not surprising. What is surprising to me is that law schools care so little about ethics. The average law journal “article” is a disgrace and it is no wonder that Google figured out it could buy the law professors.

    I think you should find out how many of your professors have been paid by Google. $50K-$400K is quite a lot of money to a law professor.

    1. What is surprising to me is that law schools care so little about ethics.

      LOL

      Why on earth would anyone give a hoot what you think about anybody’s ethics?

      I mean, seriously?

      LOLOLOLOL

  9. And now for the “million dollar question:”

    How much has Lemley received from Google over the years?

    1. Who cares?

      1. Totally. Leading thought leader taking millions from bigtech.

        Seems irrelevant.

        1. You misunderstood the comment.

          It is not how much he took.

          It is how (if?) he reported what he took.

          (it’s like Al Capone – it was the reporting i.e., taxes, that nailed him)

          😉

          1. You are irrationally argumentative.

            Ok, the how, like the total, is relevant.

            Feel better?

        2. [Lemley is a] Leading thought leader

          Gotta love it when the truth leaks out.

          Oopsie.

          LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

          This is why your clients are always so disappointed. LOL

          1. It’s a statement of fact. Why deny his influence?

            Bigtech. Big tobacco. Smoking won’t hurt you, and we don’t need a patent system.

            $$$$$$$$$

            LOL!

  10. Glad to see this is getting coverage. Google not only lobbies through Congress but also manipulates through more insidious means such as this. A travesty that there is no proper disclosure when “academic scholars” are paid to lobby for corporations, under the guise of an independent study.

    1. I’ve been saying this for a long time.

      1. Yep. In the PR business it’s called building your choir or your Amen! corner. The question is whether it is worse today than in the past, or whether we just have greater transparency.

    1. Their response is a joke. Their “research programs” included abstracts of the articles they wanted written (so the conclusion was part of the deal.)

  11. As the discussion started on another thread, and the notice that the Wall Street Journal article was behind a paywall, here is a link that provides more open details:

    link to business-standard.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting