The Shiv Act: Google’s MIC Coalition Attacks Songwriters with New Back Door Version of Orphan Works Legislation Safe Harbor — Artist Rights Watch

Google’s MIC Coalition is at it again. As predicted, the MIC Coalition is bringing orphan works through the back door with a new bill introduced in the dead of night under the misleading title ” Transparency in Music Licensing Ownership Act” or as we call it, The Shiv Act.

via The Shiv Act: Google’s MIC Coalition Attacks Songwriters with New Back Door Version of Orphan Works Legislation Safe Harbor — Artist Rights Watch

@repjerrynadler: Reps. Nadler, @DarrellIssa Pre-1972 Copyright Fix with Introduction of CLASSICS Act

Breaking! Congressmen Nadler and Issa introduce bill to fix loophole on pre-1972 recordings. Legacy artists will finally get digital royalties. Also Pandora has lent their support to the bill. Thanks to all who worked so hard on this but especially Blake Morgan!

Artist Rights Watch

[PRESS RELEASE]

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) of the House Judiciary Subcommittee for Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet introduced bipartisan legislation to close a long-standing gap in federal copyright law. The Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, and Important Contributions to Society Act (the CLASSICS Act), H.R. 3301, resolves uncertainty over the copyright protections afforded to sound recordings made before 1972 by bringing these recordings into the federal copyright system and ensuring that digital transmissions of both pre- and post-1972 recordings are treated uniformly.

The CLASSICS Act serves as an update to the “pre-72 treatment” of the Fair Play Fair Pay Act – a broader music licensing bill introduced by Chairman Issa and Ranking Member Nadler earlier this Congress – and represents a broad consensus from a variety of stakeholders across the music landscape.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler: “For…

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@repjerrynadler: Reps. Nadler, @DarrellIssa Pre-1972 Copyright Fix with Introduction of CLASSICS Act — Artist Rights Watch

[PRESS RELEASE]

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) of the House Judiciary Subcommittee for Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet introduced bipartisan legislation to close a long-standing gap in federal copyright law. The Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, and Important Contributions to Society Act (the CLASSICS Act), H.R. 3301, resolves uncertainty over the copyright protections afforded to sound recordings made before 1972 by bringing these recordings into the federal copyright system and ensuring that digital transmissions of both pre- and post-1972 recordings are treated uniformly.

The CLASSICS Act serves as an update to the “pre-72 treatment” of the Fair Play Fair Pay Act – a broader music licensing bill introduced by Chairman Issa and Ranking Member Nadler earlier this Congress – and represents a broad consensus from a variety of stakeholders across the music landscape.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler: “For years, we have been working to ensure royalty payments for artists who recorded many of our great musical classics before 1972. The Fair Play Fair Pay Act set down a clear marker on the need to resolve the dispute over pre-72 music, as we worked toward a long-term solution that benefits multiple stakeholders. The bill we are introducing today updates this Pre-72 provision, once and for all guaranteeing royalty payments for our great legacy artists while providing certainty for digital music services. Hopefully, this new measure will serve as an example of the consensus that can be reached between the creators and distributors of music as we work to comprehensively update our music licensing laws. Many of these older musicians are past their working years and have no other way to make ends meet. I’m thankful to the supporters of this bill for recognizing that pre-72 recordings have value and that those who create it should be paid regardless of their age.”

Congressman Darrell Issa: “This an important and overdue fix to the law that will help settle years of litigation and restore some equity to this inexplicable gap in our copyright system. It makes no sense that some of the most iconic artists of our time are left without the same federal copyright protections afforded to their modern counterparts. This bill is the product of a great deal of work to build consensus across party lines and varying interests all-over the music and entertainment landscapes on how to best resolve this long-standing problem. I’m very proud of the work we’ve done here. It will go a long way helping bring music licensing laws into the twenty-first century.”

The bill is introduced with the support of stakeholders across the music and entertainment industry including American Association of Independent Music, the Recording Industry Association of America, Pandora, musicFIRST, the Internet Association, the GRAMMYs, SoundExchange, Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, American Federation of Musicians, the Content Creators Coalition, the Future of Music Coalition, the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, and the Living Legends Foundation. The bill is also supported by several noted artists, many of whom spoke out in support of the CLASSICS Act.

In addition to Chairman Issa and Ranking Member Nadler, Representatives John Conyers (D-MI), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Tom Rooney (R-FL), and Ted Deutch (D-FL) joined as original co-sponsors to the legislation.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Congress made sound recordings eligible for federal copyright protection with the Sound Recording Amendment of 1971, but the law as passed only applied to works created on or after February 15, 1972. Sound recordings made before 1972 were excluded from federal copyright protection

This gap has meant that different recordings made before 1972 have been subject to an inconsistent patchwork of different laws, creating significant uncertainty for rights holders music creators, and distributors, including digital streaming services, who wish to be able to fairly compensate artists and utilize these recordings.

The differing treatment of pre and post 1972 was an inexplicable and arbitrary oversight on the part of Congress. The U.S. Copyright Office has expressed their bewilderment with the decision, writing in their recent report on federal copyright protections for pre-1972 sound recordings that “Congress did not articulate grounds for leaving pre-1972 sound recordings outside the federal scheme and there is very little information as to why it did so.”

This gap has meant that updates to copyright law and new protections extended to sound recordings under the Copyright Act of 1976 and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act have excluded pre-1972 recordings. The most significant of these being the ‘safe harbor’ provisions for online piracy and ‘compulsory licenses’ made available for internet and satellite radio streaming.

Quotes of praise for the CLASSICS Act:

“This is a great step forward for legacy artists. Thank you to Representatives Issa and Nadler for recognizing that music made before 1972 is just as important and valued as post-1972 music.” — Mary Wilson, The Supremes

“I am overjoyed and extraordinarily grateful for Congressmen Issa and Nadler’s bipartisan relentless efforts to correct an inequality in the law that discriminates against myself and my peers– the legacy artists who recorded our hit records prior to 1972. It is has been unfair and outrageous that the artists, such as myself, who recorded some of our country’s most iconic music, have been forced to resort to lawsuits in order to get paid for the commercial use of their recordings. It is phenomenal that finally there is light shining at the end of this very long tunnel we’ve been looking at for so long. Knowing there is a consensus agreement to resolve any portion of this outrageous problem makes me proud and furthers my hope that I will still be alive to see the other issues Reps. Nadler and Issa have championed in the Fair Play Fair Pay Act come to similar positive bipartisan resolution and conclusion.” — Sam Moore

“I have found so much inspiration in the songs of the past, the songs I grew up with. The least – the very least – I could do is show them respect and honor them by urging Congress to fix the law so that they can get paid by digital radio. That’s why this bill is so important.” — Melissa Etheridge

“Every artist making music today stands on the musical shoulders of those who came before them. I would not be doing what I do if it weren’t for the heritage acts I grew up listening to, idolizing and trying to emulate. The fact that these amazing artists are not getting compensated for their indelible work and profound influence is simply unfathomable to me, and must be fixed. I am grateful to the sponsors of this bill for finally trying to even the scales, as there is no future in music without honoring the past.” — Dave Koz

“It’s a travesty that artists who shaped our creative minds and inspired us to want to play music in the first place are not being  acknowledged and compensated for the music they gave us.  I’m hopeful this important legislation will address this issue for all time.” — Carlene Carter, Singer-Songwriter, Daughter of country music legends June Carter Cash and Carl Smith, stepdaughter of Johnny Cash, and granddaughter of “Mother” Maybelle Carter of the original historic Carter Family

“The fact U.S., copyright protection does not apply sound recordings made prior to February 15, 1972 makes absolutely no sense.   Early rockers like me and my peers are on heavy rotation these days on popular oldies channels and on digital radio services.  And unlike many other platforms, we’re not compensated for it. How is that fair? It’s our music that attracting listeners and thus we should be paid.   I’m grateful for the leadership of Reps. Issa and Nadler and their efforts to fix this enormous injustice with this important bill.” — Steve Cropper, legendary guitarist, songwriter and producer

###

Via @repjerrynadler: Reps. Nadler, @DarrellIssa Pre-1972 Copyright Fix with Introduction of CLASSICS Act — Artist Rights Watch

Is The Spotify “Fake Song” Scandal Really About Lowering Songwriter Royalties Across the Board?

The Spotify “fake artist” scandal that broke last week has been a real head scratcher.   Did they really save that much money?  I mean they paid billions out to rights holders,  but NYTimes puts the “savings” on fake songs at $3 million dollars?  Was it worth it? Especially considering the public relations damage it does to the brand.

Certainly the most likely explanation is that this is just a bonehead move, a crony favor for a fellow Swedish music tech company that appears to represent most of these songs.

But we should consider two alternate theories:

The lower songwriter royalties paid on these tracks may end up as evidence of “free market” rates before the Copyright Royalty Board that sets rates for songwriters. Yes,songwriter royalty rates in US are not just set, they are capped by the US government!  The CRB is bound to consider free market rates.  If they consider these rigged rates as free market ALL songwriters would get lower royalties.   While this may seem like a “bankshot” this exact scenario has played out twice before.  The most recent was when the indie label licensing group Merlin, cut a deal with non-interactive streamers. This deal guaranteed a lower rate for more spins for Merlin licensed tracks.  A kind of reverse payola.  This effectively lowered the per spin rate,  non-interactive broadcasters then took this deal to the CRB  as evidence and the CRB used it to lower rates.   This likely cost rights holders: $1 billion dollars in lost royalties.

This could be used in exactly the same way.

The second theory is a little harder to explain, but basically songwriter spin rates, vary from month to month.  They are capped by the federal government at 10.5% of streaming service revenue.   And the formula per spin is simply 10.5% of rev divided by the total number of spins, pro-rated based on popularity of a song.   So if you somehow increase the number of spins using “fake” tracks wouldn’t you reduce royalties across the board by a small but significant amount? 

Hey Alexa, Where’s My Money? Address Unknown Update Courtesy of Paperchain

Digital services have accelerated the questionable use of the “address unknown” loophole in the copyright act. Check this out. Amazon has now sent notices for 24 million tracks in a period of 15 months. Between 2010 to 2015 the copyright office was only sent 4800 such notices. Is Amazon even trying to find the composers? I’m not an attorney but I don’t understand how this isn’t fraud.

MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

We get an update this week on the total “address unknown” mass NOIs filed with the Copyright Office for the royalty-free windfall loophole.  This time we have to thank our our friends at Paperchain in Sydney for doing the work of decompressing the massive numbers of unsearchable compressed files posted on the Copyright Office website.  As you can see, there’s been an increase of approximately 70% since January 2017.   (For background, see my article.)

As you can see, Amazon is still far and away the leader in this latest loophole designed to stiff songwriters, followed closely by Google.  However, Spotify is moving on up.  Spotify does get extra points for starting late in March 2017, but they are catching up fast filing over 5,000,000 as of last month.

To put this in context–the Copyright Office as recently as September 2015 posted these “address unknown” NOIs in a single…

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Via @musictechpolicy: Hey Alexa, Where’s My Money? Address Unknown Update Courtesy of Paperchain

By Chris Castle

We get an update this week on the total “address unknown” mass NOIs filed with the Copyright Office for the royalty-free windfall loophole.  This time we have to thank our our friends at Paperchain in Sydney for doing the work of decompressing the massive numbers of unsearchable compressed files posted on the Copyright Office website.  As you can see, there’s been an increase of approximately 70% since January 2017.   (For background, see my article.)

As you can see, Amazon is still far and away the leader in this latest loophole designed to stiff songwriters, followed closely by Google.  However, Spotify is moving on up.  Spotify does get extra points for starting late in March 2017, but they are catching up fast filing over 5,000,000 as of last month.

To put this in context–the Copyright Office as recently as September 2015 posted these “address unknown” NOIs in a single searchable PDF.  However, the Copyright Office  apparently changed the practice abruptly in early 2016 once the Big Tech hammer came down.  Based on the last PDF I could find, the total number of “address unknown” NOIs filed with the copyright office from January 2010 to September 2015 or so was approximately 4,800.

NOI 2015 Era Date Detail

Compare that approximately 4,800 in five years to approximately 45 million in 18 months.

Notable in its absence:  Apple Music has not filed a single address unknown NOI.  Somehow Apple seems satisfied with their licensing practice based on an absence of a single NOI.

NOI Table
Licensee Paperchain 4/16-6/17
Total 45,856,225
Amazon Digital Services 23,977,548
Google, Inc. 10,386,238
Spotify 5,020,002
Microsoft 3,522,100
iHeart Communications 1,565,763
Pandora Media, Inc. 1,316,512
The Overflow.com Inc. 66,326

GUEST POST: With Other Companies Wide Awake to the Problem, When is the Penny Going to Drop for Google?

This is a guest post from Volker Rieck, Managing Director of the content protection service provider FDS File Defense Service. 

WITH OTHER COMPANIES WIDE AWAKE TO THE PROBLEM NOW, WHEN IS THE PENNY GOING TO DROP FOR GOOGLE?

The ongoing debate on the accountability of internet advertising networks intensified abruptly and dramatically in the first half of 2017 after the recent terror attacks in London and Manchester.

How did this come about?

Hate speech and extremist propaganda are part of our everyday reality and can be encountered on countless websites. Journalists writing for The Guardian were aware of this. What they found surprising, however, was that websites and YouTube channels with blatantly radical, racist, anti-Semitic and extremist content not only exist, but also carry advertising served regularly by the behemoth Google that generates revenue for the site operators and content creators. The Guardian subsequently opted to discontinue its cooperation with Google as an advertising partner, presumably in order to avoid Guardian advertising appearing on such dubious sites or channels. The decision was made in full knowledge of the fact that this step could and would impact negatively on traffic to the Guardian website.

While this first move was hardly newsworthy in and of itself, other market players and advertisers soon followed the example set by the Guardian. Havas, a French marketing company handling advertising budgets of £175 million per year for clients from the United Kingdom, took the same step.

And then several British banks, the BBC and even the British government followed suit almost simultaneously. Google’s European boss Matt Brittin hurriedly supplied figures showing how many sites and publishers had already been banned after infringing Google’s terms, but his efforts were in vain: The Guardian needed a mere 15 minutes to identify a YouTube channel operated by an extremist cleric banned from entering both the UK and the US. It cannot be stated plainly enough: this man’s activities are being funded with money from Mountain View thanks to the advertising served to his channel by Google. Experts surmise – according to the reporting in the Guardian – that revenue totalling at least £250,000 has been paid out to him. Terror and hate speech as a business model. Brittin claimed that the sums involved had been “pennies not pounds”. All a question of proportion, then? The £150,000 Google is thought to have earned from its collaboration with this hate preacher is certainly small change in the context of Google’s overall turnover of billions. And perhaps the advertising budgets of the enterprises that have ceased using Google as an advertising partner are indeed only pennies to Google.

As ever, Google announced it was taking the issue seriously and promised to improve. But during Advertising Week Europe in March 2017 in London, Brittin could not or would not comment – even when asked for the third time – on whether Google now searches for dubious content itself or has simply outsourced quality assurance to the users of the relevant websites. His use of the word “community” suggests that Google is leaving it up to consumers to tackle the problem. In this view, it would simply be the “community” which has failed if Google advertising continues to appear on extremist sites. Google already applies this community principle rigidly on YouTube. Only when the volume of complaints from consumers reaches dramatic levels does Google take action. Why bother taking the initiative instead of simply waiting for consumers to identify dubious content of their own accord? But whether the “community” making up the target audience of a hate preacher with a website or a YouTube channel is likely to flag up material to Google seems rather questionable.

By now, the debate has also reached the US. Enterprises including AT&T, Verizon, PepsiCo, GM and Walmart have grown nervous about protecting their brands and intend to assign their advertising budgets without cooperating with Google in the future.

Is Google worried about its own brand being tarnished? Seemingly not; otherwise the company would hardly have verifiably displayed advertising for its Google Home product on Hezbollah’s YouTube channel . Was it simply a clever algorithm that identified Hezbollah’s readers as a target group for Google Home? One can only assume so. Any thinking human being would surely have ruled this channel ineligible for any form of monetization.

How Google intends to offer reassurance to big name clients even as it demonstrates such negligence vis-à-vis its own brand is a question only Google can answer. Apart from the major brands involved, the story also has a political dimension. After 9-11, US legislation made it unlawful for persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to provide designated terrorist organizations with material support or resources. This naturally includes payments such as advertising revenue paid out to website operators. If Google has made payments to designated terrorist organizations or persons close to them, it can expect the US authorities to clamp down on this sooner rather than later.

The underlying issue here is not new. It has already been recognized for several years that Google funds websites with business models based on the infringement of copyright. If it had been possible to follow the money, MPA and GVU might have managed to shut down the site Kino.to much earlier. Google repeatedly suggests using the approach of following the money to combat piracy effectively, but this cannot succeed while Google refuses to hand over data on clients it maintains an active business relationship with as an advertising marketer. And this was the case with Kino.to.

Thanks to its two-way identification process, Google has both bank details and an address for service of process for every site operator participating in the Google advertising network.

Google is often quick to point out just how many websites it has as advertising partners; creating the impression that the number is too vast for effective monitoring to be possible clearly forms part of its strategy. Meanwhile in Europe, Facebook is discovering what European governments think of such arguments.

It should never be possible to argue on the basis of size. Imagine a car manufacturer claiming that producing ten million vehicles per year made ensuring the safety of brakes and on-board electronics in every case impossible.

Accountability cannot be delegated to machines – or, in this case, to algorithms – simply because people or enterprises have become habituated to relying on them. But this is exactly what companies like Google and Facebook are currently attempting to do. Anyone operating a business without adequate control over it has two options: bring it under control, or wind it up.

The time is now ripe for a fundamental interrogation of the question of accountability in the public space that is the internet: society is suffering severe collateral damage even as enterprises like Google or Facebook continue laughing all the way to the bank. Perhaps the issue will be resolved without financial penalties such as the $500 million pay-out made by Google to the US Department of Justice in a case relating to the illegal advertising of prescription drugs by fraudulent Canadian pharmacies. Maybe this time the loss of advertising and consequent reduction in revenue and the wide discussion of the issue will be enough to persuade Google to shift its stance.

Volker Rieck

Volker Rieck is Managing Director of the content protection service provider FDS File Defense Service. His expertise in the area of Internet piracy is widely recognized. FDS regularly works on studies relating to issues around piracy. It also supports law enforcement authorities with its data.

Orlowski on Big Tech’s Day of Corporate Action #NetNeutrality

“Think about that for a second. If Pepsi Co launched a “day of protest” and wanted to enlist your help to weaken regulation, we’d give it short shrift. What if the banks, who sailed away from the financial crisis without too many scratches, had a “banking go-slow”? Literally: what if ATMs had spat out bills very, very slowly today, while the screen invited you to “show your support for open banking, and click here!” I can imagine the reaction. The fact that the giant internet platforms – Google and Facebook and Amazon – feel they can engage in it at all tells us something.”

Read More here:

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/07/12/when_saving_the_internet_means_saving_crony_capitalism/

Have You Been Suckered on Net Neutrality Debate by Google and Big Tech?

Tomorrow July 12th you will probably be asked by a well meaning friend  or perhaps someone that works for a progressive activist group to call or write your congressman and ask them to support “net neutrality.”  IMHO I think you will be making a mistake.

I really don’t give a shit if I get flamed on this. I’ve been flamed plenty in the last 5 years fighting for artists’ rights.  Most of the time it turned out that my instincts were correct.   I’m gonna call it as I see it again.

Inconvenient Fact #1: Rule change does not end net neutrality.

True or False?  The new rules proposed by the FCC will end net neutrality.

False.

I know this is hard to swallow based on everything you’ve read on the internet .  But just do this…

Did you look at the form letter you are being asked to send to your congressman, or the talking points script you’re supposed to use for that phone call?  It says something about “Title II regulation” right?  What is being proposed is dropping Title II regulation of the internet. Not ending net neutrality. Dropping Title II means the FTC not the FCC is now back in charge of net neutrality.  Like it was from 2007-2014.  Was your internet broken then? Remember in 2012 these exact same groups were shouting “Don’t Break the Internet” when the SOPA anti-piracy legislation was proposed.  Even they admit the internet was pretty darn good in 2012. Worst case scenario the internet goes back to 2014.

So what is this really about? 

It’s not about net neutrality that’s for sure.  This is really a skirmish between two sets of crony capitalists.   Telecoms/Cable on one side and the Google/Facebook/Silicon Valley ad-spying complex on the other.   Title II forces telecoms and cable to live under a bunch of rules that benefits Google, Facebook and their online ad/spying ecosystem.   It also gives the FCC extraordinary powers to regulate the internet.

In this case the last FCC commission used that extraordinary power to impose stringent rules to protect net neutrality.  But Title II could actually go the other way.  The FCC could also use their extraordinary power to impose all sorts of bad things on the internet as well. Think about the power the FCC has over terrestrial TV radio on foul language? It’s quite interesting that FCC chairman Ajit Pai is divesting the FCC of this power.  Meanwhile free speech advocates want  the FCC to retain this power.  It’s absolutely ass backwards. And when things are this ass backwards, when the doublespeak is this blatant it’s usually cause your individual rights are in great danger.

“It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.” 

In order to save free speech on the internet we have to put the FCC in charge of speech on the internet.

Follow the Money/Lobbyists

There are two main groups that are pushing the net neutrality issue tomorrow.   One group is Fight For The Future. The other is Free Press. Let’s start with Fight For The Future.

Fight for the Future looks like a groovy progressive internet civil rights group. They even have a transgender spokesperson! The problem is that when you look at tax documents, FOIA-ed emails and their past activity you get a totally different picture.

Inconvenient Fact 2:  Fight For The Future is run by a Google lawyer.

Marvin Ammori runs Fight For The Future.  He is a former (current?) Google lawyer.  The Google Transparency Project also lists him as a “Google Funded Academic”

Inconvenient Fact 2:  The main financial backer of Fight For The Future is a mysterious firm based in an industrial park in a small town in Michigan.

Just read our stories on Fight For The Future and its mysterious sugar daddy. This tiny tidbit here deserves its own Hollywood film treatment or Netflix series. It’s that juicy and weird.

https://thetrichordist.com/2016/05/02/astroturf-fight-for-the-future-received-almost-100k-from-company-based-in-mini-industrial-park/

https://thetrichordist.com/2016/08/23/progressive-zephyr-teachouts-financial-ties-to-pirate-party-and-bitcoin-promoters/

Main takeaway: Does a radical cyber-libertarian, bitcoin promoter, the founder of Mt Gox Live, seem like the sort of person that shares the progressive lefty values espoused by Fight For The Future? What the fuck is really going on here.

Inconvenient Fact 3:  Fight For The Future Organized a Mass Copyright Infringement Campaign Against the MLK Estate.

Yup. You read that right. Fight For The Future thinks it’s a valid and righteous civil disobedience campaign, to fuck with the King Family Estate to make some decidely first world point about not being able to post/remix the MLK I Have A Dream speech on YouTube.

“Have they no decency? At long last, have they left no sense of decency?”

https://thetrichordist.com/2016/05/12/uncivil-rights-astroturf-organization-protesting-copyright-hearings-organized-mass-copyright-infringement-campaign-against-mlk-estate/

The uncomfortable parallel here is that one of the classic tools of authoritarian regimes has been to deprive dissident authors of their copyrights.

Inconvenient  Fact 4: Ammori, Fight For The Future, and FCC staff likely manipulated the comment count on Net Neutrality in 2014 to favor pro neutrality comments. FFTF even instructed the FCC what to Tweet. And the FCC obliged. 

I don’t really know what to say. Just read the FOIA-ed emails here:

This is your democracy. This is your democracy after Google runs hog wild with it.

Inconvenient Fact #5: Venezuela

Free Press is the other organization pushing the net neutrality issue.  They are the folks in all the photo op protests outside the FCC. I’m not trying to red bait anyone but there is no other way to describe this. Free Press is led by an authoritarian Marxist. This is not your grumpy uncle Bernie Sanders democratic socialism. Bernie Sanders is a patriotic American that wants the best for his country. I completely disagree with most of his politics, but he is not trying to overthrow the government and doesn’t go around praising authoritarian dictators.

The same can not be said for Robert McChesney founder of Free Press.  McChesney is an internationalist and authoritarian Marxist.

Here is McChesney in 2007 on Hugo Chavez and the media in Venezuela:

“Aggressive unqualified political dissent is alive and well in the Venezuelan mainstream media, in a manner few other democratic nations have ever known, including our own.”  This comment was made in response to Chavez revoking the license of the main opposition TV network.

He goes on to say “If (critical of Hugo Chavez Venezuelan station) RCTV were broadcasting in the United States, its license would have been revoked years ago. In fact its owners would likely have been tried for criminal offenses, including treason.”

(Venezuela and the Media: Fact and Fiction – Common Dreams, June 1, 2007)

Around this time McChesney also said this:

“Any serious effort to reform the media system (in the US) would have to necessarily be part of a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist system itself.”

(The U.S. Media Reform Movement – Monthly Review, September 15, 2008)

FreePress actually is the most honest participant here. They want the government to seize control of the internet so that later when a “revolutionary socialist” government is in power they will have full control. Perfectly coherent.

Why is this important?  Because Free Press is far far outside the mainstream of US politics, yet these are the folks that dreamed up the entire Tittle II/net neutrality hoax in the first place.  It was literally part of a plan explicitly outlined by McChesney in 2009

“At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies. We are not at that point yet. But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.”

(Media Capitalism, the State and 21st Century Media Democracy Struggles: An Interview with Robert McChesney – The Bullet Socialist Project, August 9, 2009)

I don’t know about you but I’d rather live in a liberal democracy than in a country like Venezuela. I think that most people in the US feel that way. McChesney has a vision that is incompatible with what most Americans want.  Be aware that when considering Title II regulation of the internet.

++++++++++++++

Here’s also an earlier piece I wrote just concerning Net Neutrality and copyright. It explains my evolution on the issue. Also good gif of FCC chairman dancing.

https://thetrichordist.com/2017/05/02/are-moves-by-fcc-chief-ajit-pai-on-net-neutrality-good-for-copyright-holders/

Also here are two center left and center right technical critiques of net neutrality that everyone should read.  Sorry they are rather technical, but this is a technical issue.  Reality is hard to accurately reduce to a slogan or meme.

http://www.aei.org/publication/net-neutrality-is-a-bad-idea-thats-run-its-course/

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/08/25/so_how_do_you_spot_an_arts_graduate_in_tech/