Google’s True Colors as Lobbying Goliath Revealed
Sunday’s Washington Post featured a story, “Google, once disdainful of lobbying, now a master of Washington influence” that examined the company’s rise to become a top dog among Washington influence peddlers. For Google watchers revelations in the piece, authored by Tom Hamburger and Matea Gold, come as no surprise. However, for those who continue to regard Google as the web’s guardian angel of “free speech,” the story should add a bit of tarnish to its halo, illuminating the company’s extensive back-door maneuverings — the new normal in DC’s world of political puppeteering.
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Posted in Google Diaries, Copyright, Artist Rights, Magic Beaver, Copyright Policy, Silly Con Valley Insight, artist revenue streams, the future of music
Tagged google, Censorship, Vox Indie, artist revenue streams, the future of music, Lobbying
Unfortunately, rather than manage copyright, it’s provided a huge loophole through which a number of online pirate entrepreneurs sail blissfully through. Known as the “safe harbor” provision, this oft-abused language has served to shelter digital thieves at the expense of rights holders. ”Safe Harbor” has enabled the growth of a criminal cancer and it’s a cancer–that as of now–cannot be beaten, only kept (marginally) at bay. As Wikipedia notes, “The DMCA’s principal innovation in the field of copyright is the exemption from direct and indirect liability of internet service providers and other intermediaries.” As I’ve suggested previously, any update to the law should include a requirement that in order to qualify for the limitations to liability that safe-harbor offers, certain user-generated content sites must implement reasonable technology to mitigate content theft.
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Ads for Adidas, Acura, Bertolli, Crest, Charmin, Domino’s, Ford, Geico, Hellmann’s, Lowe’s, Panera, Papermate, PG&E, Post and more share space with sex ads.
Ad Industry Best Practices?
The ad industry and ad service providers have made a show of agreeing to voluntary “best practices” agreements to fight ad-sponsored piracy, but despite their talk and White House support, not much has changed. Take a look at the graphic below…What kind of industry “best practices” do these ad placements represent?
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Claiming to be a “leader” in the fight against piracy is Google’s first mistake
This past week Google issued a report, “How Google Fights Piracy,” in which the tech giant attempts to explain what a great job it’s doing leading battle against online piracy. After reading it I think a more accurate title would be “Why Google Shouldn’t Have to Fight Piracy Because it Offers so Much Other Good Stuff.”
In an effort to burnish their tarnished image, the authors resort to repeating well-worn and disingenuous Google-spawned memes (which I’ve repeatedly deconstructed on this blog). These include:
* YouTube makes money for artists so there’s no need to provide a transparent accounting
* DMCA abuse is a considerable problem Search is “not a major driver of traffic to pirate sites”
* Google is committed to “rooting out and ejecting rogue sites” from AdSense
* Google quickly and efficiently terminates Blogger websites that feature pirated content
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Testimony from copyright hearing highlights what’s at stake for content creators
On Thursday (July 25th) the House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet held another hearing on copyright reform, “Innovation in America: The Role of Copyrights,” with the following witness invited to testify:
Sandra Aistars, Executive Director, Copyright Alliance
Eugene Mopsik, Executive Director, American Society of Media Photographers
Tor Hansen,Co-Founder, Yep Roc Records / Red Eye Distribution
John Lapham, General Counsel, Getty Images
William Sherak, President, Stereo D
Unfortunately, to some in the press–who the witnesses were seems to have overshadowed what they may have actually said. In The Washington Post Andrea Peterson bemoaned the lack of “innovators” on the witness list.
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Just like groundhog’s day for Google… Here we go… Again…
“On every check we have made, Google’s search engine gave us easy access to illegal goods including websites which offer dangerous drugs without a prescription, counterfeit goods of every description, and infringing copies of movies, music, software and games,” said Attorney General Hood. “This behavior means that Google is putting consumers at risk and facilitating wrongdoing, all while profiting handsomely from illegal behavior.”
If reading this triggers a sense of deja vu, don’t worry– you’re not crazy. Less than 2 years ago, in August of 2011, Google agreed to a 500 million dollar settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over online advertisements for illegal Canadian pharmacies.
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YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN READING:
Google, Advertising, Money and Piracy. A History of Wrongdoing Exposed.
ADWEEK : “Ad Industry Takes Major Step to Fight Online Piracy”… Again…
Posted in Copyright, Artist Rights, Ad Sponsored Piracy
Tagged piracy, google, Vox Indie, advertising, Settlement, Illegal, Pharmacy, Drugs, Fines, AG Hood
Grab the Coffee!
* Techdirt Is A Never Ending “Dumb Off”
* Untruth in Advertising: Pandora’s Misleading Plea To Listeners On Behalf Of The Internet Radio “Fairness” Act.
* Mellencamp Character Assassination. The New Republic Bravely Stands Up For Corporations and Criminal Groups That Exploit Artists.
From Around The Web:
– Artist who sued Twitter over copyright declares victory—via settlement
– The Russian underground economy has democratized cybercrime
– Google settles Rosetta Stone lawsuit, its last major dispute over AdWords
– Friday’s Endnotes – 11/02/12
Music Producer Tunnidge via Facebook
– Tunnidge Facebook Post
“I am going to try and be as obvious as possible. Without being able to make money from our music it effects greatly our ability to make the music, more often it stops us.”
– Where’s Our Outrage When Internet “Free Speech” is Really Under Attack?
– Blogspot.com, a Bridge to Piracy?
The Illusion Of More
– On Letting Foxes Mind Chicken Coops
The Register UK
– The Big Debate: OK gloomsters, how can the music biz be FIXED?
– Towards a manifesto
“We can’t just hope that the interests of music and technology companies will always magically align with ours. We have to participate in the process. Otherwise, we just have to accept that anachronistic legislation, policies and deals will continue to be written without our input. We need public policy that reflects us. We need fair royalty schemes. We need companies to build our interests into their business models.”
– Theft is not “Free Speech”
Music Tech Policy
– Mellencamp Is Right, Brand-Supported Piracy Screws Songwriters AGAIN: Snakes in the Grass, @McDonalds, Google and Other Species of Vermin
Digital Music News
– It Gets Worse: Pandora Executives Have Dumped $63 Million In Stock In the Last Year…
– 13 Extremely Scary Things About the Music Industry Today…
– ON SPOTIFY (AND WHY I’M NOT A CONSPIRACY THEORIST AFTER ALL)
– AN INVITATION TO FREE INTERNET ADVOCATES TO JOIN US
“Without free speech, copyright protection is meaningless. The two rights are critical to artists and combined have proven to be a powerful force for social justice around the world. That is why we consistently and openly advocate for a fair and open internet that champions free speech as well as respect for authorship.”
– Piracy Topsite Operators Handed Suspended Jail Sentences
– IMAGiNE BitTorrent Piracy Group Members Jailed
– BitTorrent Pirate Ordered to Pay $1.5 Million Damages For Sharing 10 Movies
– Link ‘Pirate’ Sentenced to Pay $13,000 to NBA, NFL, NHL, WWE and TNA
– The trouble with Adsense – abusive porn ads on The Star news site [NSFW]