Sons of Anarchy Creator Kurt Sutter Responds to Google Shill Marvin Ammori, and boy is it good!

So Google shill Marvin Ammori wrote an Asperger’s ridden anti-copyright, anti-artist tirade on Slate. Of course in doing so Marvin failed to represent his past and current affiliations to Google. Slate, to their credit amended the rant with the following:

Update, March 11, 2014: Disclosure: The author represented Google and other companies fighting SOPA/PIPA in 2011 and 2012. He currently represents Google and other companies on several issues, including copyright reform. These views are his own.

googlepropagandaasnews

Of course, this isn’t the first time that those with a political agenda haven’t disclosed their affiliations. Who can forget Timothy B. Lee’s Epic Fail in the Washington Post on Piracy?

And so, we present the brilliant rebuttal to Google’s disingenuous attack on the rights of individual creators and artists by Kurt Sutter.

Not-So-Zen and the Art of Voluntary Agreements
Google’s anti-copyright stance is just a way to devalue content. That’s bad for artists and bad for consumers. By Kurt Sutter

It’s so absurd that Google is still presenting itself as the lovable geek who’s the friend of the young everyman. Don’t kid yourself, kids: Google is the establishment. It is a multibillion-dollar information portal that makes dough off of every click on its page and every data byte it streams. Do you really think Google gives a shit about free speech or your inalienable right to access unfettered content? Nope. You’re just another revenue resource Google can access to create more traffic and more data streams. Unfortunately, those streams are now pristine, digital ones of our work, which all flow into a huge watershed of semi-dirty cash. If you want to know more about how this works, just Google the word “parasite.” And if you think I’m exaggerating, ask yourself why Google spends tens of millions of dollars each year to hire lawyers and lobbyists (like Marv) whose sole purpose is to erode creative copyright laws.

Do they do this because they hate artists? No. They do it because they love money.

READ THE FULL STORY AT SLATE:
http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2014/03/sons_of_anarchy_creator_kurt_sutter_google_s_copyright_stance_is_bad_for.html

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Beggars said to have contributed more in UK Taxes than Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon combined. | Telegraph UK

The Government has been “seduced” by technology companies such as Google, and is “cosying up” to them, even though they keep their tax contributions to a minimum, leading music executive Martin Mills has warned.

Mr Mills, who founded Adele’s record label, Beggars Group, claimed his company pays more tax in Britain than Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon. But he said creative businesses like his receive less support from the Government.

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE TELEGRAPH UK:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/9844225/Government-seduced-by-tech-firms-like-Google.html

GEMA wins against YouTube In Germany on “Blocking Screens” | Media Biz

A German court found that YouTube has to stop misleading the public by blocking certain content and publicly shaming GEMA for it (the German association of composers, lyricists and music publishers.) A first step in the right direction.

Heker referred to the decision as “an important and positive signal to the music authors,” because: “It is not the GEMA, which prevents music on the internet you only want to license YouTube, like all other music portals..” Heker sweeps out: “Our concern is that the authors participate in the economic exploitation of their works and can earn their livelihood in the future.”

READ THE FULL POST MEDIA BIZ (GERMAN):
http://www.mediabiz.de/musik/news/gema-feiert-im-streit-um-sperrtafeln-erfolg-gegen-youtube/344107?Nnr=344107&NL=MWBlitz&uid=8514

IN ENGLISH VIA GOOGLE TRANSLATE:
http://bit.ly/1gzOCkT

Google pretends to care about human rights | Vox Indie

It’s not the message, but the messenger–a hypocrite to its very corporate core.  If Google as a company truly believed in “human rights” why does it continue to disregard the rights of artists at every turn?  Perhaps those who doodle for Google might want to review the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 27, paragraph 2) which includes this passage:

(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Why is Google so keen on “fair play” and the rights of athletes to compete, but when it comes to artists, not so much?

READ THE FULL STORY AT VOX INDIE:
http://voxindie.org/google-lgbt-olympic-doodle-opportunism

Jean Michel Jarre: ‘Artists are the collateral damage of the tech giants’ | The Guardian UK

The ‘monsters’ of Google, Facebook and the tech giants need to work with musicians, the electronic music star said, to develop new ways of protecting creative property.

Jean Michel Jarre has called on music artists to work with the world’s most powerful technology companies, urging them to explore new ways of making money for their work.

“We are the people creating the future – not manufacturers of computers or cables. We are the extraordinary,” Jarre told the Guardian. “[The lack of enforcement of] intellectual property is not just a problem for artists from Europe and America – it’s a global problem . It’s one of the strongest elements of what democracy is all about.”

READ THE FULL STORY AT THE GUARDIAN UK:
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/05/jean-michel-jarre-smartphone-google-creators

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If the Internet is working for Musicians, Why aren’t more Musicians Working Professionally?

The Music Industry’s YouTube Problem | Music Ally

“Google are not music people, and that scares me.” This single quote from Colin Daniels, of Australian independent music firm Inertia, summarised a whole conference worth of anti-Google unrest at this year’s Midem, which spilled over onto YouTube too.

Whenever a YouTube exec appeared in a panel session, they were put on the defensive about the company’s approach to music and creators, often by pointed questions from audience members – and on one occasion, angry heckling.

After the last year of Spotify taking constant flak over streaming’s value to artists, at Midem that company was being praised – “everyone there are music people,” said Daniels before making his Google comment in a session on indie label strategies – while YouTube (and, more surprisingly, Facebook) were being attacked.

Music good, Big Tech evil. We’ve been writing about this clash for years now, but it was more open and more emotional than we remember at any previous Midem. Yet we also found a more positive, if challenging takeaway from this year’s conference: the music industry can shed its victim status and make these Big Tech platforms work better for rightsholders and creators.

READ THE FULL STORY AT MUSIC ALLY:
http://musically.com/2014/02/07/music-allys-midem-recap-the-music-industrys-youtube-problem/

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Why Google Really is Evil | Fox Business News

There’s an old saying, sooner or later the truth will out.

It’s also clear that, after Schmidt joined Apple’s (AAPL) board of directors, Android magically evolved from a BlackBerry-like device with a physical keypad into essentially an iPhone clone with a virtual keypad and multitouch display.

Right up until the Federal Trade Commission forced him off Apple’s board in 2009, Schmidt maintained that Google was not really a competitor to Apple’s iPhone. Of course, Google followed Apple’s next breakthrough device, the iPad, with Android tablets which, presumably, weren’t competitors either.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

There’s so much more in the Fox story it really is endlessly fascinating, and not that we’re surprised.

Besides having founders and top executives with the ethical flexibility to stab one of its closest partners in the back with a classic bait-and-switch while disingenuously attempting to maintain a superior moral high ground, there’s even more evidence that Google is the most evil tech company since Microsoft was, back in the day.

It now appears inevitable that, at some point, Google will know more about you than you do. If you’re at all concerned about privacy, forget the NSA; it’s Google you should be worried about.

READ THE FULL STORY AT FOX BUSINESS:
http://www.foxbusiness.com/technology/2014/01/17/why-google-really-is-evil/

Google Can Bite Me | The Illusion of More

Never wanting to lose an opportunity to be bizarrely two-faced, Google is sending around a little graphic today to all you GMail users implying that stopping SOPA in January of 2012 actually enabled creativity to continue to thrive on the Web. Never mind that nothing in SOPA could have stopped you or me or any other would-be creator from uploading our works, ideas, or captured events to the Web; that’s just pesky reality.

But Google isn’t satisfied just to effect public policy in its own interests, it also wants to behave like the abusive and negligent father, who creepily shows up with a smile and a hug when his kid wins an award or becomes famous.

After all, this week isn’t just the anniversary of SOPA Blackout Day, it’s also the week Google received its 100 millionth takedown notice from recording artists who would rather not have their works exploited without permission or compensation. So, the whole, “we protected creativity together” message just kinda makes the skin crawl. Y’know?

READ THE FULL POST AT THE ILLUSION OF MORE:
http://illusionofmore.com/google-bite-me/

The Hubris Behind Google’s Demotion of Rap Genius (Guest Post) | Billboard

by Chris Castle

Rap Genius topped any Google results for practically any lyric search string, so the site was very well-known to music fans. That enviable ranking doesn’t seem dissimilar from search results for Isohunt, the Pirate Bay or Kickass Torrents.

So what was the cardinal sin justifying Google in disappearing Rap Genius? Operating without licenses? No, certainly not that. Openly challenging the music industry? No, not that either.

It would appear Rap Genius did the one thing Google doesn’t permit — it spoke openly about beating Google at its own game. Rap Genius evidently tricked Google’s search algorithm into ranking it higher than the site should have been absent the manipulation. And for this cheeky violation of Google’s rules — not a law — the search giant demonstrated two points in one flex of its dominant muscle.

READ THE FULL STORY AT BILLBOARD:
http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/news/digital-and-mobile/5869795/the-hubris-behind-googles-demotion-of-rap-genius-guest

While Artists are Bitching About Spotify Royalties… Google, YouTube and Grooveshark are in the Getaway Car…

While artists bitch about low payments from Spotify royalties,  YouTube,  Grooveshark and The Pirate Bay pay artists less or even nothing.  The reason Spotify pays so little is because it’s forced to compete with illegally operating, unlicensed sites who pay nothing at all. Artists need to focus on the big picture.

Spotify has become the symbol of inequity for artists in the digital age, and we’re not saying artists are wrong to focus on the Spotify royalty payments as an example of this inequity. We’ve written our own criticisms of Music Streaming Math and our doubts that Spotify could ever actually scale to be a sustainable business for both artists and labels.

Whatever the criticisms we may have of Spotify it is important to note that they are legal and licensed with secured rights.

The truth is that Spotify is only a symptom of a much larger disease.  The actual cause of the inequity is mass scale, enterprise level, corporate sanctioned piracy for profit. Ad Funded Piracy is the primary mechanism by which the work of artists and musicians has been devalued to fractions of cent and here’s how it works.

Imagine creating a business where you could profit by attracting every fan of every musician and band.

Imagine not requiring any licenses or permission from any of the musicians and bands.

Imagine selling advertising based on not only the overall popularity of the musicians and bands, but also from providing free streaming and/or downloads to the music of the musicians and bands.

Imagine not having to pay musicians and bands and keeping all of the advertising (and/or subscription/access fee) money.

GOOGLE:

One of the most accessible points of piracy starts at Google search and they can absolutely do more to assist legal and licensed businesses that pay artists. Digital Music News recently reported that “Google Receives Its 100 Millionth Piracy Notice. Nothing Changes…” As we’ve seen with Google’s swift retribution to Rap Genius, search can very effective to discourage or remove bad actors from the legitimate marketplace (When it is in Google’s business interest to do so!). Google is also tracking over 200,000 known domains engaged in active piracy. This seems like an easy problem to solve.

Not only did a series of research studies by the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab identify Google as one of the primary companies feeding advertising to pirate sites, but there is actually a longer darker history of Google assisting illegally operating business online.

Artists don’t get paid anything from pirate sites profiting from advertising revenue. This is the big one, those who pay nothing at all but distribute the most music at the highest volumes.

YOUTUBE:

YouTube is a company that was intentionally founded and designed to profit by ripping off artists, musicians and creators. These practices are well known from court documents published by sources such as Daily Finance.

It appears that much of the music on YouTube may still be generating profit for YouTube but not so much for musicians. East Bay Ray of the Dead Kennedy’s details the state of things here on NPR.

Even when YouTube is paying, they are paying half as much (or less) than Spotify on a per play basis.

GROOVESHARK:

We’d love to hear from artists (musicians and songwriters) who actually have their music legally licensed on Grooveshark. And, for those who do, we’d love to see what some of those royalty statements look like. We can’t imagine that Grooveshark is paying better than Spotify and that’s only for those artists who may actually have a valid license from Grooveshark.

As of this writing Grooveshark is still embattled in a number of lawsuits, which at one time included every major label. Essentially Grooveshark designed their business to be like an audio and music only version of YouTube. We detailed their practices in the post “Grooveshark, Notice and Shakedown”.

We don’t know how much money Grooveshark is making, but it’s enough to put the companies founders on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List… It seems that it is the (new boss) gatekeepers controlling the money and once again it is the artists themselves getting screwed.

PANDORA:

As of this writing Pandora has abandoned it’s ill conceived attempt at legislation that would have reduced artists royalties by 85%. But let us not forget that the arguments used by Pandora for attempting that move were also motivated by the downward economic pressure placed on artists whereby the majority of music consumption is happening with no compensation at all due to various forms of Ad Funded Piracy.

Welcome to the Exploitation Economy.

We suggest that artists focus on the disease that is creating the symptoms of businesses like Spotify.

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