Paul Resnikoff at Digital Music News was masochistic enough to transcribe a rant given by Google’s Tim Quirk at Future Of Music Coalition Conference last month. Tim takes a blog from The New Yorker that may or may not romanticize shopping for vinyl in shops in the 90s. He then makes a false equivalency between that and artist’s current criticism of the current digital services and royalties.
This is the mother of all straw man arguments. And again we need to call him out on it.
Artists are not fetishizing the past. They are simply asking for fair pay in the digital age. End of story.
Of course there is another interpretation of this. Is Quirk implying fair artist royalties are some sort of fetish from the past?
If this is the case, count me as really confused. For wasn’t it Tim Quirk who in 2009 magnificiently ranted on his band’s website (Quirk was in the band Too Much Joy) how his old record label Warner Bros was not properly crediting his account with digital royalties?
I quote from his blog:
“So I was naively excited when I opened the envelope. And my answer was right there on the first page. In five years, our three albums earned us a grand total of…
What the fuck?”
So what happened to the 2009 Tim?
I’ll tell you. He got a Job at Google. Meet the new boss Tim. Yourself.
(BTW all artists should read the transcription of Tim’s remarks. There is a visceral hostility toward artists throughout the entire piece that is quite startling considering he is an executive in Google’s music division. Just saying.)