"this is not a criminal practice"
Surely the click fraud part is, well, fraud?
Update: After further investigation, it's likely the Google Will Eat Itself project is indeed ia hoax - though those behind it say that it's not. A band of wily European performance artists say that for more than two and a half years, they have used an ongoing Google click fraud scheme as a means of acquiring hundreds of shares …
Even an artist will understand that it is adword advertisers that are paying for his shares.
Google is actually making a profit from all this.
So us Adwords users are buying him shares so that he can, in theory, give them to random people on the net.
So far all I see is someone who as scammed USD$400,000 from advertisers, used it to buy google share and made a website out of his basic ignorance of how this works.
You hit the nail on the head there.
Scamming google advertisers (like ME) != scamming Google.
Hang on, according to this diagram on THEIR OWN SITE http://gwei.org/img/diag_gwei_overview.gif they full well understand they're scamming the advertisers.
Only a fscking artist would consider screwing thousands of small businesses (like mine) with fake clicks, and generating profit for Google in the process, to be "screwing Google".
If money is actually coming from advertisers and then forked to Google and then to these ad-clicks.
Google is paying people to put up Google Ads. Amount it pays is regulated by amount of clicks on the ads.
10% of them fradulent as the article said and money generated used to buy google's stock.
1) The Google is not getting rich on this. Advertisers will stop using it, if they don't get what they paid for, or at least demand cheaper prices.
2) If everyone was doing it, google would crash and the stock would be worthless. Of course the price of the stock would plummet first and help the venture of buying the Google, which by the time these people would be 'donating it to the people' would be worthless hulk of a company, compleatly dysfunctional.
3) If Google don't have money to pay for the talent it uses to keep ahead of the pack, it soon falls from the grace and ends up being just another altavista.
So Google will never 'eat it self' regardless of how many operators this artist gets for this little project- It could destroy it or drive it to the ground, but never own the working Google. And that presumes that this 'art-project' actually even materialises, which in it self is more than unlikely.
I believe that internet advertising, still taking its first steps, will refine itself and find a better way of estimating who is paid and how much.
One possibility would be site auction-houses or exchanges, where a given site would auction its ad-space for the clientel. Kind of e-bay for internet-ads. That would soon seperate the actual gold from the cheats and allow the top-sites to demand top-dollar, while lesser known or less valuable sites would have to settle for less.... Hmm, consider this a prior art, if the idea hasn't surfaced before.