Trending February 2024 # Google Books Wins Court Case With “Fair Use” # Suggested March 2024 # Top 6 Popular

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Google Books wins court case with “fair use”

The lawsuit filed by the Authors’ Guild directed towards Google and their project Google Books has ended with Google the victor. According to US District Judge Denny Chin, the plaintiffs’ suggestions that Google Books would hurt the market for the original work did not add up against what the project is actually capable of doing. The case ended up centering around “snippets” of books and the idea that Google Books search abilities would or would not result in prospective consumers of these books downloading rather than purchasing books in the Google Books collection.

The Google Books program allows users to search through literature and find snippets of books – and in some cases full books as such. US District Judge Denny Chin found the plaintiffs’ accusations of Google Books taking a swipe at copyright law to be less than impressive.

“[P]laintiffs argue that Google Books will negatively impact the market for books and that Google’s scans will serve as a “market replacement” for books. [The complaint] also argues that users could put in multiple searches, varying slightly the search terms, to access an entire book.

Neither suggestion makes sense. Google does not sell its scans, and the scans do not replace the books. While partner libraries have the ability to download a scan of a book from their collections, they owned the books already—they provided the original book to Google to scan. Nor is it likely that someone would take the time and energy to input countless searches to try and get enough snippets to comprise an entire book.” – US District Judge Denny Chin

The Google Books program allows users to search through books and offers bibliographic information, information about the author, references, editions released to the public, chapter contents, related books, and reviews. Users are also able to buy the book straight through Google Play and access the book from the same console from that point forward in full.

There are also links to retailers with each book that’s still in print, these including such names as Macmillan, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and IndieBound. Google Books also provides connections to libraries where users will be able to check the book out at their leisure.

“This has been a long road and we are absolutely delighted with today’s judgement. As we have long said Google Books is in compliance with copyright law and acts like a card catalog for the digital age — giving users the ability to find books to buy or borrow.” – Google Statement

While Google suggests that they’re encouraged by the ruling, saying in a statement that they’ve been on this road for quite a while at this point.

“Google made unauthorized digital editions of nearly all of the world’s valuable copyright-protected literature and profits from displaying those works. In our view, such mass digitization and exploitation far exceeds the bounds of the fair use defense” – Paul Aiken, Authors Guild Executive Director

Meanwhile the Guild is not quite so happy. They’ve made clear that they intend to appeal the point and will be back in court as soon as possible. Have a peek at the timeline below to see additional points along the path that’s lead the court to this – perhaps final – resting place.

You're reading Google Books Wins Court Case With “Fair Use”

Court Contempt Act: An Overview

Articles 129 and 215 of the constitution provide provisions that allow the courts to hold someone in contempt if they try to undermine or ridicule the renowned institution, upholding the sanctity and status of the esteemed organisation. The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, the most recent amendment to which was made in 2006, is the current piece of legislation governing the country’s law of contempt, which was first passed in 1926.

History

The 1952 Contempt of Courts Act did not grant the courts any new authority. It did, however, depart significantly from the previous Act of 1926 in two ways: first, it expanded the definition of “high court” to include the Courts of Judicial Commissioner; and second, it gave the aforementioned the authority to try contempt cases that were subordinate to them. But surprisingly, there was still a lot of ambiguity around the rule of contempt, and the word “contempt” had not yet been defined in any of the Acts. It became clear that the aforementioned law needed to be addressed in light of the two fundamental liberties guaranteed by the constitution, namely the right to free speech and the right to personal liberty. In order to reform the nation’s whole contempt statute, a committee was established in 1961 and directed by the late H.N. Sanyal. This committee’s suggestions became the Contempt of Courts Act of 1971.

What is Contempt of Court?

The phrase is defined as “civil contempt or criminal contempt” in Section 2(a) of The Contempt of Court Act, 1971. Although essentially distinct in character and essence, the two can occasionally be very difficult to distinguish. Criminal contempt is an offence against society as a whole where the contemner, by his words or actions, undermines the authority of the court and brings it into disrepute. A civil contempt is an act of private wrongdoing that harms the interests of the party entitled to benefit from the order that has been disobeyed.

Types of Contempt of Court

Following are the two major types of contempt of court

Civil Contempt

Criminal Contempt

Let’s discuss each one of them separately in brief

Civil Contempt

Civil contempt is defined as willful disobedience to a court’s order, decree, direction, judgement, or writ by any person, as well as willful breach of commitments made to a court, in Section 2(a) of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971. These are fundamentally private offences, since civil contempt denies a party the benefit for which the order was established. In other words, a person who is entitled to benefit from a court order is usually the victim of an injustice.

Criminal Contempt

Criminal contempt is defined in Section 2(c) of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971 as the dissemination of any information through words, gestures, signs, or visible representation, whether spoken or written.

Criticism

In order to improve media coverage of legal and judicial issues, Markandeya Katju, a retired Supreme Court judge and former chairman of the Press Council of India, recommended changes to the 1971 Contempt of Courts Act in 2011. The Law Commission of India was given a mandate by the Indian government in March 2023 to reexamine Section 2 of the 1971 Contempt of Courts Act, which establishes the crime of contempt. The Commission was tasked with reviewing a proposal that argued that the crime of “scandalising the court,” or criminal contempt, should not be included in the definition of contempt of court and should instead be restricted to instances of civil contempt, or disobedience of court orders.

Punishment

The penalty for contempt of court is covered in Section 12of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971. Someone can be punished for contempt of court by the High Court or the Supreme Court. According to Section 12(1) of this Act, a person who is accused of contempt of court may be sentenced to a simple sentence of up to six months in jail, a fine of up to two thousand rupees, or a combination of both types of penalties.

Remedies

The Contempt of Court Act, 1971, was amended in 2006 to include Section 13. The 2006 Contempt of Court (Amendment) Act may be the name of the new law. According to this section, there are specific situations or cases in which contempt of court cannot be penalised.

According to Clause (a) of Section 13 of the Contempt of Court (Amendment) Act, 2006, no court subject to this Act shall be punished for contempt of court unless it is satisfied that the contempt is of such a nature that it substantially interferes or tends to substantially interfere with the due administration of justice.

If the court determines that the act was carried out in the public interest and the request to use that defence is genuine, it may grant the defence based on the justification of truth, according to Section 13 of this Act, Clause (b).

Contempt Proceeding

The 1971 Contempt of Court Act’s two sections that deal with the contempt proceeding process One discusses the court of records proceeding, while the other discusses proceedings that do not involve the court of records.

The method for a contempt proceeding before the court of records is covered by Section 14 of the Contempt of Court Act, but the procedure for a contempt proceeding outside the court of records is covered by Section 15 of this Act.

Contempt committed outside the court

As opposed to civil contempt, externally committed criminal contemptThe notice of criminal contempt issued by courts of record like the Supreme Court and the High Court is covered by Section 15(1) of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971. The Supreme Court and the High Court may act in the ways listed below to take notice of criminal contempt

If the Central Government notifies the law officer connected to the High Court for the Union Territory of Delhi to continue with the motion In that case, it could be seen as a contempt of court committed elsewhere.

If someone moves forward with the Advocate General’s written approval.

On the High Court’s and Supreme Court’s Advocate General’s motions.

According to Section 15(2) of this Act, the high court may take specific steps in accordance with this Act’s provisions in cases of criminal contempt of the subordinate court.

Contempt by the third party

The only requirement to establish a person’s liability for contempt of court is to demonstrate that they were aware of the order that was violated. It is not essential to demonstrate that a person who has disobeyed a court order can be held accountable.

Landmark Cases Supreme Court Bar Association vs. Union of India & Anr

In this case, the judge decided that the High Court and the Supreme Court might both use the contempt of court procedure that was once authorized by Parliament. This indicates that the provisions of Section 12(1) of the Contempt of Court Act, 1971, which provide for a maximum fine of Rs. 5000 and a term of six months’ imprisonment, shall apply in this instance.

Zahira Habibullah Sheikh & Anr vs. State of Gujarat & Ors

In this case, it was decided that the Contempt of Court Act, 1971’s contempt punishments only applied to the High Court and served as a general reference for the Supreme Court. Because the Supreme Court was given extensive powers that the Indian Constitution’s authors did not grant, the judgement that was rendered lacked reason. This was concerning because the verdict was not supported by logic.

Conclusion

Any action or behavior that show a disrespect towards a court of law is characterized as contempt of court. It can include actions or behaviors that interfere with the administration of justice, such as not abiding a court order, disrupting proceedings in the courtroom, or failing to appear in court when summoned.

Furthermore, contempt of court can be either civil or criminal. Civil contempt involves disobedience or resistance to a court order, and the punishment is usually a fine or imprisonment until the person complies with the court’s order. Criminal contempt involves actions that interfere with the orderly administration of justice, such as disrupting proceedings or threatening a judge. The punishment for criminal contempt can include fines and imprisonment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1.Is there a definition of contempt of court in the Constitution?

Ans. According to Article 129of the Indian Constitution, the Supreme Court of India shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court, including the power to punish for contempt of itself.

Q2. What does happen when someone is treated with contempt?

Ans. Essentially, contempt of court is viewed as a sort of disturbance that can disturb the court from conducting its business. Any person who disobeys the court may face fines and/or jail time from the judge. Usually, the person is released after agreeing to comply with the court’s instructions.

Best Seo Books In Search Engine Optimization Books

Books to Learn SEO

SEO books are a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their website’s visibility and ranking on search engines. With the doubling indispensability of online presence and the competition in the digital world, a solid understanding of SEO is essential for businesses and individuals.

The best SEO books offer an extensive guide to understanding the various components of SEO, including keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, and more. They provide practical tips and strategies for optimizing websites for maximum search engine visibility and tracking and measuring results to improve SEO efforts continually.

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Hadoop, Data Science, Statistics & others

While it is true that many people recognize the value of reading SEO books, it’s important to understand just how crucial this practice can be in achieving success in the digital landscape. They can provide new ideas and perspectives to aid you in reaching your objectives and driving more traffic to your website. So, here is a collection of gems among the existing SEO books you can make the most of!

Key Highlights

Emphasize identifying and using relevant keywords to improve search engine rankings.

Provide insights into tracking and measuring website traffic and conversions using analytics tools like Google Analytics.

Highlight the importance of staying up-to-date on the latest algorithm updates and adjusting your SEO strategies accordingly.

Most Recommended SEO Books

Let us discuss the reviews and takeaways of the SEO Books:-

Book #1: The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization

Author:  Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, Jessie Stricchiola

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Review

The Art of SEO is a comprehensive guide covering everything you need about search engine optimization. From keyword research to link building, this book teaches you the essential strategies that will help you boost your website’s visibility in search engine results pages. Moreover, the authors provide real-life examples and case studies to help you apply these techniques in practice. This book is a must-read for a person looking to master the art of SEO.

Key Takeaways

Provides a detailed guide to understanding the algorithms search engines use to rank websites.

Teaches the importance of keyword research, on-page optimization, and link-building strategies.

Emphasizes the need to create high-quality, engaging content to attract and retain visitors.

Discusses the impact of social media and mobile optimization on SEO.

Book #2: SEO 2023: Learn search engine optimization with intelligent internet marketing strategies

Author: Adam Clarke

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Review

For those seeking to remain current with the latest SEO trends, SEO 2023 is an ideal guidebook. Adam Clarke provides an in-depth look at the current state of SEO and offers actionable strategies that will help you improve your website’s search engine rankings. The book is easy to read and provides practical examples to help you apply the techniques discussed in practice. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking to enhance their SEO skills.

Key Takeaways

Discusses the latest trends in SEO, including voice search, local SEO, and mobile optimization.

Provides practical tips and strategies for optimizing websites, including keyword research and on-page optimization.

Emphasizes the importance of building high-quality backlinks to improve search engine rankings.

Discusses the impact of social media and content marketing on SEO.

Book #3: SEO for Dummies

Author: Peter Kent

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Review

SEO for Dummies is a detailed guide covering everything you need about search engine optimization. It is a perfect book for beginners just getting started with SEO. Peter Kent explains complex SEO concepts in an easy-to-understand manner, making this book enjoyable for anyone who wants to learn more about SEO.

Key Takeaways

Provides a beginner-friendly introduction to SEO, including basic concepts and terminology.

Teaches the importance of keyword research and on-page optimization.

Discusses link-building strategies, including building relationships with other websites.

Emphasizes the need for high-quality content to attract and retain visitors.

Book #4: SEO Fitness Workbook: The Seven Steps to Search Engine Optimization Success on Google

Author: Jason McDonald

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The SEO Fitness Workbook is an excellent guide that teaches you how to optimize your website for search engines. Jason McDonald provides a step-by-step approach to SEO and offers practical exercises to aid you in implementing the techniques discussed in practice. The book is filled with real-life examples and case studies, making it engaging and informative.

Key Takeaways

Provides a step-by-step guide to optimizing websites for search engines.

Covers keyword research, on-page optimization, and link-building strategies.

Includes practical exercises and worksheets to help readers implement the strategies discussed in the book.

Emphasizes the importance of tracking and measuring results to improve SEO efforts continually.

Book #5: The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly

Author: David Meerman Scott

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Review

In the digital age, effective marketing requires a different approach than in the past, and “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” is an essential read for anyone seeking to market their business successfully. David Meerman Scott provides a comprehensive guide to using social media, online video, mobile applications, blogs, news releases, and viral marketing to reach buyers directly. Moreover, the book is easy to read and provides actionable strategies to aid you in taking your marketing efforts to the next level.

Key Takeaways

Discusses the latest trends in digital marketing, including the importance of social media and content marketing.

Teaches how to create and distribute high-quality content to attract and retain visitors.

Provides practical tips and strategies for optimizing content for search engines.

Emphasizes the need to understand and engage with the target audience to create effective marketing campaigns.

Book #6: Google AdWords for Beginners: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to PPC Advertising

Author: Corey Rabazinski

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Review

Key Takeaways

Teaches how to create effective AdWords campaigns, including keyword research, ad copywriting, and targeting options.

Emphasizes the importance of tracking and measuring results to optimize AdWords campaigns.

Includes practical tips and strategies for optimizing AdWords campaigns for maximum return on investment.

Book #7: Search Engine Optimization All-in-One for Dummies

Author: Bruce Clay

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Review

Search Engine Optimization All-in-One for Dummies is an outstanding guide covering everything you need to know about SEO. Bruce Clay explains complex SEO concepts in an easy-to-understand manner and provides practical tips and tricks helpful to optimize your website for search engines.

Provides sources for understanding the various components of SEO, including keyword research, on-page optimization, and link-building strategies.

Discusses the latest trends in SEO, including mobile optimization and social media.

Teaches how to optimize websites for search engines and track and measure results.

Includes practical tips and strategies for optimizing websites for maximum search engine visibility.

Book #8: SEO Like I’m 5: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Author:  Matthew Capala

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Review

SEO Like I’m 5 is a fun and engaging guide that teaches search engine optimization basics. Matthew Capala explains complex SEO concepts in a simple and easy-to-understand manner, making this book perfect for beginners. Whether a small business owner or a marketer, this book is a must-read to improve your website’s search engine rankings.

Key Takeaways

Provides a beginner-friendly introduction to SEO, including basic concepts and terminology.

Teaches how to create effective keyword strategies and optimize websites for search engines.

Discusses the importance of creating high-quality content and building relationships with other websites.

Emphasizes the need to track and measure results to improve SEO efforts continually.

Book #9: Search Engine Optimization (Seo): An Hour a Day

Author: Jennifer Grappone, Gradiva Couzin

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Review

Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day is a practical guide that teaches you how to optimize your website for search engines in just one hour a day. Jennifer Grappone and Gradiva Couzin provide a step-by-step approach to SEO and offer practical exercises that will help you implement the techniques discussed in practice. Moreover, the book is easy to read and provides real-life examples and case studies to help you apply the methods discussed in training.

Key Takeaways

Provides a day-by-day guide to implementing an effective SEO strategy.

Teaches how to conduct keyword research, optimize websites for search engines, and build high-quality backlinks.

Emphasizes creating high-quality content and engaging with the target audience through social media.

Includes practical tips and strategies for optimizing websites for maximum search engine visibility.

Book #10: SEO Step-by-Step – The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Getting Traffic from Google

Author: Caimin Jones

Get this book here

Review

SEO Step-by-Step is a guide that teaches you how to optimize search engines for website reach. Caimin Jones provides a step-by-step approach to SEO and offers practical tips and tricks that will help you get more traffic from Google. The book is easy to read and provides real-life examples to help you apply the techniques discussed in practice.

Key Takeaways

Provides a beginner-friendly introduction to SEO, including basic concepts and terminology.

Teaches how to conduct adequate keyword research and optimize websites for search engines.

Emphasizes the importance of creating high-quality content and building relationships with other websites.

Includes practical tips and strategies for optimizing websites for maximum search engine visibility.

Recommended Articles

Our Top 10 SEO Books compilation aims to be helpful to you. For an extensive list in the category, EDUCBA recommends the following,

What Is Snake Case? Definition & Alternatives (With Examples)

What Is Snake Case?

Snake case is a popular naming convention for combining multiple words in coding. In snake case, the compound words are separated by underscores. This type of naming convention is used to make code more readable. In programming, you cannot use spaces to separate words. This would cause an error. Thus, alternative separation styles, such as the snake case exist. Here are some examples of the snake case:

my_age

last_login_time

MAX_CONNECTIONS_ALLOWED

Snake case is typically used in naming constants. In this case, the letters are typically capitalized.

For example:

PI_APPROX = 3.14159 MAX_CONNECTIONS = 32

Another popular use case for the snake case is labeling the database fields.

For example:

{ username: "Alice", user_login_attempts: 13, last_attempt: 1662988728, }

But the naming conventions vary based on coding languages and team preferences. Some Python developers write variables, functions, and method names in snake case.

What Problem Does Snake Case Solve?

In programming, you need to write quality code that is readable and easy to manage. One of the fundamental ways to write clean code is by naming objects consistently. Typically, this means you need to combine multiple words to make the names understandable.

But programming languages don’t allow using spaces.

Usually, you need a name that combines multiple words. For example, mybankaccountbalance. But this name is long and uneasy for eyes. Because of the restrictions in coding languages, you cannot introduce spaces to separate the words.

This is where different case styles chime in. One of the most popular case styles is the snake case. In the snake case, the words are separated by underscores. This naming convention makes long combinations of words much more readable.

For example:

Why Is It Called the Snake Case?

The snake case term stems from the fact that snake case makes the words look like the long body of a snake. The earliest use of this term took place back in 2004. Back in the day, the term camel case was already a thing. The word snake case came to being probably because of the animal association of the camel case.

Other Case Styles

Even though snake case is popular, it’s not the only case style out there. There are four popular case styles used by programmers:

Snake Case

Pascal Case

Camel Case

Kebab Case

For the sake of completeness, let’s inspect the last three case styles.

1. Camel Case (camelCase)

In camel case, compound words begin with capital letters. The only exception is the first word that begins with a lowercase letter.

For example, here is a variable in the camel case:

myBankBalance = 1000

In coding, you typically see the camel case as the convention for naming functions, methods, and variables. But these might vary based on the programming language and context.

There is no right or wrong naming convention as long as the team consistently applies the same conventions throughout the project.

2. Pascal Case (PascalCase)

In Pascal case, each word in a combination of compound words starts with a capital letter. This is very similar to the camel case.

Another way to put it is that the Pascal case is camel case where the first letter is also capitalized.

For example:

MyBankBalance = 100

Pascal case is typically used when naming classes. But remember that the conventions vary based on the programming language and the context.

3. Kebab Case (kebab-case)

In kebab case, compound words are separated by dashes.

my-bank-balance = 101

Kebab case is a less popular case style in programming. This is mainly because most programming languages don’t allow adding dashes between words.

Because of this, you usually see kebab case in URL slugs. For example:

Wrap Up

Today you learned what is the snake case in programming.

To take home, the snake case is a naming convention that helps make your code easier for the eyes. With the snake case, you can separate compound words by underscores. The reason for the snake case and other case styles is that programming languages don’t allow using spaces as separators.

Besides snake case, other popular case styles are:

Camel case (camelCase)

Pascal case (PascalCase)

Kebab case (kebab-case)

All these styles serve the same purpose—to make code understandable in the absence of blank spaces.

Thanks for reading. Happy coding!

Read Also

Comcast Wins Fcc Challenge, Your Move Congress

A DC Circuit Court decision against the FCC today is the “shot heard ’round the world” in the battle over net neutrality. Comcast emerges victorious in challenging the authority of the FCC to impose sanctions for discriminating against peer-to-peer network traffic in an attempt to limit bandwidth consumption and manage its network.

The FCC–with its Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan–has been tasked by Congress with creating and implementing a vision for the future of the Internet in the United States. This ruling calls into question the authority of the FCC to oversee Internet and broadband communications–putting the ball back in Congress’ court to more clearly define the role and authority of the FCC.

FCC spokesperson Jen Howard declared in an e-mailed statement “The FCC is firmly committed to promoting an open Internet and to policies that will bring the enormous benefits of broadband to all Americans. It will rest these policies–all of which will be designed to foster innovation and investment while protecting and empowering consumers–on a solid legal foundation.”

Other parties have expressed disappointment and concern over the court ruling. Parul Desai, vice president of the Media Access Project also issued a statement in response to the decision. “I am disappointed in the Court’s finding that the Commission did not make the case for its authority to take action against Comcast’s blocking of BitTorrent. Media Access Project continues to maintain that the Commission must have the authority to protect all Internet users against harmful and anticompetitive conduct by Internet service providers.”

Markham Erickson, executive director of the Open Internet Coalition takes a more critical stance, stating “Today’s DC Circuit decision in Comcast v. Federal Communications Commission creates a dangerous situation, one where the health and openness of the Internet is being held hostage by the behavior of the major telco and cable providers.”

Erickson goes on to say “The Court’s sweeping decision eliminates the Agency’s power to either enforce the Internet Policy Statement or possibly to promulgate new open Internet rules to protect consumers and small businesses under Title I. As a result, the FCC is now unable to police the Internet against anti-competitive and anti-consumer behavior by broadband providers, and may not be able to implement many of the elements of the National Broadband Plan, including comprehensive Universal Service Fund (USF) reform.”

I wrote an article a couple months ago related to this court case and the challenge to the authority of the FCC. I predicted “Losing this court case will provide the FCC with tangible proof for why the pursuit of net neutrality is so urgent, and give Congress incentive to more clearly specify the scope of the FCC’s authority to oversee and police wired and wireless broadband providers.”

The FCC’s Howard summed up her statement with “Today’s court decision invalidated the prior Commission’s approach to preserving an open Internet. But the Court in no way disagreed with the importance of preserving a free and open Internet; nor did it close the door to other methods for achieving this important end.”

Tony Bradley is co-author of Unified Communications for Dummies . He tweets as @Tony_BradleyPCW . You can follow him on his Facebook page .

Google Pleads Its Case To Apple To Switch From Sms To Rcs Texts

Messaging platforms and bubble colors go hand in hand: There are Google’s green bubbles—how messages sent from its Android phones appear on iPhones—and of course the well known blue bubbles of iPhone users. 

On that front, Google is adding even more color to the situation by trying to publicly shame Apple into adopting a protocol called RCS with a new website and social media campaign launched this week. “Get The Message” lays out Google’s arguments for why Apple should enable RCS instead of SMS—and encourages users to “Help @Apple #GetTheMessage” by Tweeting about it. 

Messaging, of course, is an incredibly important feature of smartphones. Collectively, we send billions of iMessages, WhatsApp messages, and other kinds of text messages every single day. It’s understandable that this is something Google feels strongly about: texting between iPhones and Android phones using SMS sucks. Plus, the SMS protocol that’s used between the two platforms really is objectively worse than the iMessage protocol used for iPhone-to-iPhone texting. 

So, let’s look at what’s really going on. 

Messaging for dummies

Not all text messages are the same. Depending on the protocol or service you use, they can be sent in entirely different ways. 

To start, SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (Multimedia Message Service) are what many of us grew up with. Developed in the 1980s, they’re wildly out of date, inefficient, and insecure—and still widely used today. You’re limited to 160 characters per message and they’re sent over the cell network. (On an iPhone, they’re displayed as a green bubble.)

Then there’s iMessage, Apple’s proprietary messaging protocol. Messages are end-to-end encrypted and sent over the internet. It also allows you to see when someone is typing, receive “read” notifications, send and receive high quality images and videos, and participate in group chats. Plus, it has add-on features like reactions and voice notes. (On an iPhone, they’re displayed as a blue bubble.)

Next comes Rich Communication Service (RCS), which is supposed to be the successor to SMS and MMS. It enables messages to be sent over the internet, which allows many of the features people expect in a messaging app that are missing from SMS—like group chats, live typing notifications, read receipts, audio notes, and high-quality photos. While the iPhone doesn’t support RCS, it’s available through Google’s Messages app on modern Android phones.

This is what all the current drama is about: Google wants Apple to use the RCS standard for messages sent between iPhones and Android phones, not SMS, which it currently uses. 

Is RCS really the same as iMessage?

While Google attempts to equate RCS and iMessage, the two are fundamentally different in a couple of ways. Apple’s iMessage is more akin to WhatsApp, Signal, or Skype than SMS. Yes, on an iPhone, they’re sent from the same app, but they’re not the same sort of texts.

On the other hand, RCS is an open standard built on top of SMS and MMS. It was designed by a consortium in 2007 before the iPhone even launched, and it has taken years to roll out. One big barrier was that it originally required support from wireless carriers who are hardly famous for their rapid embrace of new technologies. In 2023, Google did an end-run around them and launched an app that would allow it to enable RCS on Android on its own. 

One big iMessage feature that the RCS protocol lacks is end-to-end encryption. However, Google has developed a workaround: All one-on-one RCS conversations using its Messages app are end-to-end encrypted. (Group messaging will be encrypted later this year.) However, this undermines one of the supposed points of RCS: that it’s an open standard that any compatible app can use. If encryption is only available between certain apps, it’s no longer open.

Locked in and loaded

As interesting as the subtle differences between the various messaging protocols are, the latest news is related to something else: Google’s absolute failure to develop its own messaging protocol despite countless attempts. It is trying to shame Apple into using RCS, because it has utterly failed to compete with iMessage.

That’s not to say it wouldn’t be good for consumers if Apple embraced RCS, but it’s only in the last couple of years that it has become a credible alternative to SMS, let alone any other service. And it still doesn’t offer all the features that are available in iMessage—in particular, always enabled end-to-end encryption.

Could Apple embrace RCS messaging and work with Google to make it end-to-end encrypted between iPhones and Android devices? Sure, but Google would have to solve a few more problems first. And for now, Apple clearly enjoys the benefits of the customer lock-in that comes with iMessage, despite Google’s increasing public pressure.

Meanwhile, in Europe, another option looms large: Meta-owned WhatsApp is installed on more than 90 percent of smartphones in some countries. It’s cross-platform, end-to-end encrypted, and supports all the features you could want. 

But whatever happens over the next few years, remember, RCS is still a fundamentally different protocol to iMessage. Don’t expect the green bubbles to ever go away.

Correction on August 12: This post has been updated to clarify that WhatsApp is installed on more than 90 percent of smartphones in some European countries.

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