In some respects, Viacom is the least of Google’s YouTube problems. The site was banned for periods of time in Turkey and Brazil recently and now Thai officials have banned the site and several others as part of a crackdown on anti-royal material; it’s against Thai law to denigrate the king. Communications minister Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom said YouTube was banned because the company refused to remove the offensive video. (The Brazil ban came when video kept reappearing after it was taken down.) From the IHT: Julie Supun, head of global communications, released a statement saying the company “was ‘looking into the matter.” While Thai officials can’t get satisfaction, Robert X. Cringley writes about how easily some video is pulled from YouTube.
Shareholder proposals: Thai officials are looking for the identity of the poster. That’s the kind of information some Google shareholders hope to prevent from being provided to governments via various proposals slated for a vote at the May 10th annual meeting.Google’s board opposes the proposals, according to the company proxy filed with the SEC today. (via MKTW) The proposal from the Office of the Comptroller of New York City asks that “management institute policies to help protect freedom of access to the Internet” including using “all legal means to resist demands for censorship” and no “pro-active censorship.” No explanation accompanies the board recommendation to vote against the proposal.
Top three compensation: Chairman Eric Schmidt and co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page each received $1 in salary for 2006 with their primary compensation coming from their ownership stakes; the same is true for 2007. None of the three hold any stock options; all shares are fully vested. The company does cover expenses though — Schmidt’s came to more than $555,000, the bulk going to personal security.