So we love this “Masters of the Internet” track around MTP–which answers the musical question, is Google a commoditizer? The track by Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog is also a nice bookend from Bonfire of the Vanities to the watershed interview in the Guardian by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke where Yorke sums up Radiohead’s realizations about what David Lowery calls the “New Boss” reality:
“[Big Tech] have to keep commodifying things to keep the share price up, but in doing so they have made all content, including music and newspapers, worthless, in order to make their billions. And this is what we want? I still think it will be undermined in some way. It doesn’t make sense to me. Anyway, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace. The commodification of human relationships through social networks. Amazing!”
“Masters of the Internet” is also a cool play on Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s Nixonian “Gang of Four” reference to the Internet oligarchs of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google. But–no monopoly there says the FTC.
Here’s Marc’s critique of brand-sponsored culture (aka “free culture”) from SPIN.com:
A number of people have asked us what’s up with Masters of the Internet. Do we hate our fans? Are we Luddites? Well, no and no. Here’s what we think: We don’t really expect much from asking people who are downloading stuff for free to voluntaristically pay up- although, yeah, we could use that dollar right about now, and we support Trichordist’s Principles for an Ethical and Sustainable Internet.
We don’t know what the ultimate solution is- but we know it isn’t the impoverishment of musicians and defunding music. And we know it isn’t pretending that no-one is being hurt.
Corporations are making huge profits from the ads on ‘free’ sites, from selling the hard and software that make illegal downloading possible. They need to give back a portion of their billions to the people who do the work: hey, we love our tech toys too, but an empty i-Pod is just a crappy paper-weight. Giving us back part of the value we create would make a real FREE culture possible- one where fans get what they need, AND creative community workers get paid. Bread and Roses, baby!
If you’re in NYC on May 5 (next Sunday), Ceramic Dog will celebrate the release of Your Turn as part of the Undead Music Festival at (Le) Poisson Rouge, downbeat 8 pm. These cats deserve your support!
Interesting Letter about USC-Annenberg Innovation Lab Brand Sponsored Piracy Study to Internet Advertising Bureau from Reps. Goodlatte and Schiff and Senators Hatch and Whitehouse
It’s always great when the government follows up on an important issue to artists. Representatives Goodlatte and Schiff and Senators Hatch and Whitehouse sent this letter to Mr. Randall Rothenberg of the Internet Advertising Bureau that had this choice passage:
We were pleased that your November 1, 2011 letter highlighted the IAB’s Network and Exchanges Quality Assurance Guidelines (Quality Assurance Guidelines), which “strictly prohibit” the sale of ad inventory on sites with “content in violation of U.S. law, and more specifically, Warez including P2P, torrent sites, illegal downloads, pirated software, Spyware and Malware, and sites that host or stream infringing content.” We understand from your letter that IAB has promoted the Quality Assurance Guidelines to help address this problem, and we further understand that IAB is currently in the process of updating them.
As you may have seen, the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Innovation Lab has released three “Advertising Transparency Reports,” listing the “top 1 O” ad networks that it found placing ads on sites engaged in piracy. Without endorsing the methodology employed, we note that IAB member companies that are “certified” under the Quality Assurance Guidelines are named in the reports.
We would welcome an update on your progress in implementing and updating the Quality Assurance Guidelines, and promoting the industry’s adoption and – most importantly operationalization of such measures.
Oh, wouldn’t we just.
Right after Google bought YouTube, Google lawyer Zahavah Levine spoke on a panel at the Beverly Hills Bar Association during which she described the “whack a mole” aspect of how infringing content is posted, reposted, and reposted again on YouTube–unless you want to make a deal with YouTube. (I happened to be speaking at the OECD’s digital future conference right before Google bought YouTube and got the distinct impression that the concept of UGC as a way to both steal copyrights and add another of the 1,000 cuts to the industry litigation budget sprang from the depths of the imagination of one Fred Von Lohman and one Terry Fisher–meaning this was all part of Google’s acquisition strategy–but that’s another story.)
So what exactly are you agreeing to as a songwriter when you agree to relax and enjoy it as it sounded like Ms. Levine suggested? What are you authorizing when you agree to “monetize” your “content” on YouTube? By the look of it, far more than you bargained for! (Or didn’t bargain for)
Take this example of a YouTube ad for “health-seller.com”. And by the way–I don’t mean pre-roll ads for other products on this particular video, I mean the video is itself an advertisement. Against which other ads are sold. What is it an ad for? “Buy Pills Online Without Prescription”. And what kind of pills? Cialis, Arcoxia, Levitra, Cardizem (heart relaxer), Casodex (prostate cancer treatment), Cloud9 Human Growth Hormone, Cytoxan (cancer treatment), and of course more different species of Viagra than Carter has…ah…pills.
Google, as MTP readers will recall, is no stranger to the world of no-prescription pharmacies–the company’s senior management team (apparently going up to Larry Page and Eric Schmidt) were nearly indicted in a multiyear sting operation for which it paid $500,000,000 of the stockholders’ money. So it’s not like they don’t know what they are doing when they allow these pill pusher ads onto YouTube. In fact, this type of YouTube video may themselves violate the Google Nonprosecution Agreement that allowed them to get out of jail free (to the executives involved). OPM, man.
And guess what is being advertised next to the drugs?
Yes, Google Chrome. You don’t suppose that YouTube serves Chrome ads based on the keyword “tablet” do you?
So this is how we know that the “no prescription” drug ad is “monetized”. How is this relevant to songwriters? I’d suggest that it’s yet another version of whack a mole, Google’s favorite game that Ms. Levine, Mr. Von Lohman and Professor Fisher foreshadowed way back when.
Listen to the music bed of the video:
Sound familiar? Yes, it’s the Theme from House–it’s actually a song by Massive Attack called “Teardrop,” but these days everyone knows it from its very close identification with the House television show.
When music is “licensed” on YouTube its usually in two licensing buckets–user generated content and music videos. (Unless of course it’s in the YouTube “partner” multichannel networks, in which case it’s not licensed at all the vast majority of the time. Don’t forget that YouTube describes these MCNs as “partners”. We’ll come back to that in another post.)
Music is not licensed for use as commercials, particularly not commercials for illegal pharmacies (that run for 4:22). Any guesses for how much a commercial use of “Teardrop” would set you back? If the writers even agreed to license it for a drug commercial?
But what has probably happened in the case of the drug advertisement on YouTube is that the song was authorized for “monetization” but YouTube failed to tell anyone that the song was being used in the bed of a commercial made for YouTube. A drug commercial. In other words, they can tell you that the song is being used, they just can’t tell you what for.
This is pretty clearly the exact conduct that is prohibited by Google’s nonprosecution agreement as YouTube becomes the leading music source of choice for kids. You know–the kids that Health and Human Services Secretary Joseph Califano was concerned about when he wrote to Eric Schmidt in 2008 to implore Schmidt to stop the drug ads. That Schmidt ignored.
So when you “monetize” a song on YouTube, just remember that you are giving up control of where your song appears because YouTube’s ContentID will not block these ads and no human will either. And as we know from the Google sting that resulted in the $500,000,000 fine to keep its executives out of jail, Google will actually look for ways to get around its own filters.
How hard is it to automatically flag anything with the line “buy pills online without prescription” on a site largely devoted to kids? Is that so very hard to figure out?
As Ms. Levine indicated back in 2006, there’s nothing you can do to actually stop Google from promoting dope on YouTube. Not even fine them $500,000,000. Maybe some day there will be a government that won’t let them buy their way out of jail, because that’s probably what it’s going to take to get their attention.
But until then–what YouTube will likely say is that by deciding to monetize your music, you have authorized using it in the bed of an ad pushing drugs to kids and desperate people, even addicts. And they’ll be all happy and smug about that.
It’s time to start demanding far greater accountability from Google. If they’re going to be using your music whether you like it or not, you should at least have the same control over the “new boss” that you would have over the “old boss.” And it would be a cold day in hell that the old boss ever approved a sync for an ad for an illegal pharmacy.
Monetize, monetize, monetize. This is the constant mantra from YouTube to all copyright owners but especially to songwriters. YouTube gives all kinds of assurances about how they can block songs, recordings and movies with their superduper “ContentID” and “Content Management System.” While these proprietary Google technologies get all kinds of props in the no-nothing press, anyone who uses these systems routinely knows that it requires a staff at each content owner in order to manage all the glitches and mistakes in ContentID and CMS–in order for either of these systems to function properly.
Why? Because at the end of the day, running a large content database that involves registering content requires human intervention. Costly human intervention. One customer service call can destroy profits. And YouTube has essentially outsourced this expensive part of their business to copyright owners. If you work at a major publisher, you know exactly what I mean. If you are an independent songwriter you probably don’t because you have resigned yourself to YouTube’s screw ups.
And this from a company that won’t let you audit?
Case in point–here’s a video from what appears to be an illegal pharmacy site that was uploaded to YouTube before the Google drugs case (see the 2011 nonprosecution agreement between Google and the Criminal Division of the US Department of Justice by which Google avoided being indicted for violations of the Controlled Substances Act by paying a $500,000,000 fine and promising good behavior).
Note three things: The video is “user generated content” (“user” in this context means a YouTube user not a drug user. We think.)
Second, the video has a music bed. Ironically, it is “Teardrop” by Massive Attack which is also the theme from the House television show. I seriously doubt that Massive Attack has any idea that their song is being used to sell drugs through this sketchy video.
We know that YouTube knows the song in the video because they have a link to it by name on Google Play.
Finally, the video is monetized–ads are playing on the page, pre-roll before the video, and inside the video–in fact, the same ads are in each, so the campaign is coordinated.
This ad is for Southwest Montana–the State of Montana is buying ads to promote a drugs site and Google. These ads are served by Google–note the credit “Ads by Google”.
And then there’s this ad for Eakin Kia in Killeen, Texas. I doubt seriously whether Mr. Eakin has any idea that he’s promoting the sale of drugs on YouTube.
Not to be outdone, Google itself advertises its Google Chrome product, probably due to the keyword “tablet”.
Why is it that Massive Attack, the House television program and Eakin Kia are in this situation?
Because YouTube doesn’t give them the choice to block individual video uses. And this video has been in place for 3 years.
Because YouTube wants to make the money–even when it involves practices that nearly put the company’s top executives in jail, was the subject of a lengthy grand jury investigation and for which Google shareholders paid $500,000,000.
They can pay $500,000,000 in punishment to the government, but they can’t quite manage to find a way to tell advertisers or songwriters that their songs or ads are being used to push drugs to YouTube’s young audience.
Digital Music News: British ISPs Orderd to Block File Sharing Websites (including H33T, advertising partner of @united)
Helienne Lindvall’s column in Digital Music News tells us that:
Late last week BSkyB, BT, Virgin Media and three other UK broadband providers were ordered by the high court to block access to the music and movie file-sharing websites Kickass Torrents (KAT), H33T and Fenopy. As the ISPs named in the court order account for about 94 percent of the market, this means these sites will be unavailable to the vast majority of the British population.
Of course, MTP readers will remember Willard’s little friends at H33T:
I guess United Airlines will have to find someplace else to advertise. Do you think this court order might convince them that H33T are bad guys?
When you have a hit record, everyone is your friend. And they all have figured out how to use your hit record in a new and innovative way. No matter how revolting the innovation, no matter how philistine the approach, the commoditizers (aka “special markets”) press ahead.
And when it comes to compensation, no matter how little money you make from the obscene commerciality of the commoditized use, you know that the reason they are asking is because they are making more money than your artist or you one way or another—free riding on someone else’s hit record while doing little to contribute to its success. Either they are building a catalog that they will sell one day (and in which you will not participate like YouTube’s $1.65 billion sale price), they are getting a fee or other benefit that your artist does not participate in, or something.
Two examples: Tampon premiums and YouTube.
Back in the days of the “international hit record”, there was a record called “Everything I Do, I Do it For You.” Let’s take an anecdote from the life of that record because the anecdote really happened and those huge records don’t come along every day, Lil Poopy notwithstanding. (Plus it’s far enough in the past that it’s easier to keep the example from revealing too much.)
In those days, I had to deal with incoming “special markets” requests from other labels (and eventually from our own distributor which was really maddening). I had all the incoming special markets requests put in a special file. That made it easier to burn them later. My strategy with special markets was to negotiate by attrition—meaning that if you just ignored the request, the important ones would result in a phone call. Why? Because we were busy signing artists, making records, and selling those records to fans. This is the “real” revenue and “incremental” revenue from the typical sources will always cannibalize front line sales and bring home pennies on the dollar the “incremental” income incrementally destroys.
That special markets phone call almost always started out with this kind of argument directed at me:
[Laughing/yelling/Vomiting] is not a response to a request for a [horrendously offensive] license request because while you may not like the request, your job is to make money for the artist [and the special markets division] and however much you [laugh/yell/vomit] over the license request it results in [BIG FINISH] INCREMENTAL REVENUE for you. It is money you would not have had but for the genius of the innovative use proposed.
For example, during the middle of the 8 week or so period that “Everything I Do” was #1 on the worldwide radio charts, I got a request to let a special markets department manufacture a cheap cassette (which they would make money on manufacturing) that would be put in millions of boxes of tampons like a charm in a box of Cracker Jack.
And sure enough, I got a call from the oily cretin at the special markets department complaining—complaining—that I did not understand my job. But he did, you see. My job, you see, was to create incremental revenue for the company (and, of course, for him). To which I replied that he misunderstood my job.
My job was to sell lots of records by happy artists. My job was to keep people like him from whoring our artists. And the reason I didn’t give a damn about the supposed “incremental revenue” is because there never would be enough money to pay our artist—who we had spent millions in promoting and cultivating over years and years—to do something truly vile.
So we said pass, and the use wasn’t made.
Remember that—we passed and the use was not made. This is how an orderly market works. God help us all if special markets departments ever qualify for the DMCA safe harbor.
If you are an artist, what should be apparent to you from this exchange is that there are people–rarely the people who sign you–who sit around and dream up ways to whore you out. I can tell you that the worst of these people frequently come labels that have a poor front line A&R strategy—the reason they want our hits is because they have few to none of their own.
Where are these people? The 10th circle of Hell. But wait, you say–there were only 9 circles of Hell in the Inferno. Right, but so they’d have somewhere to go after commoditizing Circle 9, Dante would have to create a 10th Circle of Hell for these people where they could walk around in circles chanting “incremental revenue”—sponsored by Brylcream.
To be continued….
Now here’s an interesting article in AdExchanger, a site apparently targeting the ad network trade. (Lest we be accused of speaking of that which we do not have direct knowledge, it’s perhaps best to seek confirmation from a knowledgeable source.) It is quite remarkable in the blitheness with which it acknowledges that big brands are funding pirates (or what used to be called “rogue sites,” if you remember that one). To wit:
A big factor in play is that these categories [that is, the piracy categories] toward lead gen[eration] and other performance driven metrics. In other words, they’re inherently less focused on adjacency issues.
Ah, “adjacency issues.” Of course. Sounds so insignificant, doesn’t it? What exactly would constitute focusing on “adjacency issues”?
“I would guess that the CMOs of many companies do not actually understand that they are appearing on some of these sites to the extent that they are and do not understand the amount of dollars they are putting in the pockets of these guys,” Will Luttrell, CTO and co-founder of advertising data provider Integral, told AdExchanger. Integral, formerly known as AdSafe, releases semi-annual reports analyzing the online advertising environment, including high-risk inventory.
I see, massive world wide piracy is just some guys selling “high risk inventory”. High risk of what, exactly? Getting caught, maybe?
“It’s difficult to advertise online at scale and not wind up on pirated content, at some point, as you’re buying through various exchange and remnant inventory sources,” Luttrell said. “It’s bad for the entire industry to shame companies who are not knowingly trying to advertise on these sites, but may just be caught up in this.“
So because it’s difficult to know you’re paying Vladimir and Constantine to pirate software, music and movies instead of…oh, say, selling land mines to terrorists…then there’s nothing defective about the ad exchanges or anything. No, no, it’s bad for the industry because the brands are just “not knowingly” advertising. It’s not like they cared enough to find out they were helping launder money…I mean “caught up” in…”this.” Whatever “this” is. These guys seem to know exactly what the “this” is they are “caught up in”, however.
Luttrell also agreed with self-regulation, saying, “Washington is not very good at regulating Silicon Valley. Self-regulation can work. It’s a much slower process [slower than Congress not passing legislation they have no intention of enforcing?] and the key is to cut off funding [what is slow about that?] and that means figuring out ways to stop the advertising from appearing on these sites.” He highlighted how, in the past, ad networks and advertisers worked to keep their ads off of pornography sites, and noted that the same thing can be done on the piracy side. [Especially now that Professor Taplin is naming the offenders maybe just maybe?]
The smug callous obliviousness to the harm these people are causing is really rather breathtaking. But wait for it…
For the ad networks and exchanges, he added, it can be a painful process because ads on the piracy sites do drive revenue for these companies as well. “But ultimately, if an advertiser is telling the networks, ‘you will lose our business if we find out you are placing our ads on these sites,’ then they will comply,” Luttrell said. “It’s really about awareness and getting the CMOs involved in making this an issue.”
A “painful process”? You mean, like watching your life’s work be stolen every minute of every day? Painful like that? And if the networks will comply if the brands tell them to stop, then would now be too soon for that call? But note the qualifier: The usual Big Tech standard–”if we find out” meaning if we get caught.
“If we find out”? Well, there’s the problem.
In order to “find out”, someone would have to look.
And let’s all remember–according to the Megavideo indictment, Kim Dotcom made his substantial millions in part from selling his advertising inventory through which ad networks? Google Adsense and Adbright. After the “Mega Conspiracy” lost another appeal today in New Zealand, that information got a little closer to being thoroughly litigated in a criminal case. I wonder who’s paying his legal bills.
The Google Shill Listers will no doubt say nothing to see here, move along. But if that were true, why would these ad network folk quoted in AdExchanger confirm the nature of the problem, the scope and the solution?
While it remains to be seen exactly what the contours of a deal might be, Zoë Keating‘s advocacy of data sharing with artists by online music retailers is getting some traction. Beats is making positive noises in that direction and I would expect others to follow shortly. This is something of a privacy law challenge, but it could be something as simple as a “sign up here” button for the artist’s email list next to the “buy here” buttons to buy the artist’s downloads or CDs.
I’m willing to be educated otherwise, but it seems that an email opt in would be unlikely to present a greater privacy issue at all for the retailer. This is because the fan would be in control of the opt-in decision, and any privacy rules applicable to the email list would live at the artist site and would (or should) already be in place regarding the existing artist email list.
It is very, very unlikely that a Big Data company like Google is interested in a music platform just because they really want to be in the music business and make their cut of subscription, download or webcasting revenue. No, the real cash cow for Big Data is Big Data. That’s not a tautology–it was confirmed as recently as last week by the Financial Times (with the hysterically funny title, “Google Looks to Beat Music Rivals“):
Google is in talks with big music labels to launch a streaming service to compete with companies such as Spotify and Deezer, as it looks to expand into one of the fastest growing areas of the music market.
The discussions reflect the technology company’s ambition to extend its influence into new business areas and diversify away from advertising, which accounts for 95 per cent of its revenues. [Good thinkin', Dob....]
[But, wait, not so fast...there's more....] Advertising executives also speculated that by scrutinising consumers’ listening habits, Google could build a valuable database for advertisers.
“It will be another piece of the puzzle for understanding consumers,” said Christophe Cauvy, European head of digital at advertising agency JWT. “This will be very interesting for brands where purchases are emotionally or status driven.”
So…think about that. Where’s the real value going to lie…so to speak…for Google? Making a tiny vig off of music, or collecting a bunch of information about fans that can be used in other Google products? Hmmm? As Ben Sisario identified it in the New York Times, which of the Two Googles are we talking to? Aaron or Roy?
The Financial Times is even fuzzy on this issue as their article starts like they think that Google intends to get further into the music business because they want to make money off of streaming. Given what we know about artist royalties from streaming, that seems highly unlikely.
What seems more likely is that Google Play gets consumers to put a Google entertainment center in their home and then Google monitors them all the live long day to serve advertising to the fans. Maybe not while the fans are listening to a no-advertising subscription service, but when the fan leaves that environment and uses Google for something else.
Of course, Google will add this information from non-display uses to the data that it has already collected from serving ads to pirate sites offering the identical music, movies and books.
Do you think for one second that Google (or any other Big Data company) would share that information with the artists whose music gave it value? Much less share it for free?
Hello, Roy. I thought that was you.
14 Million Flies Can’t Be Wrong: The Chilling Significance of Google’s Two Sided Antipiracy Failures
By Janus, I think no…
Othello, Act 1, Scene 2, by William Shakespeare
Information Wants to be Monetized
In an excellent analysis, Ben Sisario of the New York Times almost puts his finger on Google’s problem with professional artists. He identifies both sides of what would appear to be a kind of split personality at Google, but like Edward Norton’s riveting portrayal of the good “Aaron” and evil “Roy” in Primal Fear, these are actually two faces of the same really smart, but really sick puppy. AKA The New Boss or as we know them, The Man 2.0.
(Sisario’s article is an important read, see “For the Music Industry, A Story of Two Googles“)
In August, Google said it would take into account notices of copyright violation — of which the music industry files thousands each week — in determining a site’s search rank. The implication was that infringing sites would fall into obscurity and consumers would “find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily,” as Amit Singhal, a senior Google executive, wrote in a company blog post at the time.
We have been hearing about these “measures” that Google is taking for years now, and no matter when these utterances occur, they all have one thing in common: Nobody seems to implement the measures, they are ineffective, Google keeps driving traffic to pirate sites and Google keeps profiting from piracy. Oh, and more recently, Google has been shooting up the squid ink of Google Play and Rightsflow, Google Fiber and YouTube to give themselves the appearance of being team players. They have even managed to pick off a few people from the music business to dress up this charade, but it doesn’t change anything. But like Operation Bodyguard, these are largely grand deceptions.
Why would I say that these are deceptions? YouTube itself is not a deception, clearly. YouTube exists and is a triumph of infringement in the Age of Google. YouTube itself isn’t the deception. Like Norton’s character in Primal Fear, the deception is that there will ever be a time when Roy isn’t calling the shots. When it comes to Google, Roy is not going anywhere.
14 Million Flies Can’t Be Wrong
The RIAA, which is one of the few organizations left in the music industry that can fund this kind of study, determined what we already knew would be the case–Google was full of it. As Sisario puts it:
But the recording industry association, which is controlled by the major record companies, said that after testing Google’s searches, it still found plenty of infringing sites. “Six months later, we have found no evidence that Google’s policy has had a demonstrable impact on demoting sites with large amounts of piracy,” the report said.
At one point in the 15-page report, for example, the R.I.A.A. says that for many popular music searches, sites for which Google had received more than 1,000 copyright complaints were “almost eight times more likely to appear in the top 10 search results than a well-known, authorized music download site.” The report also shows, however, that sites for which Google has received more than 10,000 copyright removal requests appear less frequently than those which have received more than 1,000.
Is anyone surprised? Clearly not at the Cato Institute, which offered its usual brand of bulletproof analysis:
Let’s drill down on that erudite commentary, however, and think about the implications of the report in context.
As we noted here on MTP, Google has been desperately trying to keep Roy in check for some time now. For example, Roy popped out when Google was nearly indicted for selling prescription drugs online in violation of a variety of drug laws. Joseph A. Califano, Jr. (former Health and Human Services Secretary under President Carter) appealed to Google’s Eric Schmidt in 2008 to stop advertising illegal drugs that could (were and are) easily bought by children online. When Aaron said, don’t be evil, Roy didn’t care.
When Google got the idea that the US Government was going after infringers in a big way, despite Google planting their own man Andrew McLaughlin in the White House, they came out with a major burst of ink vowing to be well behaved. None of it happened, we saw the return of Grooveshark, and Roy still ruled the roost at the Googleplex.
Then came the Utoopi sex club app (Android only) that confirmed the worst suspicions of Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney and Marsha Blackburn voiced to Larry Page in the context of the Village Voice Media debacle over profiting from human trafficking ads. Despite assurances from Google to Maloney and Blackburn, Roy still managed to get the Utoopi app in place to pimp out teens.
In a notable failure of Google’s “conservative outreach” at places like Cato, conservative blog RedState actually broke the story about the Utoopi app (“Google Profits from Sex Trafficking” by Breeanne Howe), followed closely by Firedoglake (“Google Pulls Sex App Marketed to Students From Google Play” by Jane Hamsher).
Roy said “Waaaah.”
Can We Stop Pretending Google isn’t Intentionally Defective?
So the bottom line is this: If a company makes a product that causes as much random harm as Google, at some point it stops being “disruptive” and starts being “mayhem”. Perhaps willful mayhem. This is particularly the case when a company keeps distributing a product it knows to be defective because it profits them to do so.
When Ford made the Pinto, did the law find that exploding gas tanks were “disruptive”? Did society allow Ford to escape liability for any exploding gas take because Ford made a lot of them?
Let’s stop kidding each other, please. Roy is running the tables at Google. And here’s how you know–whether its profiting from piracy from ad sales or search, the Google response is always a nondenial denial because Roy doesn’t want to get caught. It’s no fun if you get caught. What’s fun is “catch me if you can”–you know, the DMCA.
In response to the report, a Google spokesman said in a statement: “We have invested heavily in copyright tools for content owners and process takedown notices faster than ever. In the last month we received more than 14 million copyright removal requests for Google Search, quickly removing more than 97 percent from search results.
In addition, Google’s growing partnerships and distribution deals with the content industry benefit both creators and users, and generate hundreds of millions of dollars for the industry each year.”
But Google can’t quite say they don’t do it–14 million flies can’t be wrong. Like Norton’s character in Primal Fear, Aaron may make excuses for Roy’s bad behavior, but Roy comes in at the end and reminds creators not to jack with him or he’ll cut off the trickle of money that is increasingly keeping them alive.
And just wait until Google is driving traffic to 3d printing files ripping off the same products being advertised by the Fortune 500 companies that are Google Adsense clients buying advertising inventory from the very same pirate sites. Very disruptive!
Don’t be evil, ya’ll.
The SF Music Tech conference ended this week, an excellent platform for Zoë Keating, more later about her ideas for online music services sharing fan data with the artists they exploit. It was refreshing to see SF Music Tech continuing the theme started last year by David Lowery. The usual old school “Deep Thoughts” kumbaya of the Barlow crowd is gradually being balanced out by real Bay Area artsts like Zoë Keating and East Bay Ray with real ideas about real issues.
Because if there is one thing that Big Tech’s brushes with the legal system tells us it’s that information wants to be anything but free.
The crotchety old school members of the Google Shill List are still partying like it’s 1999, however–and this live tweet from the conference by The Trichordist says it all:
Yes, that’s exactly right–the money is there, it’s just going to “different places”–like brand sponsored piracy, for example.
It’s too bad that David Lowery wasn’t on a panel with Zoë Keating and East Bay Ray, that would have been quite a conversation.
PS Attention Australian readers, Zoë is coming your way next week. You MUST see this artist.
MTP Recommends: Freeloading by Chris Ruen–buy it from Amazon
- Double Denim, Kaya Kaya, Best Fit and Black Cab Sessions for Rekorderlig Midsummer House June 19, 2013
- Charli XCX announces first U.S. headline tour, performs ‘You (Ha Ha Ha)’ live June 19, 2013
- Star Slinger gives away Miguel remix as free download June 19, 2013
- Watch: The Deer Tracks – W June 19, 2013
- Divine Fits cover Tom Petty’s ‘You Got Lucky’ June 19, 2013
- Garrigus.com Announces Publication of 'SONAR X2 Power!' June 11, 2013
- The Les Paul Exhibit Officially Opens at the Waukesha Museum June 11, 2013
- Stephen Arnold Music Expands 'All About Early' Audio, VideoÂ Image Campaign Bundle June 11, 2013
- Max Gilkes Upgrades His Mastering Facility with SADiE 6, Prism Sound June 11, 2013
- Capital Audio Post Opens in Virginia June 6, 2013
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